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Bride Spurns Veil, Redefines Nuptials

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In the anthology, "Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love And Marriage," co-editors Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort offer an array of intimate insights. In this excerpt, performer Holly Hughes finds it's easier to get married on Facebook.

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People notice. My Facebook friends chime in with "When did you get married?" With jokes edged with a bitter shine: You can't get married. But it's a public space, Facebook; we have had a public ceremony of sorts. In other places and times that was enough. You didn't need to have more of a ceremony; all that was required was that some man said: "I'm married." I'm that man.

I don't tell her. She finds out later. Shouldn't we have talked about this? I used her name. I'm Borat, tossing a bag over Pamela Anderson with a muttered "Consent not necessary."

But I say we have talked about it; we agreed. We just haven't done anything about it. I didn't feel like I was making a claim, I was stating a fact. Married happened to us, like the rain, overnight; we woke up and there were puddles everywhere. I'm just reporting on what happened. But I don't look at her when I say this. Marrying someone when they are not looking is not the same as deciding to take the garbage out even though it's her turn.

I do not say, "I'm married to you whether you know it or not." But I do say, "You can decide what you want to say on Facebook. You don't have to say you're married. It's complicated."

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Holly Hughes is a writer and performer. Her books include "Clit Notes," "O Solo Homo: The New Queer Performance" (co-edited with David Roman), and the forthcoming "Memories of the Revolution" (co-edited with Carmelita Tropicana). A 2010–2011 Guggenheim Fellow, Hughes is a professor at the University of Michigan.

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