Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 1, 2013

Have you noticed, Poppets, that the latest salvo in the war against LGBTQ people is now that they've won, let's see if they are willing to give the same tolerance that they demanded from the people who disagreed with them or thereabout. That's the gist of it anyway: tolerance and disagreement. This argument has made me almost speechless. But that’s the key word: almost. I have managed to gather my thoughts and my words and form a response. Let’s break this whole concept down, shall we?
First, the idea that we’ve “won.” Usually, this is reference is to the DOMA repeal. Which was wonderful. It was an amazing and necessary step. It was, however, just that – a step. All the repeal of DOMA accomplished was allowing marriage equality in states that didn’t already outlaw it. It didn’t require all states to grant marriage equality. It didn’t even require all states to recognize marriage equality in other states. And it certainly didn’t address employment, homelessness, a culture of violence, adoption, access of services, or any number of non-marriage related issues faced by the LGBTQ community every day. But we “won.” Please. Tell me how something that only applies to a small part of a larger issue, and doesn’t even apply to it nationally, counts as winning anything.
Second, the idea that we were ever granted tolerance, even as we demanded it. The whole reason we are having to fight this in the first place is because there was no tolerance. Anyone who wants to codify, through legislation or constitutional amendment, the second-class status of another group of people isn’t tolerating anything. I have lost count of the number of times people who claimed to be “tolerant” insisted that David and I want special rights. We don’t. None of us do. We want acknowledgement that we have the same rights that straight, cis-gendered people take for granted every day. Insisting we want special rights, and using that specialness to deny us those rights, isn’t tolerating anything.
Third, and finally, the fact that we all “disagreed.” Really? Is that what we did? We disagreed? No. A disagreement is wanting burgers instead of pizza for dinner. A disagreement is routing for the New York Giants over the New England Patriots. A disagreement can even be thinking we need to put more money into defense rather than into education. A disagreement is not trying to legislate the very humanity of a group of people.
The people who spewed hate now want the same level of tolerance they offered us. Part of me really wants to give it to them. Instead, I will speak with my pocket book. I will get my coffee from Starbucks and shop at JC Penney or Target. I will skip the movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and get my chicken sandwiches somewhere other than Chick Fil’A.

But more importantly, Poppets, let’s all of us not see the repeal of DOMA as a win, but as a step. Let’s refuse to accept almost-good-as. Let’s refuse to confuse tolerance with equality.
Until next month, Poppets, take care of you.

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