The twenty-first century is a little different however. Non-traditional families have become almost as commonplace as the traditional, while partnerships and relationships have become shorter and more temporal than ever. So in this society, what happens if you don't require one of the otherwise essential facets? Take away one of the supports and does the whole thing come crashing down? We're a long way from generations becoming purely self-sufficient (arguably that could only come with immortality), but along gender lines, if you throw homosexuality into the mix, does the opposite sex become completely obsolete?
In cities, where there is a higher concentration of homosexual people, there has been a divide between the groups for decades. It's not to say they don't like each other (though in some cases there is a definite element of dislike in existence), but friendship and camaraderie evolves from shared experiences, interests and common ground. And if nothing else, friendships are formed around gossip and occurrences of which you could potentially be a part. All that high school girlfriend swapping that happened in your late teens would have been far more involving for a gay person if they could have been involved in it too. So when gays and lesbians band together later in life, their friendship circles can do exactly that: James is going out with Liam, but Liam used to date me, but I ditched him for George, until George kissed James, which has made Liam want me back, but I won't have him. Meanwhile, Sarah had her heart broken when Lauren ditched her for Annie, but Annie has always had a thing for Sarah, but only you really know that after she turned you down on a night out when she was pissed. The two groups are seemingly mutually exclusive.
Gay Rights is based on an unusual dichotomy. On the one hand it declares that all people are equal, but on the other it champions the right to vast individualities. Regardless of how far a person's individualism goes, there is that uniting tenet for society as a whole - all people have the right love who they want and it's from the realisation of this that people become more tolerant. Young people are growing up in a more liberal society than ever before, but through the creation of invisible lines between groups, peoples and factions, prejudice is thriving but in a subtler form. It's only when people fully realise what joins us as a community that people can overcome that which divides us. It's funny, I think, that as people get older, settle down and start their own families that you see the walls coming down between gay men and lesbians. Suddenly they have things in common - relationships, families and homes are something that unites people regardless of gender, sexuality or background, with the same issues creating the same problems, or leading to the same moments of triumph and happiness. If ever there was proof that love equals love, no matter who it's between, then surely this is it.