Although we’ve always used the term “gay marriage” in our reporting, there is another way of terming when two men or two women get married. However, we think that it could actually add to gay and lesbian erasure.
Another name for gay marriage is same-sex marriage, which refers to the legal union of two individuals of the same sex, typically recognized by the state or government as a civil marriage. However, it can lead to the erasure of several communities.
Is the term “gay marriage” acceptable to use?
Firstly because the term same-sex marriage refers to biological sex, which could erase the fact there are some people who consider themselves gay or lesbian, but who might not be biologically male or female but actually may be transgender and be living as a trans man or a trans woman who have not opted for gender reassignment surgeries.
Secondly, the term Same-Sex Marriage also added to gay erasure, simply due to the fact that it leaves gay men and lesbian women out of the title.
Gay erasure is a term used to describe the denial or minimization of the existence or significance of same-sex attraction, relationships, and identities. It can manifest in various ways, such as ignoring or erasing LGBTQ+ representation and history in media, education, and politics, promoting heteronormative standards as the only acceptable ones, or excluding or discriminating against LGBTQ+ individuals and communities. The term is often used in social justice and human rights advocacy to highlight the harm caused by denying or erasing LGBTQ+ experiences and identities.
Does the term “Gay Marriage” add to Bi Erasure?
However there’s also an issue that if the term gay marriage is used then it could lead to bi-erasure, if the two people who are getting hitched also happen to identify as bisexual, but both happen to be same-sex.
Bi erasure is a term used to describe the denial or dismissal of bisexuality as a legitimate sexual orientation. It refers to the erasure, invisibility, and invalidation of bisexual identities, experiences, and relationships, often perpetuated by individuals, institutions, and society at large. Bi erasure can take many forms, including but not limited to assuming that bisexual individuals are confused, promiscuous, or greedy, enforcing binary and heteronormative standards of attraction and behaviour, erasing or ignoring bisexual representation and history in media, education, and politics, or excluding and discriminating against bisexual individuals and communities.
Bi erasure can have significant negative impacts on bisexual people’s mental health, self-esteem, and social acceptance, as well as on the broader fight for LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance.