Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Everyone is seeing and talking about BrokeBack Mountain and for one of the best reviews go to  An older gay man seems to have an entirely different perspective from a young one especially if that man is old enough to have come from an age where getting married and hiding his sexuality was sometimes the only option.  For a beautifully written blog on coming out late in life after 20 years of marriage, go and read  From his comments page there appears to be a lot of men who identify with his position.

These words were written by Dr. Richard Isay in his book “Becoming Gay”, the Journey to Self- Acceptance, published in 1996.
“But it is the affirming love of another man that is the most effective antidote to the “battered self-esteem” of most gay men in our society.
And it is the love of another over time that provides the greater certainty and clarity about one’s personal identity as a gay man.  Only then does being gay become indispensable to one’s happiness.”
It has just as much meaning if the word man is changed to woman.

I am standing on my soapbox again about same sex marriage because the issue is not going to go away.  Many young gay men and women want the symbolic ceremony of marriage and we need to value their wanting this ceremony to make a commitment to each other.  It doesn’t have to be Church sanctioned or State sanctioned just ‘ordinary people’ sanctioned.  It is not a civil right, it is a need to have their identity as a gay couple to have as much value as a heterosexual couple.

There is no mention of gender in the following.  The words apply equally to men and men and women and women and men and women.

Not the marriage of convenience, nor the marriage of reason, but the marriage of love.  All other marriage, with vows so solemn with intimacy so close, is but acted falsehood and varnished sin.
Edward Robert Bulwer (1831-91)

In true marriage lies not equal, nor unequal.  Each fulfils defect in each, and always thought in thought.
Purpose in purpose, will in will, they grow,
The single pure and perfect animal,
The two-celled heart beating, with one full strike,
Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

What marriage may be in the case of two persons of cultivated faculties, identical in opinions and purposes, between whom there exists that best kind of equality, similarity of powers and capacities with reciprocal superiority in them – so that each can enjoy the luxury of looking up to the other, and can have alternately the pleasure of leading and of being led in the path of development – I will not attempt to describe.
To those who can conceive it, there is no need; to those who cannot, it would appear the dream of an enthusiast.
John Stuart Mill.

The only thing that can hallow marriage is love.
And the only genuine marriage is that which is hallowed by love.
Count Leo Tolstoy.

They had exchanged vows and tokens, sealed their rich compact, solemnised, so far as breathed words and murmured sounds and lighted eyes and clasped hands could do it, their agreement to belong only, and to belong tremendously, to each other.
Henry James.

The supreme and overmastering desire of any two humans who are in love with one another is to be together and alone, in shared and mutual solitude.  That (in much) is what weddings are for.  It is attained and safeguarded in marriage.  How well and happily then should it be spoken of, how profound should be its appeal to our common humanity.
Walter De La Mare.

The needs of gay couples to commit in front of friends and family should appeal to our common humanity and considering how far we have already travelled, the road to equality is shortening.



Ron said...

Thanks for the 'Coming Out at 48' link.

Your blog is a shining light. Thank you.

Lord Sedgwick said...

Bugger me dead ... errr ... contextually probably not the best phrase to toss off ... ('scuse me innnuendo) but "Brokeback Mountain" in these allegedly more, well, if not enlightened, certainly more aware days, ahould be a doddle to handle.

Crikey, I remember going to "Boys in The Band" (and it wasn't even a country and western band for gorrsakes) and wonder what all the fuss was about.

Yeah but thems was the days when the indefatigable Babette Francis got a regular gig telling us all where we were going wrong and that the Four Whoresmen of the Acropolis were going to send us all to Hell on a Number 12 tram.

Kelly & Sam Pilgrim-Byrne said...

Very, very well said...

Thanks, JT.

JahTeh said...

Ron, I missed you, I even miss the cat and the blowfly.

It's a terrible thing, Your Excellency (note capitals) but good old Babette is still telling us we're going to Hell. I was rather hoping she'd beat us to it.

Girls, you are doing so well, I'm thinking of having blue and red suits with a big SW made for you.

M. Spider said...

Nicely summed up, my dear. A lovely bouquet of quotes.

We got over the hurdle here in Canada; though we're still dealing with the aftershocks, especially now with a conservative PM. US of A nonwithstanding, the rest of the civilized world can't be that far behind. Democracies are not established to legislate morality, but foster equality.

At least, ideally.

JahTeh said...

M.spider, I've heard most are saying he'll try getting it reversed, get knocked back and then let it drop and hope that satisfies his backers. Anything else would set too much of a precedence.

M. Spider said...

Anything else would be against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (which is a wonderful document) and quite possibly illegal. So, there's really not much he can do about it. Tee hee.

Freedoms and equalities are hard to erase without revealing despotism, and my new [interm] Prime Minister, whatever his flaws, is still Canadian, and we're far too nice to be despots.