I’m just going to be real here. I’ve been going around and around about the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in DC a couple of weeks ago. This organization has core values I hold dear. It has some people that I hold dear. Family is a tough subject for me to write about. There's pain there for a lot of people.
See, the thing is… we just won a huge battle for marriage equality. But the fact that some people think of it as a fight for “gay marriage” is exactly the issue that kept us from winning the war.
I’m not gay. But don’t mistake, I’m queer folk. And I am just like millions of others that identify as something other than LGBT or straight. There's even more than that on the spectrum of sexuality.
When we define the word “traditional” in the United states, we should ask whose privileges are being upheld. My people practiced sex magick in oak groves. We welcomed the spring with orgies. If we are going to uphold some “traditional” values, how do I submit my culture for the lottery?
Yesterday I was filling out one of those information sheets at the doctors office. I got to the spot that says “emergency contact” and my chest actually hurt. My throat closed up. I looked up at the people around me. A middle aged man is pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair out of the office. A woman is sitting next to man, filling out forms.
I hear a mechanical female voice in my head… In case of emergency please dial…… [DIAL TONE]........ [CLICK].
I don’t have a name for this spot. I text a friend back home, 1800 miles away.
Here’s the thing,
When I’m thinking of someone I want to share my life with, I don’t think about what kind of junk you have. And should I be so lucky to have more than one name for that spot, (omg please?!?) … then so be it. I am unconcerned with figuring out how to make someone feel good in bed, or how to get mine. The fucking, despite it being on the forefront of everyone against marriage equality, is not the most important thing to me.
I just want my person(s) that belongs in that spot. That’s all. I don’t care if you’re cis male, butch lesbian, or a transgender dandy burlesque dancer. (Ahem. Not that I had anyone in particular in mind.)
Will you be there if something should happen?
I should be able to write the name of anyone who answers yes to that question I choose on any legal form and call them family. The right to family is a concept the United States already ratified with the United Nations in 1948. We just don’t abide by it.
Woodhull is important because it addresses the issue of sexual freedom from the standpoint that family is a human right. It doesn’t matter what structure that family takes. It doesn’t matter what junk they have, or how many there are, or how many dildos are in the top left drawer. It doesn’t matter.
Everyone has the right to have someone to call in case of emergency. Family is an inalienable right. And they can't take that away from me.
Cover art: "The Leatherman's Keychain" worn by Hardy Haberman, who I would not hesitate to call in case of emergency. Thank you.