I was all ready to complain about what a stupid phrase “life partner” is and how we all ought to support gay marriage so that when a dude wants to talk about the dude who’s been his “life partner” for decades, he can either say “spouse” or “husband” or we can all click our tongues about what a shame it is that so-and-so won’t make an honest man out of so-and-so, when they toss out the word “boyfriend.”
But “life partner”?
Ugh, I hate it. It makes it sound like a business arrangement or something so cutesy I about can’t bear it. It’s like, “Oh, gay people, they’re so different from us, even our ‘normal’ words can’t stretch to fit them.”
I was all, “Can’t the Nashville Post come up with some other phrase to use?” I don’t know what, but life partner just sucks.(And clearly, there’s room for innovation, as the writer says at the end of the story that they will have duel state citizenship, which is just a metaphor for them splitting their time in two different states, since states have residents, not citizens.)
And then I read further into the story and it’s worse than just that the phrase “life partner” sounds like a constant reminder of the fact that, here in Tennessee, you can’t have a real, recognizable phrase to describe your relationship. It’s that these guys got tired of living in a state where it seems like most folks don’t see your relationship as real.
The ultimate outcome was tailored for both partners. “Brent was recruited by more than one children’s hospital, but L.A. Children’s made a concerted effort to recognize me and recognize our relationship. And they were very food-savvy,” Carr-Hall says.
Anyway, straight folks with kids, keep this in the back of your mind when you wonder why you should give a shit about gay rights, since you aren’t gay. Gay people with expertise you need when your kid is in the hospital like working places where their partners are recognized and the importance of their relationships is recognized.
If that’s not happening in Tennessee, they will go elsewhere.