Monday, February 14, 2011

What if Prince William were gay?

I have a new post up at Global Comment

Though Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th, this year perhaps our greatest celebration of love will occur on April 29th when Prince William, son of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, marries his fiancĂ©, Kate Middleton.  The story goes that Prince William carried his mother’s engagement ring around for three weeks before building up the courage to propose, and from the moment the engagement was announced, the world embraced their supposed fairy tale romance.  After all, young children are indoctrinated early on to believe that one day, a handsome prince will marry a beautiful princess.  This upcoming wedding is the completion of the discourse specifying the Royal Family’s compulsory gender and sexuality roles.

Commemorative items like comic books, China, replicas of the engagement ring, and even the controversial Crown Jewels Condom were quickly marketed to a public that has been consumed with royal wedding fever.  The rush to create a profit from this event shows the heightened importance of the marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton as symbols of the nation as a whole.

Prince William was born into a very specific set of expectations due to his royal status.  Along with performing charity work and representing Great Britain at public events, as the prince matured to adulthood, it became his responsibility to find a wife and produce an heir (preferably two children — the heir and the spare) to continue the royal line of succession.  A royal heir to the throne can only be produced through heterosexual marriage, thus elevating the coupling Kate and William to a national standard, which serves to normalize and promote heterosexuality at the cost of LGBT relationships.  The imposed heterosexuality and gender roles have been foisted not only upon the prince, but on every person who has stood in the royal line of succession to the British throne.

If marriage can only be validated through reproduction, then marriages for which this is a biological impossibility are necessarily understood to be without legitimate purpose, as there have never been publicly acknowledged sperm donors or surrogate mothers sought out by the royal family.  It further indicates that only specific body types, such as able-bodied and cisgender couples, are meant to participate in the national narrative of acceptable bodily formations.  Royalty in and of itself is an elevated social position, as the royal family is specifically separated from those over whom they rule.  This compulsory heterosexuality causes one to question what the response would be if Prince William were in fact a gay man, preparing to marry another man.

Finish reading here