[Youtube link refuses to embed! Argh. Foiled.]
I was quoted in the Daily. Oops.
So there’s a lot of noise about this marriage amendment. As there has been. And as there will be, even after the vote is tallied. And my exhaustion will carry on with it.
Honestly, I have an enormous amount of respect for every activist who has been fighting, battle after battle, lawsuit after lawsuit, vote after vote. At the same time, I have to blame them as well for my exhaustion with this issue.
And it is because my body is political. It is not even a choice!
I am gay, and therefore the conservative right deems me damnable.
I am gay, and therefore the liberal left expects me to be an activist. An activist for marriage equality! The rallying banner of the gay world!
I have about as much interest in getting legally married as I do in the stock market. I hope to do it one day, and my life will probably be better off for it, but I know I’ll likely be just fine as I am. I am exhausted of making the marriage argument, and I am exhausted of being expected to parrot it!
I’m sorry for not being sorry. Kids are being harassed in the schools and some of them are dying. And we are forced to spend millions of hours and dollars fighting an amendment that will change very little! If the amendment doesn’t pass, my life goes on as normal. If it does, it makes the future a little bleaker. Kids are still dying.
And no, I won’t buy the nonsense that marriage is a stepping stone, and that bullying will come later. Who the hell decided marriage is a more important stepping stone? Frankly, if we were to better address attitudes towards queer communities, we’d probably lower the numbers of kids being harassed and we’d likely get more votes for marriage equality.
But I mean, I get it. Marriage equality is something you can fight for, something you can write down in the law and see the courts and government dole out your privileges. Tackling the issues of homophobia and transphobia are hard and abstract. And frankly, I’m enormously skeptical that marriage equality will help much. Sure, we may win some over in the fight, but we’re probably digging the trenches between us and them even deeper.
Spending my childhood growing up being incubated with the gross reasonings of why gay people deserve to be a second class of citizens, and then being classed in scientific and critical thinking, has brought me to be even more passionate about wanting to be a teacher and wanting to teach critical thinking to our youth. The freedom that we find when we are rightfully given the tools to search for knowledge is as sweet a drink as we may ever find. For some reason, our schools and our parents have been failing to teach our children that harassment and marginalization of people hardly different from themselves actually drags society down. That these are actually immoral things to do. Perhaps it is because we are too busy telling children to play nice, instead of showing them why.
Voltaire once said “Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.” We need to start reminding people that neglect is just as painful as any other form of abuse. It does no good if you point the finger and say “that’s wrong” while some kid gets his face punched in.
So, when it comes to you, what will you do? Will you do you part and point your finger, vote “no” on the amendment, and move along your way? Or will you go beyond just voting no?
Spread the word. Smile at all. Make a new friend each day. Step up.