Saturday, May 16, 2009

This, not just in

Following LGBTQ news is difficult but worth the effort. Difficult because you have to seek it out. Worth the effort because the effort it takes to bookmark a blog or two or raise consciousness with friends is infinitesimally smaller than the wear of living without validation of your community identity. Thank you to all the groups that consolidate this information in one place making it infinitely more accessible —however marginalized (Just a side note, that the niching of services for any group is problematic in itself; “it’s a Band-Aid on the bigger problem, which is not taking issues that relate to [LGBTQ] seriously.” Author Ann Friedman adds it “serve[s] to draw an even brighter line around topics that should concern” everyone.”) I digress. Enough caveat.

I got tired reading about marriage the other week—how news other than seems marginalized even in these marginalized spaces. I tallied a small sampling of articles on Advocate. 36% of the articles had to do with marriage or domestic partnership. If you include things like adoption and all things that follow the unrecognized right its more like 43%. Which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for everything else. There’s a large counter-dialogue among activists that counters the focus on marriage. The strategy serves primarily white middle-class GL communities. Most importantly it ignores the more urgent issues that affect LGBTQ communities who are challenged by a multiplicity of opressions. Things like hate crime, violence, access to health care, depression, homelessness, suicide and on and on. These issues were addressed in…wait for it…less than half of one percent of the articles. There IS a way to address these issues without sensationalizing them. Marriage and its benefits are just further up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and we’re not there yet, are we?

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