ON: After We Get to Legally Say I DO (If we get too): LGBTQQIAA Rights Beyond Same-Sex Marriage

Let me start by stating that I am not saying that LG (not really the B,T,I, Qs, or As) movers and shakers are saying that same-sex marriage is the “be all and end all” of the gay rights movement BUT they sure make you feel like it is; for years (basically my entire “gay puberty” [ the time in your life after you come out and everything is full on boys, boys, boys; 24/7 gay and you bleed rainbow, but before everything is boys, queerness, and you just don’t bleed]) everything has been about either the right to marry or to serve in the military, and some gay god on high pronounced some commandment of Thou mayest not sayest anything against same sex marriage lest ye be shunned, banned from all parties, and never able to buy lube again. 

Today, in my room, lying in bed, with a Vicks Vaporsteam machine sputtering beside me (I am slightly terrified that my forearm will be popped with hot vicks liquid), I am wondering a simple thing: What happens if gay people get the verdict they want? (There are potentially numerous outcomes.) What happens if it is DOMA is declared unconstitutional? Do all the activists pack their bags and go home? Doubtful At least not those who are dedicated to activism and broader equality, but what about those who cast same-sex marriage in very personal terms? Once Adam marries Steve will he just go to the burbs or the gayborhood  and quietly raise their children and feed their dog and talk to their neighbors at the local WholeFoods about how the price of imported cheese has slightly increased? I mean this is what they are fighting for, yes, the chance to be like everyone else? But what about those of us who are not like everyone else?

You see I want the same-sex marriage thing to be decided and over because I am ready for this phase of the gay rights movement to be over. I guess the reality is I am still in the queer liberation phase. Beyond just the flat argument of “equality” (which is in truth a very vague concept Who are we equal to; who is becoming equal; what does this equality look like, feel like, sound like; how do we know we are equal?) I have no investment in SSM. No one loves me. I don’t say that for pity, it is just a fact; no one loves me (romantically) and there is nothing in my life that points to that changing anytime soon; so while gay activists have, rightfully, argued for the right to marry, many have not challenged the idea that couples, particularly monogamous couples, should receive special treatment and consideration and benefits. I am not aware of any movement to make it easier for queer singletons to adopt, or to make medical interventions to have children cheaper and affordable.  No one has spoken to life as a queer singleton, at least not to my knowledge.

Also, once Adam and Steve, Ida and Eve go home to their Cains and Abels there is still this HIV thing going on. The two should not be mutually exclusive but often it has felt that a focus on one issue comes at the expense of all others. Unfortunately the problem is, or seems to be, that right when HIV started looking more and more like a black and latino gay thang Same Sex Marriage became the gay thing; so once this is over are we going to start addressing the scary reality that 1 in 4 black MSMs are HIV positive, that many don’t know it, that there is a high possibility of me or one of my friends contracting the virus, and that while yes, you can live as HIV positive person, a full beautiful life, no, it is not just like diabetes, it is still a serious illness.  Can we talk about this again?

Or, can we talk about how in certain states you can still be fired for being queer? Can we talk about being queer? Can we talk about how we as a community do not address the misogyny in our community or the sexism? Can we talk about how despite all claims of the gay community being more accepting than the heterosexual community there are still black prides and latino prides in addition to (white) Pride, or how certain clubs have urban nights only on certain nights, or how some of us have to deal with disappointed white faces when we say we are not a top? Can we talk about gaycism? Can we talk about how rape is a gay rights issue? Can we talk about how stop and frisk is a gay rights issue? Can we talk about how it seems to get any attention in this community, whether it be for activist causes, love, poetry, film work, news story, or just a hello at a bar someone has to deem you fuckable? Can we address how for some of us it may get better but it also is harder? Can debate whether being loved is a right or a privilege?  Can we talk about how we discriminate in our own community, particularly against the fat obese body and the effeminate man? Unfortunately I can not speak to the lesbian performance of these discriminations. Can we talk about the divide between lesbians and gay men? Can we talk about the way we look sideways at bisexuals? Can we talk about how being trans and being gay are not the same? Can we talk about how so often we are not always there for our trans-siblings? Can we talk about how immigration is a gay rights issue? Can we talk about how poverty is a gay rights issue? Can we lay all our shit on the table? Can we admit that the fight is no where near over?

Can we talk?

Important update: A commenter mentioned something that bears repeating in this post; we also need to talk about the prison industrial complex as a queer liberation issue, and gender (and perceived gender) based violence and assault as lgbtqqiaa issues. 

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8 thoughts on “ON: After We Get to Legally Say I DO (If we get too): LGBTQQIAA Rights Beyond Same-Sex Marriage

  1. Anonymous says:

    While I commend your use of “transbrothers and sisters” as a nod to familial solidarity, might I suggest the use instead of “trans-siblings,” as not all of those who identify as trans* also identify within the gender binary? Loved this post, btw, it is SO true that same-sex marriage will not change violence, or the prison industrial complex, or gender policing…

  2. Tim'm says:

    Nice piece. The priorities, upon acquisition of marriage rights, of many LGBTQ people will expose many as the racist, classist, sexist, xenophobic, adultist people many of them are. And it’ll also clarify, at least for me, who truly has my back– all intersections in-tote.

    • blaqueer says:

      thank you; unfortunately the post is not getting much traction and I am unable to get bigger blogs to pick it up yet, sigh, but I hope you are having these conversations in your circles. 🙂

  3. TS says:

    The intention of this message is quite good. All of the issues that you raise certainly need to be addressed and it is up to each of us to do our part to make sure the torch is not extinguished after only one battle is fought. I will say that there are actually many individuals working on these issues in less observable forums, but these efforts don’t receive the same attention because they lack the simplicity and attractiveness of the marriage debate (I mean how does employment discrimination compare to “love is love”?). So I hope people do not lose heart thinking that all the eggs are in one basket here.

    It should also be noted that the marriage debate is tremendously important for the queer community. Not because it grants the equal right for same-sex couples to socially express their commitments as heterosexual couples, that’s just the most apparent reason. Two of the primary reasons I think this debate is important are: (1) it builds strong allies for our community among the heterosexual community and (2) it is a stone that can start the avalanche. Once marriage is won, other issues will follow suit (maybe not as fast as we would like, and certainly not as fast as an avalanche) and we will see less resistance than if we tried to place the spotlight on all of the issues at once. I know it is terrible that we have to be patient with our rights and safety. It shouldn’t be this way. But I honestly believe that because of what is happening now, the media attention placed on the debate, and the struggles we currently are fighting, we have paved the way for easier battles to come.

    Having said that, I think your post is beautiful and important. It should be shared far and wide in the queer community as an indication of just some of the most apparent struggles that lie ahead of us. But as long as there are people like you that keep reminding us of these things, I know we will accomplish them. Thank you!!

    • blaqueer says:

      Thank you, and please, feel free to share the post and include your reservations or critiques of it/my position(S); when I first drafted the post I was just so angry b/c so many major outlets were not running the critiques of this movement from within the community but now it seems as if some are beginning to run these types of posts.

      I will say, articulate here, that much of the frustration is the result of a fear that many act as if once marriage equality is achieved, the movement will be fulfilled and therefore should be over; it is the fear that the other battles will not be fought as vigorously.

      Thank you for your time; I hope you enjoy the site, and please do poke around.

      Luv.

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