I once dated someone who didn’t agree with gay marriage. She said, “Marriage isn’t for me. Why would I want to be part of something that doesn’t recognize me anyway? Marriage is for straight people. I don’t need to join an institution that doesn’t want me.” She felt separate.
This just didn’t make any sense to me. It was like saying, “Oh, at one point society didn’t want women to vote, so I just shouldn’t vote.”
To hell with that and back. I want it out of spite. If I accept my fate I’m just agreeing that my queer-love isn’t as important as the next. I want to be able to marry a woman because I want the same rights and freedoms as everyone else. Besides, I don’t like being told what to do–especially if I’m not hurting anyone–and on that note, I want to do it even more just because society tells me I can’t. I want it even if it’s not recognized as a legal. Don’t oppress me and expect me to stay down. I will always find a way.
Alabama tried to keep the gay away, but bravo, the Supreme Court uncorked the old girl, strong armed her into the present. Look out Georgia, Nebraska, and North Dakota, the Court is coming to pinch your tight asses next. But seriously people, I mean honestly, Alabama legalized “the freedom for ALL people to marry” before Georgia? I guess payback is hell. Georgia is going to get her’s. I suppose the insulated gay-friendly community within the city limits of Atlanta doesn’t speak for the state as a whole. I would love to shove a lipstick-gay marriage license in the face of the haters.
As it stands now, Georgia will be one of the last states to legalize–assuming it will eventually pass–which is sad.
(Take a look at the map to see where each state stands by clicking the link below.)
On principle alone I would move out of Georgia to a state that recognizes equal rights for all people if it weren’t for my children. Their father lives here so I have to stay put. My love for them is stronger than my conviction. This makes me think of the extreme sacrifices other women and men have made–most notably people of color (a term I just learned to use, I don’t like it, it feels,boozhee, but I’m working on being more sensitive) and of non-Christian religions–for their children, lovers, families, and even for their own safety.
Let me make one thing very clear: I’m not in ANY way suggesting my inability to marry can be compared to genocide or slavery. My life is not in danger, but at one point in time it might have had I been open about my sexuality. I’m speaking from my own–small in comparison–personal experience with discrimination, which causes me to question my attitudes and beliefs. I never really understood,in my heart–still don’t–the struggle of others. It is only through experience do I even begin to understand–in the most rudimentary ways–the suffering of others. And this is true with most other things in life. “Great Spirit, help me never judge another until I have walked in his moccasins.” (American Indian Proverb) I can’t possibly understand what another person is feeling unless I’ve been there myself, and even then I still don’t really know because I’m saturated in my own self-biases.
I’m a cute, middle-class, white girl. Before identifying as LBGT, I had never known or felt much discrimination, other than the more subtle, like the smell after rain, discrimination against women. It was something I had to pay attention to, this discrete truth needling through my life. It wasn’t overt, nor did it really, that I know of, prevent me from doing anything big like marrying. But here I stand today unable to marry. It feels weird, like I’m denying it to be true because I find it so ridiculous. I can’t believe it’s illegal for me to get married to another woman. Tell me why? No. Tell me the real down-home reason why? Wait, I think I know. The answer is FEAR. Why else would people be so opposed to it? Why else would anyone put so much time and energy worrying about the wedding vows of my vagina ?
I don’t have the freedom to get all fancied up in pumps and a tight dress and go down to the courthouse with my boy-toy and ask a judge in Atlanta for a certificate of marriage. I could pull out cash, legal proof of residency, and my 1099 from 2013 to prove that I had indeed paid taxes in the state of Georgia, but I would be rejected. My request would be denied because my boyfriend’s birth certificate says she’s a girl.
This is annoying to me. I’m not outraged, yet, but I’m not happy about it. I feel fortunate that I’m not in a position of having to marry someone because of healthcare laws or because I need to be considered immediate family with someone in a medical situation. This would be beyond painful. I don’t want to even go there, I don’t want to imagine would that would be like to have someone I love die without me because of discrimination.
And yet that happened in history and it’s still happening today, and worse. There are still people dying in this country because of racism and bigotry. I have no idea what it’s like to be under an extreme form of inequity. I can’t fairly judge the actions of those (like the rioters in Ferguson) people who are still under a gross form of disguised-repression. It’s impossible, all I can do is speculate what it’s like to be them.
I’m angry because I can’t get married?
Watch me if you kill my child as he says, “I can’t breathe.”
I would do the unthinkable. Others have and I don’t blame them.
But damn where I have a hard time finding compassion is for the oppressors and the racists; jaded gays, and my own narrow-minded family members. God it’s hard. But I If I don’t want to be judged, then how can I judge them? I have no idea what it’s like to be a racist. I can’t even begin to grasp the hearts of men with that much fear, shame and guilt. Their ignorance is to be pitied. And I have no concept of what it’s like to be a grudge-holding-gay, a gay from another time and place where it really wasn’t ok to be queer. I haven’t ever had to hide my sexual proclivities, nor was I ever made to feel shame or guilt because of them either. However, there is place in me that wonders how certain family members feel about me given their xenophobe attitudes.
This is hard to admit, but You know, in a disgusting place, in the risidual from my upbringing there is racism. It was bred in my being like mannerisms. It’s painful and embarrassing, old and outdated, but I sometimes catch myself engaging in rhetoric or thoughts based on prejudices. But I know better, and I make conscious decisions on a daily basis to overcome those learned tendencies. My soul knows the truth and the truth/love does’t keep us separate, it unites.
It’s a matter of choice. I choose to feel or think a certain way.
It is my highest spiritual aim to see and feel all people as equal, no matter. I may not be successful, but I try.
I’m flawed, oh fuck me I’m human. I still have my own prejudices, I’m not sure how to go about life without them other than by having more awareness. Or sometimes life does it for me. Now that I’m personally being exposed to a certain type of intolerance, I find it easier, more natural to be empathetic. I’m more thoughtful about the plight of other people.
The more I focus on my similarities with others the more I’m able to connect. This is true for my personal relationships as well. When I seek, with courage and exact honesty, to understand the position of another person I find we are more alike than different.
Difference is the enemy, sameness, the savior. I am the same as you, we are one, a marriage, a union of two becomes one, the union of humankind becomes one, when we search for the truth we find ourselves in each other. I want good things for myself, including equal rights, and I also want them for you. Anything I want I must also be wiling to give you. Anything I want to take from you I must also be willing to have removed from my life.
And this is how we become one: It’s a decision.