How did you feel about the legalization of gay marriage? Has it impacted your life and why or why not?
America in Transition is a documentary series exploring family, relationships, and social issues for trans people of color across the country. We asked America in Transition fans to sound off, and this is what they had to say.
Femmily Blake’s response:
I have a lot of feelings about it. I believe that marriage as an institution needs to be restructured (it has about a 50% divorce rate — give or take a few %) and until we move away from marriage as a patriarchal set of standards that was originally created as a way to increase property and livestock — I cannot fully stand behind it — gay, straight or otherwise. That said for people who believe in marriage and want to do it whether it’s ‘true’ love, finance, etc ALL should be able to have access to it.
Another issue, I take up with marriage equality is that for so long organizations like the Human Rights Campaign used marriage to show the rest of the world that we are “just like them” and “normal” but in reality we are different and we don’t HAVE to be like every heteronormative person we see. And that’s okay.
My third issue that I take up with marriage equality is that we focused on it for so long that we forgot (or never thought of in the first place) about the queer and trans youth (many of whom are people of color) that are unstably housed, homeless, shelters won’t let trans people in, HIV rates are still high, transgender womyn (mostly of color) are being murdered at alarming rates, etc — along the way to marriage we lost the fight for all our community and tried to make it digestible for white straight cis America. I say this all as an ordained minister who has married 2 couples — I want my community to feel safe and seen and heard and we should have been focusing on that. Now that the fight for marriage equality is over — will you finally work on the more serious issues our community is faced with? I hope so. #cancelmarriage#unapologeticallyqueer #stonewallwasariot#queerchicago#AmericainTransition #gaymarriage #marriageequality
This week is the anniversary of the legalization of gay marriage, and I have a few thoughts. I see marriage as a right that every person should have, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. That said, I also see marriage as an institution used to reproduce heteronormative values as well as a political tactic used to appease a larger gay / queer public. Personally, I’m afraid that the legalization of marriage gives some a false sense of equality when in reality the most marginalized of our community (the trans and femme folks of color) are still fighting for basic needs as well as basic dignities. I’m here for the struggle and joys of other qtpoc that cannot be contained by any exercise of power from the state. Also, chosen family is just real beautiful to me and I’m lucky enough to be able to find community that shows me and other qtpoc that #webelong
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