Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brings New Meaning to the Question: "Who's the Man and Who's the Woman?"

One of the rudest and most intrusive question that gay and lesbian couples get asked is "who's the man in your relationship?" or "who's the woman?"  In other words, they want to know who takes out the trash, who cooks the food, who pitches, who catches, and who holds the remote control.  Because, relationships are all about societally-enforced gender roles.

Turns out that the state of New York is all about asking gay couples "who's the man and who's the woman?" with their online marriage license applications.  Other states like Massachusetts and Iowa allow you the option of a "bride/groom" form or a "spouse A/spouse B" form.  New York's legislature passed a marriage equality bill, but somebody forgot to update the applications because the state's Marriage Bureaus are ow asking "who's the bride and who's the groom?":
As he got ready for work on Tuesday, Fredy H. Kaplan, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound gay rights activist from the East Village, turned to his 6-foot-1, 250-pound fiancĂ© and made it official. “You’re going to be the bride,” he said.

Mr. Kaplan had spent the morning at his computer, applying online for a marriage license, because Tuesday was the first day that New York City allowed same-sex couples to initiate the process for getting married. But he stumbled on an unexpected roadblock: The city clerk’s online forms offered only the choice of “bride” and “groom.” Mr. Kaplan, 50, a vice president of the Stonewall Democrats, and his partner of six years, Anthony Cipriano, 43, were puzzled, but also amused.

“He said, ‘You’re making me the bride?’ ” Mr. Kaplan recalled. “It was confusing on many levels.”
Fortunately, it appears that the marriage license applications have since been updated to identify "Bride/Groom/Spouse A" and "Bride/Groom/Spouse B".  But some GLBT couples are still fuming that their local Marriage Bureau seemed to be trying to figure out who was the top and who was the bottom in these new marital relationships.  Which is really rude.

By the way, I found the best response to the "who's the man?//who's the woman?" question.  Check this out:
Asking who's the "man" and who's the "woman" in a gay relationship is like going to a Chinese restaurant and asking which chopstick is the fork.

1 comment:

mgconlan said...

My husband Charles (yes, I'm a legally married Gay man -- my husband and I tied the knot during the 4 1/2-month "window" between the California Supreme Court's invalidation of the ban on same-sex marriage and the passage of Proposition 8) had a good idea for a solution to this one: print BOTH the words "bride" and "groom" on each side of the marriage form, and instruct people filling it out simply to cross out the one that didn't apply. So that way you could have a bride and groom, two brides, two grooms and NOT something as bureaucratic and clinical-sounding as "Party A" and "Party B," which is what it said on the license Charles and I actually signed.