What does same-sex marriage do for homeless queer youth? What does it do for the trans people being murdered in the streets? What does it do for the poor, of which many, many are queer people of color? Who does all this same-sex marriage stuff really benefit?
Until we stop giving value to certain kinds of relationships over others, until we stop projecting our personal values onto the lives of other consenting adults and making laws about it, until we stop being distracted by the crumbs that the few people in power throw at us so that we are too busy fighting over them to see that the actual pie is still forever off-limits to us, we’ll never break down these oppressive systems that let a few people through the door just so they can help hold it closed to the masses of people still being kept on the other side.
mia mckenzie, black girl dangerous.
What does same-sex marriage do for homeless queer youth? I would argue that it does help them, for a number of reasons, both directly and indirectly. Over all giving more public awareness for queer individuals is good, because the less we are marginalized as a group, the better for everyone in that group. The more people know other queer people, the less homeless queer youth we’ll have. When dad sees his neighbors are a married couple and mom’s boss brings her wife to the Christmas party… all those small steps help them understand and help keep families together.
What does it do for the poor? Hello, people that are queer and poor MOST benefit from having their relationships recognized. It can help families stay together, get better benefits, reduce stress,
Who does ‘all this same-sex marriage stuff really benefit? In benefits me and my wife as we struggle to get by. It lets her be in school to become our fat-friendly, trans*friendly, queer friendly, kinky friendly, poly friendly primary care provider. It benefits our child, who is also queer, giving her more stability and and more ability to face the world. It helps our child’s friends, being able to see that there are adults like them in the world, who can stand proud and strong. It gives us the legal ability to help reach out to them as well, to help keep some of those queer kids off the street.
And above all, it doesn’t *hurt* them. Is same-sex marriage the be all end all of queer rights? Of course not. We have so far to go, particularly when it comes into trans* rights and helping our minor queer/trans* youth in healthy places. Hell, I still have issues with workplace discrimination, housing discrimination…. oh trust me same-sex marriage is NOT the answer to the queer world’s problems.
But it does help. It helps make us a little more visible, a little more noticed, a little better protected.
We can work vigilantly on multiple fronts, this is not a zero sum game. I recognize that it must be frustrating to have ALL this energy at the moment going to same-sex marriage where we need to ALSO see movement for trans* rights, ENDA, combating racism and poverty. And I know there are some people out there who do not see beyond their own backyard. But I believe every little victory DOES help our whole community, yes some people more than others, and yes the more privileged always seem to get their help first.
But the pie isn’t going to be handed over in one fell swoop. We’re going to have to take it, kicking and screaming, one piece at a time. The important thing to remember is each slice is a victory… and how much of the pie we have left to go.
(Source: blackgirldangerous, via fuckyeahfatdykes)