First things first, I would like to celebrate the simple fact that same-sex marriage is legal in the United Kingdom, as of 2014. I am a gay man myself, currently married to a man. After shortly dating each other we got engaged and then tied the knot after three years.
You could say that we were like any typical married couple. The love, the bickering, the arguments, very normal. Is there a difference between heterosexual relationships/marriages and a queer relationship/marriage? Simply, in my opinion, no, except, perhaps, the institutional historical differences between heterosexuality and homosexuality.
Growing up was a unique experience as I am Chinese but born and raised in the UK. Most of what I saw was completely different to anyone else I know. My parents were still married and running businesses together, they shared everything, they were completely together. Myself and my younger brother moved a lot along with our parents.Growing up and hearing about things like divorce or anything labelled different to my norm was a shock to me, I’m not too sure about my brother’s perception on things.
As a kid and while growing up you can’t help but base your goals and ideas in life around the things and experiences that you are exposed to. Being gay wasn’t necessarily one of those things, until I actively searched and acted upon my curiosity. Another of those things certainly wasn’t same-sex marriage. People’s sexuality or identity never bothered me, I simply accepted it and never thought much of it, until now. Age has brought a further understanding of these topics and the effect they can have on a person’s life and relationship with themself.
Growing up I didn’t necessarily ‘come out’ but to my friends I was often described and labelled ‘greedy or bi,’ I guess without realising it, my playing along was my way of protecting myself and perhaps not accepting how I really felt
I ‘came out’ to my family a year before I was due to get married. As a kid I never would have imagined Iwould ever be in a same-sex marriage.
One; in the past same sex marriage didn’t exist so like many people in my situation, I grew up accepting the fact there would be no marriage. This is one of many schools of thoughts but I am strictly referring to my own thoughts and experiences.
Two; I wasn’t going to allow myself to accept that at the time because I never truly accepted my sexuality myself.
Where did that leave me?
The idea of writing this was to explore the many variations of ideals and concepts of what marriage may mean to a same-sex couple and see how it would compare to a hetereosexual couple’s mindset.
This is not an academic study, just something I wanted to explore as I didn’t truly know what marriage meant to me, being a Chinese gay man. At the stage of writing this I have seperated from my husband and a, now single. Throughout the entirety of the marriage and relationship my views were constantly being challenged and ultimately I felt that divorce was the best option for me at this point in my life and my self discovery.
Next time, perhaps we can explore together what marriage could mean for you and how values can change.