News Release

“The Secret History of Gay Marriage”

AP writes: “The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, a historic culmination of decades of litigation over gay marriage and gay rights generally.”

YASMIN NAIR, nairyasmin at gmail.com, @NairYasmin
Nair is co-founder of the group Against Equality. She just wrote the piece “The Secret History of Gay Marriage,” which states that just before the Supreme Court decision “All this simulated anxiety reminds me of the stereotypical Victorian woman, pretending to be surprised by the attentions of a suitor: ‘Why, I never! Gay Marriage in my lifetime? Heavens, I am quite taken aback!’

“Surely, given the tremendous shifts in both cultural and legal attitudes to gay marriage both here and abroad, we might finally drop this pretense of surprise.

“Still, gays and lesbians everywhere are pretending. And part of this cultural exercise involves a rewriting of history to make it seem like marriage is not only the natural but the only desired outcome of decades, really, centuries of queer existence. …

“The secret history of gay marriage is that it was never a topic of huge concern in the LGBTQ community until the rise of the mainstream gay organisations in the mid-1990s. Here’s what really happened: Following a depletion of political energy post-AIDS, we saw the growth of groups like Human Rights Campaign and the older National Lesbian and Gay Task Force (now The National LGBTQ Task Force), led by mostly white gay men and women or the occasional token people of color who fervently believed that normative politics was the only way to go.”

Nair’s work has appeared in various anthologies and journals, including Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Stop It, Windy City Queer: Dispatches from the Third Coast, Arab Studies Quarterly and Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America.