The one right all of the LGBTQ were hoping for, excited for & fighting for was passed — it was official; we could now marry legally. While the whole world was celebrating this win for our community, I was hoping we would have many other bills passed in our favor that I felt were more important. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that people within our community can marry their significant others, and it proves how far we have come as a community and society for all of this to happen. It was a good sight to see us heading in the right direction, but it doesn’t mend all the battle wounds that are sure to come with this triumph.
My title says it all: “Gay marriage doesn’t excite me”. The reason being is because we have so much more to work towards, so many battles to still fight that I feel/felt were more important than having the same rights as straight couples to marry; it was a small ping in the bucket, compared to the bigger issues we have going on currently. For example, equality in the workforce — having to worry about if your sexuality gets leaked, how it could end your career or hinder you from a promotion that is deserved because a company or a higher up person doesn’t stand by our rights as a LGBTQ person. Hell, this workforce issue is ongoing and while places of work shouldn’t and are not supposed to discriminate, it doesn’t matter in some states or businesses, because they can fire you without reason or find a reason to fire you without mentioning it had anything to do with your sexual preferences. If not fired, how about having to be bullied because of it, or worse — having your life threatened. Gay bashing is still ongoing — just because it isn’t on the news, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Most businesses or places of work won’t always be forward in their beliefs and so you don’t know until it’s too late & it can be a risk that reaps consequences later on. Gay marriage is fine, but what is gay marriage rights if we are still having to fight for rights to allow states to give us a license to prove our marriage, if we have to fight in court to get our marriage recognized, if we have to still walk with caution because of our sexuality. Gay marriage didn’t solve these issues, it didn’t make our lives easier, it didn’t eliminate further problems from arising, all it did was allow us the same rights as straight couples but with additional drama. While I am happy gay couples can marry & say their vows and complete paperwork to have their marriage license, I am sadden that this small movement forward still holds negative consequences for some couples.
I feel as though this community is starting to turn away from what is important and focus on the superficial elements that keep us from being different from straight people/couples. It is more of a “what do straight people have that we don’t, what can straight couples do that we can’t, what can we do to have the same rights as straight people” instead of thinking of the bigger picture: “how do we make it so that we feel safe in our communities, in our cities, in our neighborhood, talking to people, etc. how can we protect ourselves from judgement, physical harassment, verbal attacks and teach our children to be accepting of others who differ from ourselves. There is so much that still needs to be done in order for gay marriage to be worth our while., so much that needs to be talked about and render consequences for in order for us to feel safe being who we are. I’m not angry or dissatisfied with our community for wanting gay marriage rights, I want us to have equal rights, but I also want us to be treated equally individually as well. The LGBTQ community has come a long way and it will continue to do so with activist and the more we band together and spread positive but we need to keep in mind that we are individuals as well — with our own battles at home, this makes it especially hard because not everyone in the LGBTQ community gets treated the same & that’s the difference between having a right and being treated equally, we might have the right to get married now, but it doesn’t mean we will be treated with the same respect as the straight couple because of it.
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