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Love Stories & Weddings

When I Traded in My Girlfriend for a Wife

Kate Davis (right) is proud to call the woman she married, four years ago, her wife.

Kate Davis (right) is proud to call the woman she married, four years ago, her wife.

Can lesbians have wives? Can lesbians be wives? Isn’t the term “wife” smack of ownership, oppression and heteronormativity? Considering how non-traditional lesbian unions are, the term wife may give some people pause. Six months after marrying her longterm partner in a church ceremony, Kate Davis was still struggling with this word. In a piece for Tue Night, she explains the struggle:

“Wife is such a loaded word for lesbians. When I married my girlfriend, it took at least six months before I could call her wife. I’d skate around the issue; she was my partner, my spouse, my lover. All of those words seemed more appropriate than wife. Wife comes with ownership — baggage neither of us could carry.

… The word “wife” reeks of subjugation and roles we couldn’t play. We are partners in almost every sense of the word. We are eldest daughters; no one is going to tell us what to do, think or be. The concept was contrary to who are.”

And so Davis and her wife decided that for them, the word “wife” did not have to be tied to old ideas.

Click here to read Davis’ entire piece.



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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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