Friday, June 26, 2015

6-26-2015: Why It’s Important For Trans People to Celebrate The Same-Sex Marriage Victory






Today is a historic day in the United States. As news of the landmark Supreme Court decision that bars laws preventing same-sex marriage sweeps across all 50 states, across Facebook, Twitter, and the news networks all around the globe, a resounding cry of joy can practically be heard all around the world. This decision, while it only pertains to a certain percentage of the world’s population heralds an amazing victory in the LGBT movement across the globe. America, the stubborn holdout of the modern western world has finally stood taller today than many days in the recent past and announced, once and for all, that same sex relationships are worthy of the same societal acceptance as heterosexual relationships (under the law). I suspect as the months and years progress even more countries around the world will follow suit. If America, with its stubborn hotbed of conservative Christian bigotry masquerading as “family values” can finally overcome ignorance and hatred to allow a level of equality not previously known, then any country can do the same.

Today, we decided to lead by example. Even if we weren’t at the front of this progression and other countries around the world have forged ahead of us in recent years, today we, the big, fat, pain in the ass, holdout chose to tell other countries even further behind us that they could no longer rely on us as a justification for their reluctance to accept this sweeping wave of LGBT changes. Regardless of how anyone feels about America in general, the LGBT cause enlisted a HUGE ally with this court ruling. American influence, culture, industry, economics and media spans the globe, so the implication of the social changes that this decision heralds will have a resounding effect. Even our president Barack Obama discussed the idea of actions being ripples in a lake; they may start small, but they have long lasting and expansive effects. This decision was much more than a small action. It was huge, and the ripples of it will wash around the world, hopefully inspiring other stubborn holdouts to finally give up the futile battle against love.

 I may not be proud of my country most days of the year, what with it’s appalling record of favoring money and fame over human worth, but today I can say that I am proud to be an American. I’m proud that my children, should I ever have any, will never know a world where same-sex couples are forced to live as second class citizens because their access to marriage is either barred or only partially upheld. I’m proud that the highest court in the land was able and willing to set the record straight, once and for all. They knew that even though the majority of Americans favored same-sex marriage that the repulsive, hateful and ignorant efforts of the religiously conservative few to obstruct equality could not be adequately overcome through the typical democratic process. They knew the economic and representative disparities were too insurmountable to achieve a cohesive resolution, much like the previous hotbed issues of civil rights. The dissenters of this decision feel that this sweeping change should have come through that very democratic process that’s been held captive by old, white, conservative, wealthy and privilege for decades. I cannot more vehemently disagree with their position, but the decision has been rendered and their dissent means little. Most of us will see them as being on the wrong side of history.

So today is an amazing day! It’s a glorious day! It’s the hard fought victory of decades of pain, suffering, and bravery of spirit. It’s a day worthy of remembrance! It gives the typical PRIDE festivals an even more powerful history to uphold them. Today, love won. Today, justice was served. Today the power of the insecurities and bigotry of the privileged few were put in their rightful place: the past. Today is a glorious victory! Today the battle has been won! Which brings me to the purpose of this post.

I know that right now many of the transgender/gender non-conforming/queer/etc. people are out there thinking, “this is great, but we have so much left to do! What about us? Where is our equality?”

What I want to try to impress upon anyone who reads my words is that, yes, we do have soooo much left to do in America to make this country truly equal for the LGBTQ community. Yes, we have a lot of things that still need to be worked on, stood against, and fought for, but today is not the day for that. This weekend, is not the time for these thoughts or these divisions. I know it’s hard to see the LGB community have such a glorious victory and feel a sense of being somewhat left out of the positive consequences. I know that it’s tempting to say, “but this isn’t enough!” because, in the end, you are right. This isn’t enough, but I believe it has to be for today and for this coming weekend.

The war is so far from over, that I cannot deny, but we’ve just won one of our greatest victories yet! The tides of this war have turned for us and in a major way! This is like the Battle of Saratoga (http://www.ushistory.org/us/11g.asp ) for us! It’s the victory that’s going to give us the upper hand, not to mention the morale necessary for us to finish this war between equality and religious pretense once and for all.

Today and this coming PRIDE weekend offers us the amazing opportunity to revel in our mutual victory! It gives us the chance to heal some of our wounded! It gives us the chance to eat, drink, and be merry to wash away the painful ordeal we as a group have gone through to get to this day! Today and this weekend will offer us the kind of rest, and excitement that will fuel the next stage of the offensive for equality!

I know we need to refocus our efforts on those that are still being held captive by an antiquated regime of religious privilege and cisgender tyranny under the transgender mystique, but this weekend offers us the opportunity to regroup and refocus on the strength of our campaign! Our enemy is weak, broken, bruised, and on the run, but if we are going to finish this fight the way it needs to be finished, then we need to revel in our progress for a little while to rebuild our strength. Let our celebration today and this coming weekend become a boon that carries us through the pain and struggle that’s still ahead.

When Monday comes, and we’ve had our weekend in the sun, THEN we can turn our focus to the next offensive. When Monday comes we can meet and discuss our plans for how to proceed. Let’s scope out the enemy encampment to find their weaknesses. We are in a much better position to take the fight to them than before, but we must not rush ahead to battle that we aren’t prepared for. We need the full force of the LGBT community if we ever hope to overcome the transgender mystique, so let’s celebrate together and worry about the future's problems, on Monday.

-Emma

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