Marry Me A Little by Robert Kirby

This graphic novel might be the most relatable thing I’ve ever read about marriage, especially from the perspective of a white man.

When gay marriage was legalized in 2013, Robert Kirby and his partner John had already been together for about a decade. They shared a dog and a house, and were thrilled that marriage was the next thing they could embark on together too. The actual act of getting married, well, that was another thing. They weren’t opposed to it at all, but the whole concept brought up a lot of questions for Robert, who chronicles them with tenderness and wit in this thoughtful graphic memoir.

From their first date in 2003 to the changes wrought by the pandemic in 2020, this book touches poignantly on what marriage, and especially marriage equality, means to the writer and his husband as a middle-class white gay couple. It can’t help but be political, as Robert grapples with acceptance versus heteronormativity, in addition to introversion versus celebration. It deals, ofc, with the disastrous presidency of 45, and the fears that gay couples continue to face as reproductive rights are attacked, in preparation for the inevitable onslaught on hard won equality rights.

But most of all, Marry Me A Little talks about how important it is to normalize gay marriage, in large part to make it so that queer people don’t have to jump through so many hoops to be given the same rights as non-queers. It’s mostly pointless and just downright mean to restrict important parts of the social fabric to people of a particular sexual orientation or race or similar category, as this book so gracefully points out in its chronicling of rights in the USA to date.

Overall, I found this a super-relatable memoir, especially in Robert’s ambivalence about celebrating his wedding, yet how touched he was at all the love and support he received over it, whether from family and old friends or from near strangers. That said, the part in this book where I cried was when Robert was talking about his sister’s wedding, and what their dying mother told her right before. It’s a lovely reminder that sometimes the strangest advice winds up making the most sense.

Marry Me A Little by Robert Kirby was published yesterday February 21 2023 by Graphic Mundi and is available from all good booksellers, including

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