Yes, It’s Fucking Political

With Facebook’s advent of being able to be placed in groups/pages, I somehow found myself in three different groups: two for the graduating classes of the high schools I attended and one for my graduating class at Wabash. In an attempt to keep us abreast of where everyone is, the latter asked us to share a short synopsis of where we are, encouraging us to list if we had married, where we were, what jobs we’re holding, etc. Shortly after such, it then asked us not to get into politics/religion on the page.

That last bit caught my eye for a number of reasons. Is marriage divorced from religion? If so, then what is the fuss about same-sex marriage again? If it isn’t, then isn’t that encouraging people to post about ‘religion?’ The honest answer is that marriage is many different things to different people; not everyone who gets married is religious, not everyone who is religious and married went through the same process, etc.

Then, the thought occurred: what if I were married? People are talking about their lovely wives and such. If I mentioned my special guy friend, would that cross the realm of religious/political? Having graduated with those men, and having been vocal about LGBT issues while I attended Wabash, I doubt anyone would pick a fight over such, but any relationship I publicly share is by default political.

Granted, any relationship is political and is saying something about the culture in which it occurs, but I am always constantly aware of when I am advocating for LGBT issues and how what I share is considered more political than the average. This even filters down to wondering what public PDAs are acceptable in the area I may be in, as well as what reads as me being a couple with a close straight male friend, just because I am gay and not exactly quiet about it.

Which is not to call out this particular group or the moderator in charge of it, but to serve as a reminder, for some of us, living our daily lives is a political statement. Every time I send out a résumé, I debate whether or not to list my work with GayGamer. While a person needn’t be queer to work at GayGamer, most people will make that assumption anyway. This is particularly noticeable because there have been recruiters with whom I’ve spoken who refer to my ‘latest work online’ and do everything they can to even avoid saying GayGamer, as if that is breaking some taboo.

This even breaks down to my writing, where I am often afraid of pigeonholing myself into being that writer who only writes about gay things, though I have a wide range of interests and topics on which I consider myself knowledgeable (currently I’m working on a piece about how Brecht’s principles can be used to understand some games in a different light). The work that most often gets recognized is that which concerns LGBT issues, because for the longest time there was little writing on it, and ‘political’ issues tend to get discussions going on all sides.

Oftentimes, it becomes difficult to parse what of my life is my own and what is pure politics. More often than not, it’s a mixture of the two, serving as the gray area between ‘just the facts’ and ‘political!’ in a way that makes me constantly conscious of how I say things on Twitter, in my job applications, and in groups of people who are not close friends.

And yes, I realize exactly what the group was asking: we have connotations for what we mean by religious/political, but in a year where the DNC is seriously considering putting marriage equality as one of the planks, it is difficult to divorce such thoughts from my life.

About Denis Farr

Writer interested in intersectionality, games, comics, nerdy stuff in general, theater, and how it all mixes. Graduate of Wabash College, with studies in Theater, English, German, and Gender Studies.
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2 Responses to Yes, It’s Fucking Political

  1. thegaygamer says:

    Wonderful post, Denis, and I agree with every word of it. I especially relate to the part about mentioning your work with GayGamer. I used to worry that I may be too “visible” as a gay man, what with the advocacy work I’ve done with my husband and the articles I’ve written for The Advocate and for my blog. I quickly realized, though, that there’s no way I could “hide” that part of myself, even if I tried, so what will happen will just have to happen. If certain employers down the line don’t want to hire me because I’m too openly gay, well, so be it. I know that’s easy for me to say at the moment, but I hope I’ll continue to feel that way even if I find myself struggling to find work. Anyway, like I said earlier, great post. Keep up the good work :)

  2. Pingback: Gotta Keep ‘em Segregated? | Vorpal Bunny Ranch

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