A relative of mine recently got married to his partner in an upscale, expensive same-sex wedding ceremony. I saw the pictures from the wedding and I was struck by the blank look on his face in one photo after another. It was supposed to be the happiest day of his life, one he waited so long for, but he was expressionless, like he could not believe he had just married another man.
Looking at the photos, all I thought of was what a lovely wedding it was, and how any bride would have loved to have such a wedding. The feminine flowers, cake and decor were wasted on two men. Instead of giving credibility to their union, the trappings of a traditional heterosexual wedding ceremony just drew more attention to how out of place they looked holding hands as newlyweds together. It was like two grown men had taken over a little girl’s dream of a princess wedding and turned it into some sort of nightmare.
(Please don’t use my real name if you publish this! My relative is a nasty, outspoken gay rights activist who lives on the West Coast with his millionaire partner. He hates Catholics with a passion and he would have no qualms about posting awful things about me, and getting his friends to do the same, if he found out I wrote this.)
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Diana M. writes:
Julia’s observation about her homosexual relative’s expressionless facial expression struck a chord with me. I saw the exact same thing last spring, as I walking down Riverside Park in New York City. It was a lovely spring day and I saw a wedding party. One never realizes the amount of expectations one has until they are upended. Long story short, as I approached I realized that there were two grooms and no bride. (Look, I don’t know what to call anything nowadays, so I’ll just use the old-fashioned heterosexual words.) Two beautifully dressed men were getting married. I looked at them, their suits, their boutonnieres, the wedding party, as it slowly dawned on me. For whatever reason, my eye was drawn to two little girls in the wedding party, about five and eight years old, respectively. They were both pretty but fat. I don’t know why that image has remained in my mind.
Then I looked back at the two grooms. And I saw the same thing that Julia saw: blank, expressionlessness. Perhaps they interpreted my looking at them as disapproval. It really wasn’t. I was simply puzzling things out.
In the last year, I have seen increasing numbers of homosexual male couples walking arm in arm or holding hands on the streets of my neighborhood. It’s not an every day occurrence but it happens often enough. Before this wedding, I used to avert my eyes out of embarrassment. Now I look at both of them full in the face, expressionlessly, but with a certain amount of aggression (I admit it). Let them interpret my expression however they will. I’m like a blank screen. They never meet my gaze. I expose their innate shame, and their fraudulence, by simply looking at them.
I have noticed in the few photos I have seen of these new kind of “couples” that one looks like the controlling person, and the other looks like the dupe. With celebrities and others on TV, I think the one that looks like the dupe is put forth as the spokesperson, while the other stays quiet in the background. I’m not claiming to be able to interpret looks accurately, but I have had that impression every time.