Great news! (OK, you probably know this news already). On Tuesday night, both chambers of the Illinois state legislature approved a measure legalizing same-sex marriage. Governor Pat Quinn also pledged on Tuesday to sign the bill, though he hasn't actually done so yet. Presuming that he doesn't renege -- which I doubt he will, lest hordes of angry queermos descend on his house and sing off-key revenge-renditions of "Fat Bottomed Girls" outside his window until he makes good on his promise -- that means Illinois is the 15th state to legalize gay marriage!
I know that it's incorrect to conflate "same-sex marriage" with "all LGBT rights." As I mentioned in my post about DOMA back in June, gaining the ability for a same-sex couple to legally share property under state law in no way means we should stop fighting for queer people's right to be live openly at the workplace or for greater hate crime protections for trans* people, especially people of color.
But given that Illinois is now officially my new home state, I can't help but be at least a little thrilled about the fact that, once again, I live in a place where my sexual orientation officially has no bearing on whether I and my as-yet-theoretical partner can enjoy the same tax benefits, healthcare access and pretty, notarized piece of paper as every other couple in the state. That's pretty damn exciting.
To celebrate, I'll be spending the week fantasizing about my dream marriages to my favorite queer celebrities, some of whom have come out fairly recently. Just to name a few:
Angel's only 22, but she's been tearing up the New York rap scene for years now. After signing with Universal weeks after releasing an EP online, she's put out a handful of mixtapes, recorded tracks with Natalia Kills and Iggy Azalea and has a full-length studio album scheduled to come out early next year. She's also described herself as "pansexual."
And if you somehow missed her face-meltingly good remix of "Same Love" a few weeks ago, in which she preserved Mary Lambert's kickass chorus and recorded her own coming-out story over Macklemore's verses, I don't even know what to do with you. Except tell you to listen to it, obviously.
Many of you know my feelings on Michelle Rodriguez by now, so I'll just casually remind you all that in an interview last month with Entertainment Weekly, she responded to people who (annoyingly) conflated her frequent butch roles with being queer with a resounding, "Yeah, and?"
“Eh, they’re not too far off,” she says. “I’ve gone both ways. I do as I please. I am too f—ing curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks.” She shrugs.
She also spent the rest of that interview ranting about how often female characters' origin stories include rape and fantasizing about creating a Latina superhero, so hopefully my reasons for wanting to marry her are self-evident.
Laverne Cox has been on my mind a lot recently after she joined in the fight to speak out for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which the Senate is scheduled to vote on this week. She's also written prolifically for the Huffington Post, talked about the limitations of stereotypical trans* roles in Hollywood -- particularly the recurrent portrayal of trans* women as sex workers and called Julianne Hough out on wearing blackface this Halloween. In conclusion, I love her with my whole brain and also my other parts, because in addition to being incredibly smart she's fine as hell.
OK, so I couldn't technically marry Abby, given that she just got married herself to her longtime partner / teammate last month. (In Hawaii! And all their other teammates came too! Excuse me while I squeal myself to death.) Even though I don't follow professional soccer as avidly as some other sports, I spent 11 years of my life slogging around various fields all over California trying to distract myself from the pain of conditioning with daydreams of joining the U.S. Women's National Team someday. Even though that dream, obviously, never manifested into reality, I still have a big soft spot for the uber-talented USWNT—particularly Wambach, who this summer broke Mia Hamm's all-time goal-scoring record. On a header, no less.
I first saw poet Alix Olson perform onstage in New Orleans. I happened to be sitting a few rows behind Jane Fonda (long story), but I might as well have been alone in the audience, for all I could take my eyes off of her. She's amazingly talented—her work is both funny and highly current without being gimmick-y, and I'll often randomly think of one of her lines without having read or listened to her poetry for months. She also has an amazing, husky voice that gets even more so when she gets excited, which is neither here nor there. (It's a little here. In my alone time.)
That's by no means an exhaustive list, obviously, but I feel like it's a pretty decent start. Do you guys have any suggestions? Anybody wanna come to Chicago and marry me? (Caveat: you have to deal with my dirty socks situation. Sorry in advance.)
Kate's queerin' it up on Twitter: @katchatters