Post-‘Gay Marriage’: It’s Time to Shift Our Focus Towards the End of the Alphabet Soup

10 03 2015

 

 

Years of ‘Gay Marriage’ are Coming to an End

11037826_815847141831245_4294115214104965769_nThis year- 2015- is a really, really amazing year to be gay. Over the past 24 months, I’ve watched gleefully as unconstitutional bans on gay marriage have been toppling like dominoes, leaving a trail of joyful tears as hundreds of loving couples lined up outside courthouses to finally have their commitment legalized.

 

It’s not been an easy path to get here. Hundreds of remarkable, brave men and women have laid down their lives to stand up for my rights. We aren’t there just yet. In April, the Supreme Court is going to convene to consider whether individual states should be allowed to continue withholding legal marriage to their gay residents, also refusing to recognize those married legally elsewhere. We couldn’t have done this even 10 years ago. However, in the past 10 years, there has been an overwhelming and rapid reversal in public opinion polls on the issue of gay marriage. Now that more gay people are more visible, more straight people are realizing that they actually know someone who is gay. Poof! We have demystified the scary ‘unknown,’ just by being nice, normal, friendly people (who happen to be also gay).

 

(As a side note: I prefer to simplify life, using ‘gay’ as a generic term for all homosexual homo sapiens, regardless of gender. I may be a ‘lesbian,’ but I’m also ‘gay.’ When talking about the broader group of LGBTQ folks, I also am fine with ‘queer’ as a positively-reclaimed way to describe us all, though this feeling is not universal.)

 

IMG_5563When we celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision this spring, it will be a celebration unlike any you’ve ever seen. Rainbows will fill the streets, from New York to LA, and from Key West to Saugatuck! Thousands of American citizens will rejoice in what will be a landmark decision, finally recognizing the years of injustice bestowed to generations of LGBTQ lovebirds.

 

Discrimination goes well beyond the chapel doors, however, and the fight will not be over. We will still be turning the tide in countless small towns, rural communities, and deep south enclaves. Having the constitutional right to marry will be an enormous relief, and a financial barrier removed, as over 1,000 rights will legally be ours for the first time in the history of America! We are changing our culture, and acceptance is spreading, making it safer for future generations.

 

US-Marriage-Equality-January-2015The past 2 years have garnered significant publicity for the gay community, and LGBTQ groups have rallied to support these achievements and fight these battles that got us to where we are today. It has me thinking more about what life will be like Post-Gay-Marriage.

 

I mean, marriage is marriage. I didn’t get up this morning and eat a bowl of ‘gay’ cereal. I didn’t ‘gay’ drive to work. I didn’t ‘gay’ type these words. Someday, soon, my marriage REALLY will just be ‘marriage.’ I’ll even be entitled to divorce, too! (Not that I want that, Bethany. You’re my soulmate, and the reason I breathe).

 

The Alphabet Soup of LGBTQ

This is why I want to start a conversation about what’s next. Are all the gay and lesbian married couples going to sit back, relax, and quit fighting for human equality? Or are we going to expand our focus, and shift our gaze towards the end of that abominably long LGBTQ acronym?

 

Do you even know what LGBTQ stands for??

lgbtq_mainareaWhat started off as a fairly short list, has expanded over the years as we continue to learn and redefine what makes us unique. Today, this includes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning. (Although I frequently transpose ‘questioning’ for ‘queer.’)

 

It’s typically the last few letters of LGBTQ that trip people up, because they get a lot less coverage in the media and in social circles. This is where I think we need to be looking to raise the bar in our human rights campaigns post-gay marriage. Chances are that you know someone who is gay, since 10% of the population in the U.S. is- that’s 1 in 10 people. But do you know how many transgender, or genderqueer people you know? It’s likely either zero, or more than a couple (because once you become an ally, you are a precious friend for many in dire need!).

 

leelah-alcorn_0In the past 4 weeks I have found myself sharing, posting, or commenting on so many news stories having to do with gender, and I’ve been distraught over just how little most people know about the subject of gender. Much like the fear that was assigned to gay people a generation ago, people today are scared of those who do not neatly fit into their idea of what gender means. There’s a clue phone ringing, people… it’s NOT binary! It’s not ‘boy’ or ‘girl,’ despite everything your 5th grade sex ed teacher told you. Gender is SO much more complex than what our parents could have even imagined. (More to come on this subject in my next post). As we learn more about chromosomes, we now know that there are many variations of gender. Unless you’ve have your own chromosomes tested, you can’t really say for sure which gender you are. How’s that for a mind warp?


For now, my goal is to get these conversations started, and keep them going. If you consider yourself an ally, thank you for supporting all of my gay brothers and sisters as we fight for our constitutional right to have the right to marry, and our marriages recognized.

My question to you is, do you consider yourself a gay ally, or an LGBTQ ally? It’s time to get educated, and step up our game. We have thousands of trans and queer brothers and sisters too, and their fight is just beginning.b4b846d3-3212-499b-935b-b6dae986e56e

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2 responses

11 03 2015
Greg Medina

This is an awesome post. At first my browser would not let me open the webpage to access your blog. Where can I get a shirt like the one in your blog? TEAM MARRIAGE!

11 03 2015
kaleskitchen

Thanks, Greg! It’s great to see all the interest & support that important topics like this are getting. I got the shirt by supporting the Freedom to Marry campaign: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/team-marriage

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