Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aww with a side of grr

I'm not 100% on the same-sex marriage bandwagon, mostly because I think that it's by far NOT the most important priority the LGBT community (such as it is) should be focusing on. Of course everyone deserves equal rights (in fact, on several levels I can't even believe that we have to have a national discourse on this subject. How on earth anyone can truly believe that gay folks getting married is a bad thing...but then, all irrational homophobic/etc bigotry can be pretty baffling, so best not to get sucked into that.) but the "same-sex marriage" movement too often focuses on granting access to already-privileged folks: the upper middle class, usually white, 'normal' gay folks who have $25k to throw down on a fancy wedding and want to be able to call it an actual wedding. My friend Jack has some trenchant things to say about the topic, including the disturbing trend of proponents to urge people to "act normal" and assimilate so as not to endanger our newly won rights.

Not to mention the fact that this is touted as a victory for LGBT folks when really, it's only a victory for the T folks who also seeking a same-sex marriage...which leads us to the more pertinent issue (for trans folks) of how sex is defined for various legal purposes, including marriage. Many trans folks, gay and straight, are advocating for and applauding same-sex marriage. Where are the same-sex marriage advocates (gay and straight and etc!) advocating for trans people's rights to have our identity documents changed? [ETA: Here's one!]

Anyway. All that said, I'm still very very glad that these women got the chance to celebrate their marriage again, and legally this time!

4 comments:

rachel said...

On NPR this morning, a man indicated that because god doesn't like us queers getting married, that's why jobs are going overseas. Clearly!

I, for one, think that church marriage and civil marriage should be totally and utterly separate. That's where I stand.

Anonymous said...

you posed the question of which same-sex marriage advocates are advocating for trans rights:

nclr.org
glad.org
lambdalegal.org

the list does not end there. it's not an either/or circumstance, and often the impact of working on marriage issues is that these organizations get an influx of donations that allow them to do less popular work that impacts many different communities.

same-sex marriage also matters to all TS people because at present, preventing same-sex marriage is one motivation for government entities not to respect your post-transition sex/gender. without the logic, "well we can't change your F to an M, because then you might be able to marry a woman, and we want to keep that illegal!", the government moves several paces closer to loosening up standards for ID change and allowing trans people to live their truth without hassle. perhaps in a perfect world that would have nothing to do with marriage equality, but in the real world it matters.

Eli said...

hey anon, thanks for the informatio.

I think you're absolutely right, same-sex marriage and the regulations surrounding it (and fear of it!) are inextricably connected to trans folks' lives.

If I wanted to marry a man, that'd be forbidden most places, because our documents would both say M...but in other places (Texas, I believe...?) I'd still be considered female based on my birth certificate, so we would be allowed to marry! Another hole in the various 'logic' employed against same-sex marriage.

Still, I find it frustrating that it's The Issue that gets the lion's share of attention for the LGBT community.

Liza Cowan said...

I agree, Eli. Our civil rights and privileges should be based on being alive -I would say human, but I think animals and plants need rights and protections as well. It's a ridiculous holdover of Victorian morals to allot civil rights based on marital status.

Queers (and everyone) should be fighting for universal healthcare, the end to war, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, environmental degradation.

I became queer oh so many decades ago to escape normalcy. I simply don't understand why queers seem so delirious at the prospect of being "normal" and acceptable. Where's the fabulousness? And more to the point, where is the social justice in working for your own little slice of the corrupt pie.