People ask if life is "different" now that we're "legal. One change, however, that is very real is the mild dilemma of how we call one another. Michelangelo Signorile Columnist I recently married the man I've been in a relationship with for 18 years. It also made things easier.
When we were younger, "boyfriend" was a fine term. I'm not, by the way, negating how getting married might be transformative for couples who've not been together as long as we have, or any others; it's just not a real marker for us. When you've been together for 18 years living together for 17 of those you know one another beyond intimately and you bond profoundly. Often, even in news reports, a woman's "partner" would be referred to when discussing the spouse to whom she was legally married, or a married straight couple might be referred to as "partners. One change, however, that is very real is the mild dilemma of how we call one another. If you look at official government websites in New Zealand, dealing with immigration and other issues, you'll see "partner" used most often for married and unmarried couples, though "spouse" is used as well. It also made things easier. Am I resistant to "husband" because it forces you to out yourself in a situation, and in that sense, is it actually a bolder and more radical word for gays? Part of that experience, for me, was living in New Zealand for a couple of years. Follow Michelangelo Signorile on Twitter: Discussing business matters with insurance brokers or the bank on the phone, I'll say "husband" straight out; that's about the financial aspects of marriage. People ask if life is "different" now that we're "legal. A piece of paper from the state doesn't do much to further that, even as it does give us important rights and benefits we've been denied. So far, a month into the marriage, the word usage has been touch and go. In New Zealand, which had been further ahead on civil rights for women, gays and indigenous peoples, feminists had long ago successfully pushed aside the terms "husband" and "wife. I recently married the man I've been in a relationship with for 18 years. Speaking about it with people over the past month, it seems to me a lot of married gay and lesbian couples still use the word "partner. You've worked out many things -- and you're still working out many things. Michelangelo Signorile Columnist I recently married the man I've been in a relationship with for 18 years. David, a film studies professor, had taken his first job at a university there. Am I self-loathing for thinking it's too heterosexual -- perhaps deep down thinking we're not worthy of it -- or does that make me forward-thinking for resisting acceptance of a word which delineates gender and denotes possession in an institution that once did and, in some places, still does allow ownership of one spouse by another? Maybe I just need to get used to it, like any word that feels awkward at first. Speaking with friends in New Zealand recently, they tell me that "husband" and "wife" are being used a bit more now, and that's interesting considering New Zealand has also legalized gay marriage. I remember at first thinking it was cold and businesslike, but then we got used to it. So, is that it?
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