February 20, 2011

"In a relationship with ______"

I know it's not my day to post (sorry!) but I just had to write this short entry. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it enough to not be annoyed that I've broken the schedule. Anyways, on with the post:

I've always been wary of Facebook and have been cautious with the information I put on it. The reasons for that range from the fact that I don't want people to know so much about me without even having a conversation with me, to the issues of privacy and selectivity in who gets to see what about me by way of the internet. Facebook currently has somewhat limited information about me and I kind of overuse the security options.

One thing that causes common discussion in regards to Facebook amongst the LGBT community is the "interested in" field. However, I suggest we turn our attention to the "relationship" field. Did anyone else notice the new options in that field? Or, perhaps they're not really new and I've only just noticed them.

"In a civil union"

"In a domestic partnership"

Regardless of how new these options are, I think there's something to glean from their existence. What do you all think? Perhaps this is a step forward for the community? Would you (and will you) take advantage of their existence if they were applicable? Or perhaps you think they're a step back--just another way for us to unfairly be told "Hey, you can't get married, but at least you have these options." Are these new options a slap in the face; an unwanted reminder? To be honest, I'm still trying to decide myself whether or not my initial happiness at seeing these options was justified.


  1. Meh. I think it's just addressing the reality that thousands of same-sex couples are neither "married" nor just "in a relationship." I'd never noticed it before, but looking back now it does seem kind of weird that these weren't options all along.

    And I think it's important that people are reminded that we can't get married. I think if colloquially "marriage" becomes a term just thrown around, it might water down the fact that more often than not, gay couples are not married and in fact denied upwards of 1,000 federal benefits...

  2. I was indifferent when I first saw this. I think it makes for a more accurate description of many people's relationships, but it is reminder to everyone that "separate but equal" still exists in the US. I think most would agree that, in the long term, civil unions and domestic partnerships will fade away. Of course there are some straight couples that take advantage of these options for various reasons, but we should be moving toward one monolithic, government-recognized institution, and "marriage" is historically the best word for it. So I see this change as positive and negative, but overall, temporary.

  3. I think it's a nice step forward, but it makes sense. It's a growing trend and a completely different definition from marriage. People need to be able to specify that they are in a domestic partnership/civil union.

    The only thing that bothers me (and chris definitely brought it up) was that it just reminded me that there are not marriage options and benefits for people that are LGBT identified. Hopefully it won't be the case for long.