On Gay Marriage, Bluefish Cove Was Ahead Of It’s Time

Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Analyze This, Discuss-Debate, Last Summer At Bluefish Cove | 17 comments

On Gay Marriage, Bluefish Cove Was Ahead Of It’s Time

One of the first things that surprised me about Last Summer at Bluefish Cove is the way “marriage’ amongst these lesbian couples is talked about quite casually.  My expectation from a 1970′s play was that marriage would not even be mentioned.  This was 30 years before the LGBTQ community even considered legal marriage a possibility.  Yet the women of this play frequently refer to themselves as married and consider their committed relationships as marriages.  I think the world is ready to catch up with the women of Bluefish Cove.


  1. I, too, will be interested to see how the female characters in the play are using the word “marriage.” Of course, the word has been used in all kinds of ways over the centuries, and these days it is part of the larger “Gay Rights” discourse. While I firmly believe that queer people should be able to marry and to recieve the benefits of marriage just like their straight counterparts, I am also concerned at the assimilationist emphasis in the current gay rights movement – the emphasis on having the same “rights” as straight people. What about those queers who dont” WANT to get married, or who see the institution of marriage as inherently patriarchal and oppressive, or who see it as the basis for our consumerist capitalist culture? What about those who don”t WANT to, or can”t, serve in the military or who see it as an inherently oppressive institution? Why isn”t there more emphasis on the epidemic of violence against trans folks and street kids? What about the abuse of queers in the prison-industrial complex? To paraphrase Kenyon Farrow, it is the UNDOING of ALL systems of domination and control that will lead to liberation for all of us.

    • I like that “undoing of all systems” point. It seems time for our nation to do a spring cleaning of all the structures that shape our political, economic, and social workings. It seems like maintaining a marriage these days is one of the hardest struggles people face. All my girlfriends get so frustrated with their husbands, some for good reason. I remind them that men (very generally speaking) have had very limited training on being good fathers and husbands. For so many generations, men have only had the responsibility of providing food, shelter, or income. It has only been a few generations since women began providing up to and even more than half of the family income. This changes family dynamics drastically, and few people consider how much work it takes to adjust. Most men do not instinctively see all the ways they SHOULD be helping their partners at home. This gives most women the added chore of teaching them how they can be better husbands and fathers. It”s a fascinating and extremely complicated situation the modern family finds itself in these days. Not to mention, the technology that allows us to do multiple tasks at once, also divides our attention in many directions at once. This makes focused communication between two people harder than ever as our psyches are divided in so many ways. Good luck to all people who try to maintain any kind of bond with each other these days! It is a brave and noble endeavor that deserves everyone”s blessing :-)

  2. I was impressed that the play shows all different complexities in relationships in a realistic light. They also discuss places like The Netherlands that have been embracing of homosexual marriage from before the time of the play. It is curious to consider which countries allow their citizens certain personal freedoms, and which ones don”t. I am an American who visited The Netherlands a couple times, and the general public there seems very conservative and quiet. In America, the media seems to portray those who are accepting of personal freedoms that do not harm others as radical, wild, wacky, liberals. However, it seems to me that intolerance of people”s desire to marry the people they love is radically wrong, not conservative.

  3. Very nicely put.. The world has gotten so Industrialized and fast paced that it is hard to stay simplistic. That it is true that men have been pushed in to more roles than the past. Women as well, by their choice or not. It takes alot to succed at work, raise a family, run a house hold, and maintain a strong healthy adult relationship. I think one of the reasons my new relationship is so successful is that my children are all grown and my partner and I have our own identies and lives. It takes a lot of pressure off.

    On the other blog.. I am not so educated on the differences between gay, queer, transgender, I understand bisexual.

    Do you think is a cycle, lets see if I can express this right. In the past, the issue of non hetrosexual was hidden and behind doors, not accepted, then it becomes more out in the open and it seems everyone has something to say about it… Do you think that after a time, the attention will die down and it will just become a part of life and because the more people are exposed to some thing the more it just becomes accepted and not such a hot topic…. Also fear come from the unknown and fear breeds anger and hatred. As the issue becomes more and more exposed it becomes less fearful and accepted. I don”t know just a thought.

  4. In the 1970 Lesbian marriage was not acceptable anywhere in the United States. In addition, people didn’t even talk about it. Because of this the ladies in this play made sure that no one new that they were Homosexuals. Now that it is 2012 people are fighting for their rights to live openly with her partner, and, although it is still a heated topic, over all, same sex couples are more accepted.

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