Something else I’ve had on my mind lately is marriage. With all the gay marriage up in NYC and some of my friends getting married, it’s just been weird. I guess the main thing I think about is how conflicted I feel about potentially being married to the military. My manfriend can testify to how much it freaks me out – pretty much every time I get really drunk (due to tequila), I start crying about how I don’t want to be part of the military.
Yes, it would be really great to have health care and benefits and all that jazz. But I made a conscious decision five years ago not to join the army. I have no interest in following their rules. For example, my manfriend tells me anyone associated with the military is not allowed to yell at a civilian, regardless of how stupid they are or how much they yell back. That seems ridiculous to me. Why would I surrender my right to raise my voice at whomever I want? And I don’t want to worry about how my actions affect his reputation and his career. If I want to dress up and be crazy and get drunk and take my clothes off and take pictures, it shouldn’t show any reflection on my manfriend. It’s not his job to tame me or keep me under control or make sure I’m obedient. I should be allowed to be my own person.
And I know that military partners like my friend and my aunt and the ladies at Left Face feel the same way, and it seems they have no problems hiding how they feel or being who they are. The only difference between me and them is that I’m not married. In some ways, reading what they write comes off as more legitimate because, according to the military, their partners are legally obligated to these women. Their words have more weight in their relationships. But what about those of us who choose not to be married, but still suffer the same way? Is our love any less valuable? (Just a reminder: marriage doesn’t always equal love.) And what about those who are married, but are not recognized by the government?
As a final note, I highly recommend you watch In Their Boots: Second Battle. My story is obviously not the same as theirs, but it’s a somewhat similar struggle: how do we function as a military partner if the military won’t acknowledge we exist?