Mom, Dad, A Little Help?
Sandip Roy has an op-ed piece titled Is It Time for Gay Arranged Marriages? Roy notes how immigrant parents might be finding the new California Supreme Court ruling comforting since evidently the biggest blow for many immigrant parents isn’t when their children come out as gay, but when they come out as forever “single.”
For my immigrant friends, being gay in California is not much of an issue. Being unmarried in their 30s and 40s is the real issue, the conversation-stopper at Indian potlucks, the thing that makes them stick out at Chinese banquets.
And never underestimate the power of a mother on a mission:
In 1993 my friend Aditya Advani went to India with his boyfriend Michael Tarr and complained to his mother that no one would ever come to his wedding. She promptly organized a ceremony. The family priest presided over it. “Openly gay and married in my parents’ drawing room at the age of thirty,” marveled Aditya. “Right on schedule as a good Indian boy should be!”
The whole idea of gay arranged marriages is kind of refreshing, though I’m trying to imagine what that would have looked like for me–yikes! There are many cultural assumptions that go along with arranged marriage I hear. I think it would be interesting to see how such a scenario plays out without the stereotypical power differentials inherent in male/female couplings.
What I most enjoy about the article is reading that at least some of these parents get that to deny gay marriage is to deny their children part in powerful and healthful traditions.
I wouldn’t be surprised if, as Roy suggests, socially conservative immigrant populations end up being same-sex marriage’s biggest advocates someday.