We got marriage!
I awoke later than usual yesterday from my second round of sleep. I got up the first time to fill-in to teach a way-too-early yoga class and had gone back to bed when I got home. When I saw the first mention of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding marriage equality, I was confused when I felt happiness and excitement rise and fall as quickly as a spike on a cardiogram. What quickly filled the void was a feeling of hurt, joined by sadness. Anger tried to rush in to empower the other feelings but I knew it was not what I was, primarily, feeling.
I felt off balance all day, partially from my disrupted sleep pattern but, also, from feeling out of synch with the joyous celebrations I was seeing, all the exuberantly congratulatory emails I was receiving from the numerous organizations that have been fighting so hard for marriage equality. Even after getting a good night’s sleep last night, I still don’t feel all the excitement that I think I should and wish I were feeling. Why aren’t I feeling it?
Damn that internalized homophobia
I think what might be revisiting me is all those years of feeling invalidated as a gay man in a homophobic, heterosexist world and it is disappointing to me that I lack the sophistication or whatever it takes to completely insulate myself from this internalized homophobia. The remarks, comments and jokes that we, as LGBT people have endured our whole lives, seeming to come from all angles, reminding us that we don’t deserve…, we’re not worthy of…, we’re not entitled to… simply because of to whom we are attracted. It seems wrong to have had to fight so hard, to exert so much energy and money for the modicum of validation that comes with some lawyers saying, “OK, you can get married.” It seems like so much and, yet, not enough to have five out of nine Supreme Court justices declare that I deserve to have the same as regular folk. I didn’t expect, perhaps naively, that there would be people who would call to disband the Supreme Court after the clearly wrong, in their eyes, decision. I didn’t expect there to be such a wide divide between the five justices who voted in favor of equal treatment and the four who believe an egregious decision has been rendered. It is usually enough for one dissenting justice to summarize and pen the dissenting side’s opinion. In this case, four dissenting opinions against the marriage equality ruling have been recorded. They didn’t just disagree with the decision, they REALLY disagreed, four times.
What could be worse than marriage equality?
And now, as expected, the lunatic fringe on the right is going into spasms over the decision. They proclaim that recognizing the equality of LGBT people is the worst thing to ever befall the U.S. Do they think this is worse than landing on the shores of this pristine continent and arrogantly annihilating the earth-loving souls that were here before us? Is this worse than thinking it was OK to enslave a whole race of people and, then, launching an all out, bloody war against the government for their right to continue enslaving? Is it worse than supporting multi-billionaires to become even multier-billionaires while many children in the U.S. go without necessities? Where’s the perspective? Those crazy, religious fanatics should feel utterly relieved that the god they believe in doesn’t, actually, exist. Otherwise, he’d be down here slapping the shit out of Mike Huckabee, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk. He’d be shooting lightning bolts up the asses of all those who have manipulated the teachings of the Bible and Christ to suit their own twisted and hate-filled agendas.
Rejoice and carry on
We can rejoice in this win and, still, there is no room for complacency. The opposing forces have already begun their assault on the marriage decision. In the name of “religious freedom,” constitutional amendments are being proposed, legislation at all levels of government is being considered to find ways to work around, what is now, the law of the land. It is pathetic? laughable? that some, in some states, are even proposing seceding from the Union or disallowing marriage, altogether, to avoid having to allow our marriages.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, every time these things are reported in the media, it strikes a chord deep in the soul of every LGBT person. It reminds us that we are considered “other,” we are, “less than.” Those of us with some degree of experience and wisdom are better able to fend off, but absolutely are not immune to, the implications of ongoing minority oppression. Although huge strides have been made in our culture, I fear for the more vulnerable, the young and impressionable who fear their lack of acceptance and otherness, the tender hearts who come to believe that hiding in the shadows or, worse, leaving this planet is their only option to find peace.
I think it important that we continue to band together and build on this foundation of equality that has been started. We need to keep pushing the opponents of this decision to question their motives. Celebrate and be aware that, following this important decision, there are many emotions that people will be feeling. I’m reminded of Sarah Conner’s prophetic warning from The Terminator, “There’s a storm brewing.” Before we get to take on the revolt of artificial intelligence, we have to deal with the revolting actions of high profile “religious” and political people who will loudly and righteously launch a vehement and highly publicized battle to keep LGBT people from being recognized as fully equal humans. And that makes me sad.