Author(s): Carter Sickels (Editor)
Untangling the Knot: Marriage, Relationships & Identity, an anthology of essays and creative nonfiction, delves past the mainstream focus on marriage equality—beyond the knot— to examine the broad scope of issues facing members of the LGBTQ community. The collection sheds light on what marriage equality actually means for queer communities. By confronting the concept of tradition through personal discourse, this volume seeks to create conversation amongst the diverse members of the LGBTQ community and their straight allies to prompt a larger, grander, and more realistic vision of what marriage equality really means for those living in the United States. Untangling the Knot: Marriage, Relationships & Identity includes the voices of many individuals who are underrepresented in the modern discourse surrounding LGBTQ rights, and these unique perspectives may change the direction of that conversation for good.
Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships and Identity assembles pieces from diverse contributors, college professors and blue-collar workers, some established writers and some never before published. Edited by Carter Sickels (The Evening Hour), these extremely sharp essays offer a startling array of perspectives on the fight for same-sex marriage in the United States, rendering a deceptively simple concept—that the needs of the LGBTQ community range far beyond marriage—fully and feelingly. Published as the Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments about same-sex marriage on a nationwide level, Untangling the Knot is profoundly eye opening, even for readers well informed on the subject.
Essays cover the reasons why marriage is important to some members of LGBTQ communities, addressing questions of medical decision-making, finances and insurance, child rearing, equality. Others protest what Ben Anderson-Nathe calls a "rhetoric of sameness": the argument for marriage rights based on the idea that queer families are just like straight ones. Jeanne Cordova illustrates why choosing a single issue is damning for a movement. Joseph Nicholas DeFilippis writes that the continuing assumption that marriage is the highest form of family does a disservice bigger than the queer community, affecting straight people as well. Several contributors argue against legal rights, benefits and protections being tied to marriage at all. Some suggest better uses for organizational resources: homelessness, health care, anti-discrimination, and aid to trans people, the poor and queer people of color.
With Sickels's synthesizing introduction, these sympathetic, well-informed essays show that the fight for same-sex marriage is deeply complex and only one issue in the fight for inclusiveness and equality.