I invest a significant amount of the space on this blog to my life as a trans woman. Indeed, I invest a significant amount of my life dealing with issues of being a trans woman. I think this in some ways overshadows the fact that I am also gay. You may split hairs if you like, people often do. Yes, I am genetically of the male sex, and that fact makes my relationship with a woman “perfectly normal.” Thank you Doctor Ruth. The truth is, whether you think of me as male or female (I greatly appreciate if you would NOT think of me as male, but I do not control your brain… yet), I am still gay… or some clever version on the spectrum. I am attracted, somewhat equally, to both men and women. And because I have acted at various times in my life on both of those attractions, considering me gay is technically accurate.
More importantly, that I am (regardless of my birth sex) a woman, and because I am legally married to a woman, I am gay. Yes, we were legally married BY the state of Texas. We found a tiny loophole… well… not tiny. As a gay person, it has been impossible to overlook all of the recent discussions about the rights of gay people, of what constitutes equality under the law, and on what basis the law of the land should exist. I find the discussion, and the vast majority of the arguments in the debate repugnant, honestly, and I would like very much not to have to think about it anymore. The thing is, we cannot stop thinking about it. It is not possible. The reality struck me especially firmly this morning in the course of a casual conversation with a coworker.
One of the big criticisms I hear coming from the hetero-community is the notion that any sign of affection between gay people is “throwing our sexuality in people’s faces.” Do not panic, I have no plan to start whipping out research data or statistics; I intend only to speak from personal experiences. If you choose to criticize my lack of a scientific approach, that is your right. I spend enough time on that crap doing schoolwork – I write here for catharsis, not scholarly recognition. And now back to our featured program. Another sweeping generalization that just goads me is this rhetoric about how our rights are somehow trampling the rights of decent (christian) Americans.
I walked into my place of work this morning at the same time as a coworker who sits near me. We are friendly, but we have never had a conversation. That changed this morning, briefly, when we exchanged casual pleasantries and a little small talk, which led to her discussing an anecdote involving her husband. The complete ease with which her marital status was revealed and the underlying assumption that this was a completely normal and acceptable part of life completely set me back. I tried to envision so casually referring to my partner in a similar way with someone I knew equally as little about as she about me. The thought is unfathomable.
That is not to say I am ashamed, or that I have any particular hang ups about who I am; it is just a very different reality. A straight person can discuss her marriage, her relationships, and even her relationship adversities without any thought of how it may impact someone’s views of her. Imagine knowing that revealing details about your relationship to someone you just met could lead to awkwardness, or worse, to mistreatment or discrimination… or worse still, to some physical danger. People in mixed race relationships, I am sure also share this reality – or at least once did. For a straight person, this thought must be completely foreign, but for those of my readers who are straight; try for a moment to imagine living in that reality.
This is not a matter of being concerned about how people see me, or about whether or not I am liked; this is a concern for how people will affect my life based on their beliefs. That is a real problem. So, I ask, who's rights are really being marginalized here, and who is truly “throwing their sexuality in people’s faces?” I have to watch opposite sex couples engage in public displays of affection almost every day. I listen to heterosexual people discuss their relationships every day. And on top of it all, I also have to listen to those same individuals discuss whether or not they believe they should bestow some gift of equality upon people like me, as if the right is theirs to grant in the first place.
I have done a lot of thinking about this whole equality question, and I have decided to start a different campaign – a campaign that is laughable and ridiculous, but a campaign that by its very ridiculousness highlights the absurdity of this whole debate. I think the federal government should pass a constitutional amendment eradicating legal recognition of married status on the grounds that it is a discriminatory practice founded on religious doctrine, which by definition cannot be recognized or endorsed by the government.
If legal marriage is not equally applicable to all American citizens, it should be applicable to none. And that is enough of my rambling for one evening.
Please remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses. Thank you and good night!
Peace and Smooches,