As I type, a couple is filing a lawsuit that could legalize gay marriage in Georgia. I found out as I scrolled through my Facebook timeline and as I read the article, my mixed feelings about marriage equality started to surface. I want a family one day and if gay marriage is legalized in Georgia, I could be one step closer to having a family that could be legally recognized because mama wants them benefits. However, my inner hell raiser wasn’t having it especially after I got a look at the plaintiffs behind the lawsuit. They are the picture perfect portrait of gay family: two white and presumably well off men with two cute little adopted babies.
I saw the source of my ambivalence for marriage equality in those smiling faces emanating from my phone’s screen. If this lawsuit is successful it will be a victory for the Ellens and Portias and Neils and Davids of the world. The mainstream gay rights movement will call this the end of the fight for equality and I’m sure Atlanta PRIDE will be quite the spectacle. After all, gays will be able to marry and that’s enough right?
On the surface, marriage equality appears to be the only issue standing in the way of gay rights but there’s this pesky little concept called intersectionality that says otherwise. As couples prepare to line up at city hall for a photo op that will land them on the front page of the Atlanta Journal- Constitution, I can’t help but think of the queer people that are just trying to function.
The ones that are not only queer but poor, female/female assigned, trans, disabled, of color or a combination of these and other qualities.
In other words, the type of people that were the heart of the LGBTQ* rights movement before it was gentrified.
All 50 states could legalize gay marriage but that doesn’t mean the work is over. There is too much that needs to be done and quite frankly, I’m sick of these picture perfect gays speaking for the rest of us. There are so many other issues that impact the queer community but since they don’t have a rainbow plastered all over them and the Stepford gays don’t give a damn, they go ignored.
Being able to marry my girlfriend doesn’t mean shit in a world where people are being denied medical care because some medical school gave some religious wack job a degree and people are still being maimed, assaulted and killed for being queer. Not to mention, my queerness doesn’t cancel out my blackness, femaleness or other nesses that factor into my lived experiences as someone living in a patriarchal heteronormative white supremacist society. Until we can really have a conversation about what queer people need besides a piece of paper and some rings, you won’t see me prancing through the streets in a party city veil or applying for a marriage license in protest.