Monday, May 14, 2012


Seems like  gay marriage has taken over the airwaves of late. Between Joe Biden forcing POTUS to come out of the philosophical closet, and the head of the RNC’s declaration that a plank of the party's platform is to fundamentally deny civil rights to an entire class of people, there has been so much venom spewed that I began to think seriously about my own sentiments toward gays and gay rights in an attempt to better understand where all the agita comes from. The issues being addressed (or not addressed) were beginning to pile up and suddenly I had a funny feeling I was not being completely honest with myself or, perhaps worse, with my readers.

Was I harboring a secret prejudice? Was I hiding behind some politically correct posture and using it as a shield? Or was it something more nefarious, something I was loathe to confront in others, much less myself? I spent a lot of time obsessing about this. I examined and re-examined everything I've written about homosexuality in the past year, hoping it would shed a renewed light on my thought process. It did, and I came to some conclusions:
  • I am not gay. My sexuality is not in question. I have a fair number of friends who are lesbians and nope, I am not attracted to anything but their intellect and senses of humor. Skill at mahjong is definitely a plus but I am definitely a hetero kinda girl. 
  • Having been in the theatre biz for a long time, gay guys are part and parcel of the scenery. Since I'm not invited into their bedrooms as either participant or spectator, I’m not entitled to any opinion. Their sexuality has no impact whatsoever on me. I’m more interested in their upper brains. 
  • I really don't care if someone is gay. Really. What anyone does in the privacy of his/her own bedroom is none of my business. I’m just not interested in someone else’s sex life. Not gays, not straights, not even Kardashians.  Unless I know someone is being raped or abused or hurt in any way and I am in the position to call the cops to stop a criminal act...consenting adults of any persuasion having sex is not a criminal act. 

La Coste
Now, let's add another layer of confusion to this debate with the addition of Tom Friedman's column in Sunday's NY Times, This Column is Not Sponsored By Anyone. Ostensibly, it deals with corporate sponsorship, but it raises an interesting point about labeling. Everything has a label these days...from college football stadia to high school lockers. Are you old enough (like me) to recall when it started? Remember Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilt? Or “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins?” Or the La Coste crocodile  and the Ralph Lauren polo guy? These were all visible signs of  70’s coolness. Suddenly everything had to have a label. Even infant clothes sprouted designer labels. Inner city kids were murdered for the name brand sneakers and team parkas. Why do we feel the need to pigeon hole everything in our life?

I when I was in grad school and sported a full length cast on my leg following surgery, my dad painted those trademark green and maroon stripes down the front, with the interlocking Gucci "G" diamond pattern all over the rest of it. We even stopped at Gucci on Fifth Avenue to show it to the ladies and they loved it. That was then….this is now.  These days, I don’t want someone else’s name emblazoned on anything I own. The label is nonsense… it must be about quality. And this applies to people as well. 

So I've made up my mind. From now on:  

(Actually I dumped that last one long ago...but that's a different blog topic.)

Going forward, my friends will be my friends. They will not be my gay friends, or my Polish friends. Barak Obama will not be our black President. Nope. No more. Unless a label is specific to the point of the conversation, as in, “My New York friends have a different understanding of Pastrami from my Minnesota friends," I will no longer label people.

As for DOMA or the ridiculous amendment here in Minnesota, there will be no more discussion of GAY marriage.  Marriage is marriage is marriage and everyone has the right to turn a significant other into an instant next of kin. We can talk about civil rights begin denied a class of citizens because of sexual orientation. We can protest that civil rights are for ALL American citizens, and all citizens constitute WE, the PEOPLE.

This is NOT about  being politically correct; it’s about being humanly aware. We can change the conversation in favor of inclusiveness, and it doesn’t cost a damn thing. 

Join me in rejecting the label culture in favor of 
civil discourse, 
civil rights, 
equality for all American citizens under the law.

The Wifely Person’s Tip o’the Week
The longer we continue to affix the labels,
the longer those targeted segments of the population 
experience alienation and discrimination.


  1. Amen! Well said. Label me "in agreement".

  2. Now that Newsweek has "come out", I guess you'd better add


    to your list.

    1. Hey! thanks for the heads up. I love it. More labels.

      I loved this line: "Was this obviously humane African-American actually advocating a 'separate but equal' solution—a form of marital segregation like the one that made his own parents’ marriage a felony in many states when he was born?"

      I rest my case!

  3. Yes. I have a few things written about the over-zealous labeling we embrace in America. No more gay friends! Totally with you.

  4. Good for you! John Lennon's "Imagine" comes to mind.

  5. Could not agree with you more. Labeling people based upon an unchanging characteristic has been a pet peeve of my mine for years. The one you missed is age. People are continually labeled based upon the generation in which they happen to be born. Thus all Baby Boomers are "socially conscious" (not true) All Gen Y are "tech savvy" (not true) and was there ever a greater misnomer than the "Greatest Generation" . My late Father-in-law laughed at that one. Growing up in the depression and fighting in WWII was not a choice for most - it just was.

    Also, read the newspapers for descriptions like "Man,68 injured in car accident" (What does age have to do with it?) So, add age to the list. Because as soon as we see someones age in print we start making judgements.... Just sayin'

    1. At 73 I don't mind being labeled a senior citizen when that label nets me a 10% discount.

  6. I would agree completely if this was an ideal world but it's not. For example, back when most gays were in the closet nobody had a gay friend. They didn't label their friend as gay but the lack of a label was based on ignorance. It was only when gays came out that people realized that they actually did have gay friends and that's when peoples attitudes started to change. Gays started to become a normal part of the everyday landscape. It's only then that labels can be eliminated. There will, unfortunately, still be homophobes and bigots who seem to need labels in order to have someone to hate.

  7. How 'bout "NO MORE BRILLIANT QUICK-WITTED HANDSOME BROTHERS"? (Labels like that one are embarrassing; we know who we are.)

    Man, 63

  8. You are right on the money, as usual!

  9. Lovely posts. Labels will always be part of life, I'm afraid, but that doesn't mean we need to constantly use them. And I agree about our friends being our friends. they aren't you. they are their own person. that should be the case for everyone. and marriage should be equal for all, I think. :)


  10. This is why I prefer the phrase "marriage equality"--we all should have it.