Monday, July 18, 2011
Could Dan Savage (of All People) Save Marriage in America?
I grew up with very traditional notions of marriage — one man, one woman, forever — and I've clung to that imagined ideal since (maybe because my parents' marriage didn't go so well, but that's another story). After coming out as gay, I transferred all my expectations to same-sex coupling, even though gay men have found many ways to have committed, long-term, loving relationships that don't necessarily hew to traditional monogamy. As I've gotten older, I've mellowed in many of my "musts" and "shoulds" and I've come to realize that life is more nuanced than we sometimes allow it to be. Part of what prompted me to start this blog is my desire for honesty; I think that people are better off when they stop kidding themselves and those around them and just be honest about what they want and what they need and communicate about it to make it work.
Monogamy or, more to the point, non-monogamy, is a complicated topic. Personally, I'm unresolved on it. Which is why I wrote this article for the current issue of The Advocate, in which I interviewed Dan Savage and many couples, gay and straight, who have been influenced by his views — he coined the phrase monogamish to describe couples who are committed but allow some degree of outside interaction — to explore these issues. Coincidentally, The New York Times Magazine also did a great, rather similar cover story on this two weeks ago. Great minds, I guess?
Being a mensch means being honest with yourself and those around you. Maybe this is one way for people to do that.
Read my story about straight couples who are following the new gay model: