Here’s something we originally published in the SMH 5 years ago.
We’re still waiting for a seat at the ‘big kids’ table but now with a high chair.
Complacency ain’t getting us anywhere, please click here to enrol to vote.
I want to own a topless garden gnome. I’ve seen them every so often, displaying their porcelain glory amongst modesty-preserving foliage, bashful between the bracken and they’ve always made me grin; covertly, like when you catch someone air-drumming in their car. (Especially when they’re frowning, jaw set in the ‘white man’s overbite’ with an extra air arm for the tambourine).
But how to source these enigmatic yard-folk?
I did what anyone would do. I googled ‘topless gnome’ during work hours. This new tab sat in-situ amid my other critical search-engine demands such as ‘when does a cookie become a cake?’ and ‘does building a turret on your house make you a wanker?’
What ensued was a cyber inventory of marginalisation. Apparently, being of semi-naked gnomely state is an affront to leaf and lawn lovers everywhere. They wile the credulous senses of the fragile, diminish the reverence of deity, fray the carefully woven texture of the status quo and they cajole young minds into depravity.
What a lot of difference a nipple makes.
As it happens, I specialise in slightly obvious metaphor, so here’s one for you. I’m gay and I’m bored with being an exception. I’m tired of not being able to sit at the big kids’ love table and I’m angry about even having to ask. Maybe I’m unimaginative but I want to get married one day – y’all seem to like it.*
I’m a woman and I love women. It’s the same as loving men. It’s sometimes complex, sometimes blissful, sometimes crushing and sometimes everything; but it’s always real.
Let’s be honest – ‘almost marriage’ will always be not quite the same and not quite the same will always stand out like boobs amidst bulbs. It’s the sameness of the way I want to write love into my life, not the difference that’s painful.
Seriously, I’d rather be concentrating on efforts of entrepreneurialism such as converting the Nostradamus prophesies into ‘Lolcats’ than on convincing other people of the validity of my love. I hope that when I finally find the woman who finds my penchant for tea with a one eighth teaspoonful of sugar eternally adorable – we can be celebrated, not separated.
Perhaps power doesn’t lie with the gnomes to blend in; but with the gardener to keep them conspicuous.
If you’ve managed to suspend your disbelief thus far reader, here’s the crux – it seems to me that the biggest gesture of inclusion is equality. It’s not new or even particularly interesting information and there’re only so many bad garden metaphors left. Make it happen before I’m forced to make my point using footwear analogies.
Don’t you think it’s time?
*In the 5 years since I wrote this article, I am now ‘married’ (to a women) and we now have a daughter.