Here are my poems and thoughts about life, the universe and everything. I'm really into philosophy, music, poetry, Buddhism and social justice.Archive Original Music Resume Questions?
The HRC’s red Equal sign went viral this week in support of gay marriage.
You may have noticed a Greater-Than (>) sign appear in a few profile pictures as well. It went mini-viral. With all the energy around this issue now, I’ve been reading up on the fight for marriage equality and thinking more critically about it.
Although it is silly to think that changing a profile picture will lead directly to any real change, it is important for me to change mine from = to ≥. In the spirit of encouraging and celebrating dialogue, and bringing another voice to the conversation, if only for the few people who read this, or even just for myself, I combined the = and > signs.
Here is a distilled version of what I’ve been learning and why this is now my profile picture:
The > sign comes from a group that stands for a critical - and frequently ignored - perspective… the perspective that says:
(A) The issue of gay marriage has gotten the lion’s share of attention, while in reality there are far more pressing issues for the LGBTQ community (ex: workplace/housing/other institutional discrimination, violence, bullying, homelessness).
(B) Gay marriage marginalizes many LGBTQ people. Its legal and economic benefits go mostly to those who are white and middle/upper class; those who already have a certain amount of privilege. Also, the debate is pretty much about cisgendered (i.e. not trans) folks. Anyone who identifies outside of the gender binary (man/woman) is omitted from the conversation. And if you’re not monogamous? Forget about it. Monogamy, even more than gender perhaps, is what marriage seems to be based on. Right? Of course right.
Therefore, we DO need civil/legal rights and economic/social justice for people in non-heterosexual relationships, but instead of assimilating into the institution of marriage and legitimizing our relationships based on it, we should be dismantling oppressive heteronormative structures and working towards a more inclusive society for everyone. Marriage should not be the label that legitimizes committed relationships in the eyes of the law nor of society.
OK. That’s what folks like the radical queer artist/writer group “Against Equality” say. (Read more about them here: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/working-against-equality-a-closer-look-at-queers-who-oppose-gay-marriage/)
I agree with this - mostly. Thing is, successful change doesn’t happen all at once. It takes years for civil rights to become broadly accepted by society; MLK’s dream grows nearer by the day, yet still (always?) seems just beyond our reach. The Civil Rights Movement(s) of the ’60s certainly did not land us in a racially just utopia. We still have a long way to go. But we need to start somewhere. In the case of LGBTQ rights, why not start with gay marriage? I say we push for the radical “agenda” of equal rights for ALL, while supporting the efforts of more mainstream groups that push for incremental changes, even if they achieve an imperfect, still-unequal sort of “equality.”
Another issue seems to be that the Human Rights Campaign promotes gay rights at the expense of other LGBTQ people - trans folks, for instance. This is total bullshit. Read more here: http://open.salon.com/blog/avimecca/2012/02/07/dont_support_human_rights_campaign
So all that’s why I jumped-on-the-equal-sign-profile-picture bandwagon, and why I changed it again, to the Greater-than AND Equal sign.
Lastly, here is a great article about why gay marriage is not THE answer to inequality: http://sfonline.barnard.edu/a-new-queer-agenda/beyond-marriage-democracy-equality-and-kinship-for-a-new-century/0/
scooping up the ocean
with cupped hands
let all of who you are
love this water
because you are you
because water is water
too much to hold
no need to
in each drop of water
falling from your hands
returns to its vast oceanness
scooping up the ocean
with cupped hands
now hold this love
now give it all away
because you are not you
because water is not water