As Tyler and I have become more comfortable referring to each other as “partners” and asking that others refer to our relationship as such, we have been searching for other words that could describe our relationship more accurately, and more so, what to call each other. “Domestic Partner” is a mouthful, and having to specify “male partner” when I introduce Tyler when he’s not there is just plain annoying. There is not a word that describes Tyler as my unwed, male significant other OTHER than “boyfriend.” Believe me, being referred to as boyfriend and girlfriend is a smidge insulting, and to me, implies an acute lack of commitment between two people when that certainly isn’t our case. We are partners in every way. We make mortgage payments, we make car payments, we share bills, copulate…partners.
We tried out “sambo,” which, roughly translated, means “domestic partner” in Swedish, “sam” being short for samman, meaning “together,” and “bo” being short for “boende,” or accommodation, but no one here in Ethnocentric America knows or cares to know what other countries are doing to propel their cultures forward. And we are still having to explain what it means each time, rather than just saying “my husband/wife.”
So, we are still stuck, and we are still subjected to family members referring to me as “Tyler’s girlfriend” instead of “partner,” because if you’re gay you CAN’T get married, you use the term “parner,” but since we are perfectly capable in this country of applying for a marriage license to be married, we are simply “boyfriend and girlfriend” until we sign a piece of government paper that changes our individual rights and makes our potential future children not bastards in the eyes of the courts.
What if I don’t want to get married, what then?