March 26, 2013

There’s more to social justice than marriage equality

Untitled-1So I get on FaceBook today and I see a sea of red. Yes, today is the day of arguments on the Proposition 8 case.

Everyone should have the right to marry anyone they want regardless of gender. Marriage equality is important to ensure that GLBT couples who wish to have the ability to marry can do so.

But I’m concerned that this preoccupation with marriage equality is distancing us from other, very important, social justice causes. GLBT people are still at higher risk for suicide and other mental and physical health issues. We don’t have the social structures in place to live out our senior years with dignity and pride. While overt job discrimination is rare, less obvious discrimination practices continue. The pink ceiling still exists in many organizations. HIV is still a real issue. The list of important social justice causes is long.

I question if marriage equality is pressuring us to assimilate. If we look like and behave like everyone else then all is good in gaytown. The problem is that we aren’t like everyone else. I grew up differently than my straight peers. They didn’t have to spend decades hiding who they were out of fear. They didn’t have to furtively explore their sexuality out of fear of being caught, outed, or worse. They didn’t have to deal with hate and anger from within their own family.

i have no desire to be assimilated. I am happy with my, by some definition, unusual life. I enjoy and am filled by the many relationships in my life – I can’t imagine being in a place where I can only have one relationship. I love expressing my connection with others and my connection with spirit though kink. I have no desire for only one flavor. I like the many interesting people in my community; I don’t want to live in a world where everyone’s the same. Yea, I like shaking things up and keeping a bit of weirdness in my life.

I welcome the day when marriage is available to all. More importantly, I welcome the day when we’re all free to be exactly who we are.


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