‘Do you think you’ll get married?’ is the new ‘when did you realise?’ in terms of questions that straight people I hardly know are obsessed with asking me. I suppose I can’t blame them too much, what with gay marriage now being legal everywhere apart from those super backwards places, and me having been with my boyfriend for a *cough* number of years (It’s also preferable to my female friends, who inevitably get inundated with questions about if and when they plan to furnish their wombs, but that’s another column).
The obvious answer to the wedding question is, ‘I’m far too young to even consider it’. Other responses range from ‘are you proposing?’ to ‘down with heteronormative orthodoxy’. In truth, I’m not adverse to one day being a bride, but in the meantime there are loads of other ways for modern gays to demonstrate their love without resorting to blowing two grand on cake pops.
For starters, I have just nominated my beloved as my ‘legacy contact’. This is the big one – the new feature, recently introduced by Facebook, which allows you to choose who will control your account once you’re dead. Obviously it’s quite morbid, but it also eliminates the likelihood of people you went to school with cluttering up your wall with pronouncements that you’re ‘with the angels now’ – or worse, tagging you in unflattering photos. Your legacy contact is able to ‘do things like pin a post on your Timeline, respond to new friend requests and update your profile picture’. In my case, he could probably update my status by feeding the words ‘Spice Girls’, ‘Buffy’ and ‘LIVING’ into a random phrase generator, and I doubt whether anyone would even notice I’d gone. Forget marriage, when it comes to putting your faith in a partner, it doesn’t get much bigger than handing over your Facebook account and trusting him not to upload that picture of when you met Celine Dion and did an orgasm face.
Speaking of death, every time I slip on the stairs or enter a particularly rancid smelling basement nightclub and my life flashes before my eyes, my first thought tends to be: ‘I can’t die here. Not like this. Not when my last internet search was ‘Drake dick pic [I’m Feeling Lucky]’. Therefore, allowing my boyfriend to see my (shameful) internet history was another commitment milestone
Perhaps it says more about me than anything else, but for the first couple of years, every time he left the room I used to do a rigorous sweep of his recent pages. Naturally, I assumed that he did the same, and was in the habit of clearing mine before he came over. These days, I’ve relaxed this policy, partly because I realised he had zero interest, and partly because I decided it was only fair to allow him to see the darker recesses of my online psyche before deciding whether he felt safe to be alone in a room with me. True intimacy is leaving yourself open to the possibility that your boyfriend will realise you spent most of Thursday night searching eBay for The Little Mermaid dolls.
I’ve even gone so far as to share my Netflix password. Granted, that’s not quite promising to love, honour and obey. But it does mean that before I can watch The Good Wife I have to wade through at least seventeen ‘suggested’ films with titles like, Forbidden Desires and Out in the Dark, based on his viewing preferences. And if that’s not love then I don’t know what is.
Words by JOE STONE.