I will marry you.
I will stand amid friends and family and I will marry you. You will be my husband and I will be your wife.
But I will call you my Partner.
Because we are doing life together. We are walking in step. We are blending– equal parts you and me.
In Partner there is no gender.
No gender roles.
Just you and me. Strengths, weaknesses, experiences. Tag team and having each others’ backs. Safety.
No gender roles.
The available hands at dinner time cook.
The available arms cuddle and nurture the children.
Whoever remembers the laundry moves it along.
“Grow old with me?”
“Yes! God yes. Without a doubt.”
But soon… “T, I don’t know if I can be a wife. I don’t want to be a wife.”
“Don’t be. Never be A Wife. Maybe be my wife? Does that feel okay?”
“That does sound better. Lovely maybe. I can be your wife.”
Then we went car shopping.
“Does your wife want… You might want this for your wife… If my wife ever caught me…” That word heavy with assumptions– me the dependant, you the Provider; me the back-stage bitch, you the haggard ‘yes dear’ sayer– But then you look at me, see me, check with me. And we decide together. Fuck that guy.
Partner. Partnership. Togetherness, where the Ultimate Decision Maker is whoever has had the most sleep that day, whoever has done the most research, whoever can make the best case. The shape of our body doesn’t grant or remove authority.
In Partnership there is no “submission” and no “head.” Except in bed, maybe. If you’re both into that. With enthusiastic consent.
Speaking of which, in Partner we are both allowed to want sex. And we are both allowed to decline it. The shape of our body doesn’t grant us assumed access to anything. Because in Partner there is no gender. Everyone has up and down days. We are all allowed to feel all the emotions on the spectrum, and feel them deeply. And talk about our feelings. Or not.
In Partner there is safety to say, “I hear you. I feel differently.”
There is, “You feel that? We must be different people!”
There is, “You lead, you are smarter than me in this,” spoken by anyone, any time.
And my Partner doesn’t snatch tools from my hands to “show me how” to do what I already know.
In Partner the only “complimenting” is “Damn I’m glad you’re you, and damn I’m glad I’m me.”
And if half the time I say “my partner” people assume we’re queer, well, maybe that’s more true than not. And if those people are surprised my Partner is a man, well, so are we some days. But what a man. But then again, what difference does that make? Because in Partner there are no gender roles.
I will stand with you, amid friends and family, and I will marry you. Then we will resume our partnership, already in progress, which has been, is, and will be beautiful.
I will grow old with you. Fully me.
I love you. Fully you.