Queer women field some pretty silly questions about getting engaged to another woman. I guess it’s great that people show an interest, but questions like these are definitely eye-roll inducing.
1. ‘So, you're planning on having kids, right?’
Even if you’ve never wanted kids. Even if they’re friends you’ve had since you were a teenager who KNOW you’ve never wanted kids. Even if you already HAVE kids with your fiancée. This isn’t the 17th century, folks. Speaking of which...
2. ‘How do you decide who gets pregnant?'
We conduct arcane ritual sacrifices to the Goddess under the full moon, and She blesses one of us with the menstrual blood of a black goat. It’s in the Lady Lovin’ Handbook they give you when you sign up. Along with the laser stare guaranteed to fry at twenty paces every straight dude who uses the verb ‘watch’ in a ten-mile radius/
3. ‘But you’ll never sleep with anyone else again! Are you alright with that?’
Newsflash, lots of people have open marriages! But y’know, if I’ve been in a long-term monogamous relationship with someone for years and have just signed up for forever, you can probably assume that I’m okay with that. And relatedly that the sex is pretty hot. Unless you’re a couple who isn’t really into sex, which is fine, but also none of anyone else’s business. Lesbian Bed Death is optional.
4. ‘Will you have matching gowns or will someone be in a tux?’
This one depends on the couple. If we’re both more inclined towards low-slung pants and sneakers, the chances are there won’t be a dress in sight. On the other hand, femme weddings rock too. And for reference, just because we’re both ladies doesn’t mean there’s necessarily be one dress and one suit, either. We may be having a single-sex marriage, but there’s less than no reason to try and make it look like a straight one.
5. ‘You’re getting married? Why?’
Oh, I don’t know. Because winning the right to do so has been an ongoing battle for decades? Because I love my girlfriend and want to make a commitment? To celebrate our partnership with friends and family? Green card? Tax breaks? Does it matter? Maybe it’s none of yours, and you could perhaps stick to ‘I hope you’ll be very happy...’?
6. ‘I don’t believe in marriage. It’s a heteronormative betrayal of the sisterhood.’
That’s an entirely valid political judgement, and I will devote many campaigning hours to making sure you can live your beliefs without paying any social or economic penalty for doing so. However, we all have to make compromises with the prevailing Kyriarchy and our cultural contexts, and until the revolution comes marriage can still be a valid choice for, y’know, people who aren’t you. Especially now we’re allowed to do it. It’s also worth considering that there’s been enough conservative resistance to same-sex weddings in some states that it’s equally possible to construe upcoming matrimony as an act of queer resistance.
7. 'But I thought you were a feminist?’
Er, yes? Now I’m a feminist marrying another woman. I’m not even a feminist marrying a man, although I hear that happens sometimes too. Marriage is absolutely not the be-all and end-all of partnership, and nor should it be. But we all have to come to our own accommodation with cultural bullshit, and for some people, including feminists, this includes getting married. Sometimes even to other feminists! Who knew?
8. ‘But I always hoped we’d get together/back together someday!’
There might be a universe, somewhere in a distant galaxy, where this is an appropriate way to respond to somebody’s upcoming nuptials. Rest assured that it isn’t this one. Apart from anything else, it does beg the question why it never occurred to the questioner to mention this sooner. Even if your chances weren’t great in the first place, they’re likely to be even less great when someone’s all loved up with their fiancée. Be told.