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September 25, 2011 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

I Hate Celery. (And Some Other Things I Feel Strongly About)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I have a lot of opinions. A lot. A looooot.

I think that bread is a savoury food and should never, ever be eaten with jam. Or honey. Or marmalade. I think that Six Feet Under is the best television show of all time. I think that celery is the worst thing in the world, especially when it’s in potato salad. Sometimes when I find celery in a foodstuff I just purchased—a foodstuff I assumed was celery-free—it gives me heart palpitations. As much as I hate the stringy green devil, I don’t know if it’s the worthiest thing to spend these six hundred words on. So, I’m going to write about the thing that makes me the most angry.

I believe in something so bland and so boring. I can’t even fathom it’s considered an ‘opinion’. I can’t believe this could be a fourth form debating moot or an essay topic or a contentious legal issue. I don’t understand why this is something that even has to be written about anymore. The thing I believe in most of all is that the gender of the people you fuck and the gender of the people you love should not matter.

At all.

Not to anyone.

Not to the church and not to the state and not to any other human being on this green earth.

I could rehash all of the tired-but-truthful arguments about same-sex marriage, like the Edge’s wedding competition and Britney’s 55-hour marriage. I could argue with you until I was turquoise in the face about gay adoption, and tell you about that Williams Institute study which showed child abuse rates are at zero per cent for children raised in lesbian households.

I could. But I’m not going to.

Because when I’m gay-writing about gay rights all I can think about is my girlfriend. We have one of the most boringly normal relationships ever. We spend our weekends trying to decide whether we, as two hollandaise-loving lesbians, think Floriditas really has taken out Aro Cafe for the coveted title of best Wellington brunch spot. Recently we’ve started getting our groceries delivered and it’s working really well for us. We love This American Life and we sing along to television theme songs so that by the time we’ve finished the box set we’ve perfected the harmonies. When I write about gay rights I think about how much I love her. And then I think about how we live in a country that considers our relationship to be lesser, just because there are two vaginas involved.

And then I want to cry.
It could be worse. It could be a lot worse. We could live in one of the 82 countries where homosexuality is illegal. My problems are small fry, compared to the queer people in other parts of the world who are thrown into jail or stoned to death. As small as my fry may be, it still sucks. It sucks that my girlfriend and I are supposed to be satisfied with a civil union. It sucks that, ‘New Zealand’s Best News Site’, runs a ‘Weddings’ section but they have never featured a gay couple. It sucks that our smiley Prime Minister voted ‘no’ on the Civil Union bill. It sucks when people use the word ‘gay’ as a pejorative term but maybe I can’t blame them when the New Zealand legal system considers gay relationships to be of an inferior status.
I want New Zealand to change. I want New Zealand to legalise gay marriage and same sex adoption. That’s my opinion, if you will. If you consider a belief in equality to be an opinion.


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  1. Scar says:

    I questioned Stuff a few weeks ago about their wedding section and the lack of same sex couples; the response was simply that no same-sex couples, (or polys for that matter), had sent in their wedding photos.
    So send some in :-)
    It’s not that they are homophobic, it just the lack of material.

  2. Ally says:

    Hey Scar, Yeah, Greer McDonald was tweeting me about this today. I do think perhaps Stuff should try harder to represent some same sex couples, and think about maybe why same sex couples *aren’t* sending their pictures in. I know that as a gay woman, a section entitled ‘Weddings’ and article after article on man+lady unions doesn’t feel particularly inclusive. I love it when couples (of all sexes) get a civvie and use traditional marriage rhetoric – wedding, engagement, married etc – but technically a ‘Wedding’ is still only available to same sex couples. When I mentioned that this seemed a bit exclusive, Greer said she didn’t think it was exclusive at all – because of course as a straight woman it is for her to decide how I should feel!

    Maybe when I do get a civvie I will send in pictures – but this probably won’t be for years and years as I’m currently way too poor to afford the kind of wedding celebration I would want! I need a cake MADE OF CHEESE!

  3. MJ says:

    Fantastic post, Ally. I was talking to the flatties the other day about how, because I’m pansexual, the fact that the terminology changes depending on who my partner is, is a really hard thing for me to deal with. Because at the end of the day, I want to marry the person I fall in love with. I want a wedding, in a church, because that’s what is important to me. For straight folks, the choice as to how and where they form a union, and what they call it, is entirely their own. For me, what I am allowed depends on who I end up spending the rest of my life with. For you, there’s no choice to begin with. One of these things is not like the others and like you, I don’t understand why equality is still a topic for numerous blog posts and ‘opinion’ pieces.

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