Friday, March 22, 2013

Why we can't stop after marriage equality

I think it is a privilege to say that in my lifetime, I will have witnessed a major social revelation when the Supreme Court hands down their ruling over the constitutionality of same-sex marriages. As a queer man, I can't help but to feel hopeful that should I ever choose to get married, I will legally be protected to marry the love of my life, no matter what their gender is. Though I know there is the equal possibility of our Supreme Court justices denying the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, I find strength in believing that with the support of much of the public, the Democrats, some highly influential Republicans, and the American President, it is almost a certain possibility that same-sex couples will have their opportunity to the big white wedding, if that's what they want.

I should be "rejoicing" now that the LGBT communities will have finally achieved marriage equality, an experience denied by everyone who came before this time, right? It's what my "community" has wanted for so long, as if that's all we ever wanted. To some it is, however, to me, I certainly want more to be done for the LGBT people. You may ask, "why can't you be happy for this monumental victory for every queer person out there, and be grateful for what you are given?"

The answer is simple. I don't want to be happy about marriage, when so many of my younger LGBT siblings are out on the street, homeless and alone, denied the protection and opportunity to pursue their dreams, mostly because their family chose not to accept them for being who they are.

When 40 percent of all homeless youth are LGBT-identified, and face a higher risk of victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sex practices, it's hard to be satisfied with marriage equality. When there are not enough resources to accommodate for LGBT youth who run a greater risk of substance abuse, to experience sexual assault, or commit suicide, it should make one take a step back and realize that marriage equality is not going to be the be-all-end-all to LGBT oppression.

Within the next week or so, history will be made, however it is even more imperative that we continue to change history for every straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer youth out there. It is important that we start to confront the societal norms, and prejudices that put our youth on the street. When we can, and will address that issue as a community, will I be happy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment