Tag Archives: children with gay parents

DOMA & Prop 8 Struck Down, But The Fight Is Not Over

gay equality rings

What a monumental day in our nation’s history to finally see the wheels of change honor the integrity of freedom. To come closer than ever in making the words written by our forefathers centuries ago guaranteeing of all of us being treated equally. I am beyond ecstatic about today’s ruling. It means a great deal to me to see the joy and love between two people that have built a life together and fought so hard to have the same rights as straight couples finally be afforded the same right. As of today, 13 states have full and equal marriage.  To see so many couples today celebrate and look at each other with joy in knowing they won’t have to leave this country in order to share their lives with each other.

The warmth my heart felt knowing the beautiful love and union between Edith Windsor and her wife Thea Spyer, was legal, was recognized and it had given validation to a woman that kept the love of her departed so close to her heart. So much that it brings tears to my eyes with joy to think this woman has inspired us to stand and fight when we have been treated unfairly.

But I did not feel it as much as I wanted to. A part of me held back and tried to reconcile the tension I still felt with the historic moment in LGBT history.  And I knew after a few moments what it was. “We are not finished yet. We haven’t even begun to fight.” Maybe that’s why my mood became muted. Because the Supreme Court did not rule completely in our favor as I’d hoped, even with how unlikely that outcome. It made me feel like an outsider because I was holding back on celebrating with passion so many of my friends were exuding. 

And then I was angry. Angry at myself because despite the fact that it was not a sweeping victory it was all the same a monumental step forward so I felt this emotion was taking away from the joyous occasion that so many in this community are celebrating. It was giving me a migraine because that phrase kept coming to mind. So I laid down to calm my thoughts and asked why I felt this way. But my feelings were grounded in truth.

Is it because I know that in the remaining 37 states in this country, including my home state of Tennessee has a very long, hard battle ahead now that it is truly up to the states to decide the rights of millions of Americans. That the couples living here in the rural south that have worked their entire lives and entered long-term relationships for decades still do not have those federal rights that the New Colony states now have. Can still be denied the legal right to call the love of their life their husband or wife.

Or that as an African American it will be an even harder battle because of the Supreme Court’s decision to remove some provisions from the VRA. Some believe this means that states like Tennessee can rezone voting populations of any minority or pose extremely stringent regulations to keep other ethnic minorities from voting altogether to scheme and potentially win elections. To also deny us our right to marry. Who’s to say that this tactic wouldn’t be used against heavily populated LGBT areas to further prevent marriage equality in other states? All because enough justices felt that we live in a post racial society. I would say the family of Trayvon Martin greatly disagrees with that sentiment.

Neither I nor any other LGBT citizen of this country should have to move in order to have the same rights and if the deplorable actions of the GOP state senators from Texas last night are any indication of a time table of when all states will see marriage equality may be another generation. Or more. If we stay complacent.  So that means that there would be another Edith Windsor, this time from the south would have to endure the same pain of having to fight the government in order for her rights as a citizen to be honored.

And that’s why we have to fight now. That’s why we can’t just celebrate and get to work tomorrow on today’s problem. Because each moment we wait is still a moment too long someone is being denied the freedom to love and share their life with someone. We cannot wait and stop to just celebrate this victory. As we are gathering in bars and rooftop parties and in the streets tonight we need to also be discussing how we move forward because we have so much more work to do.

This doesn’t only pertain to marriage equality. We as a community are being denied more rights that affect our livelihood. We still can be fired for being LGBT in over half of the states in this country. So the decision of the Supreme Court today should give us more wind in our sails not tell us to dock safely at shore and sail another day.

Our persistence has begun to pay off and we are at the allegorical light where we make new beginnings. But we are still in that tunnel. Our journey for true and full equality has not ended. It has only gained momentum. It made me resentful towards the leaders in this community that decided to focus only on marriage equality and completely ignored the other rights that are just as important to our way of life. So we can celebrate our victory tonight but at the same time cannot afford to forget even for a moment how much more work needs to be done. 

I felt enormous guilt for my thoughts because again it appeared like I was taking a poignant moment away from those who also deserve it. But I should have no shame in how I feel because we are not done yet because we ALL deserve it. We all deserve the same rights and we all still face more foul, underhanded scare tactics that pretend to be the word of God from the mouths of man and tell us how to live our lives. So until we have completely won we must be willing to fight for ALL our rights.

So I ask everyone that had their marriage fully recognized to continue to fight. I know many have spoken the same words that I am writing today in how necessary it is for us to fight and have vowed to keep fighting.  But we ALL must be a part of the solution so there is no longer room for complacency on our part. That means organizations like HRC and GLAAD need to implement more advocacy not just in marriage equality, but ALL other rights we are being denied. Remember that these organizations that are celebrating right now were the same ones that were too afraid to even bring these cases up for the Supreme Court. We are in the middle of it so we can no longer tiptoe around the issues. The GOP is not wasting any time already looking for ways to overturn today’s decision, so we can’t waste time either. 

To those couples that don’t have to leave the country to continue to fight because we still need your help for states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona that have higher populations of binational LGBT couples hoping they don’t have to move or even worse separate. Hold on to that joy and use it to help initiate equality so that no other family has to endure what you’ve gone through.

Our fight for equality is not over. We cannot rest until we are all equal.

Sorry Boy Scouts Of America, But This Deal Is A Bigoted Bunch Of Crap

bsa_seal_clipart_bw (1)

Today, after months of deliberations and criticism from both sides of the debate, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has come up with a compromise when it comes to allowing LGBT members into their leadership organization. The deal essentially states that gay scout members are allowed into their organization. But there’s a catch to this deal. The ban on LGBT volunteers and leaders are still very much active, with no signs of being lifted. Some call this a partial victory for the LGBT movement, while I believe that it is anything but a win for us.

This is one of the few times that I’m going to be very candid about my opinion by saying that I am completely disgusted at what this decision today implies. Instead of showing these scouts the importance of leadership and teamwork, they’re being shown how to continually condemn different people with different beliefs as this deal is demonizing to the LGBT community. Seriously what does it say when they are saying that no LGBT volunteers or employees are allowed. What’s their reasoning behind that? Do they think that we prey on young victims and brainwash them into being compact carrying queens? Because if they don’t want us to be mentors to scouts then that means that they believe by nature that we are a manipulative group of people set out to recruit unsuspecting victims. They are essentially implying that we are pedophiles and I am livid at the snide, covert accusation that this decision implies.

This also means that LGBT parents like Jennifer Tyrell can’t even participate with her son in any of the “community” and “family” activities because they don’t believe we are capable or deserving to have the same “rights” as them. How can we trust that they won’t tell him that who his mother is, an out and proud lesbian, that she is wrong for being gay? If they are so indulgent on the notion of honesty, I wish they’d have the courage to say it instead of this vapid attempt to pacify us and the leaders of this community. How do we know that this isn’t some move to ensure whatever manipulative, reparative therapy-like measures will be woven into earning merit badges and by not allowing LGBT volunteers or leaders means they can implement whatever brainwashing techniques to “fix” our children’s beliefs? It’s all hypothetical questions but if they’re still openly excluding us, how can we be assured that ulterior motives are not at play?

Would our children even be allowed to be openly gay in the BSA? Would they condemn the gay scout for any “improper” behavior that they see as “not up to code” when that really means is that anything that they see as feminine or gay. I shake my head at how they would deal with transgendered scout members, a group that has not been mentioned at all by the LGBT activists that are calling this deal a victory. Will they be able to treat a female to male transgendered scout with support and be welcoming or tell them that they’re wrong? Will they allow male to female transgendered scouts to remain in the organization or will they let these scouts be mocked and bullied by other scouts? If they have some implied belief that we’ll grow out of being gay, then they probably will do the same to this group.

And what of the gay scout members in this organization. To me, this implies that the BSA believes that we’ll somehow grow out of being gay. That being gay is just a phase that their Christian Bible Thumping values will somehow lead us out of our “sinful” thinking”. What will they tell to the scout members that come out? Will it be someone nurturing and kind that will sit with the child and help them process this information or will they tell them how they still believe homosexuality is wrong? There are too many questions that no one seems to be asking the Boy Scouts of America.

What happens to the gay scouts who have been with the organization for years as a child and they turn 18? Are they stripped of any titles they spent years on thrown out? Can they no longer progress forward and become an Eagle Scout? What is the point if they can’t even progress any further in the organization? That’s the only conclusion we can come to if they have a cutoff as adults.

All this deal has done at best is present us with more questions than a sign of compromise and change. This may all seem like an outlandish assumption of how they will deal with gay scout members but honestly how do we know we can trust them. So no, this is not a time of celebration for LGBT activists and equal rights advocates. I do not in any way shape or form believe this is a step in the right direction or a show of real progress. This deal is just a more covert, disguised form of prejudice and homophobia. Quite the opposite actually. This is a slap in the face. This is not some change of heart or evolution into seeing that we are people and deserve equal rights. The Boy Scouts of America are STILL condemning who and what we are and to believe anything to the contrary is flat out wrong.

This deal is so reminiscent of the Jim Crow laws, Grandfather Clauses and the 3/5 Compromise of our nation’s history where my African American ancestors were not seen as human. They were denied their rights as citizens and were seen as animals that did not deserve the same treatment that everyone else received because we didn’t fit into the nice, neat little package of “normal good folk“. This deal is saying the same thing, that we are not good enough and cannot be trusted around their children while they can placate any lie and fallacy in ideology onto our children. This deal openly mocks us.

We should be frustrated and upset, because if they don’t trust us, how can we trust them with our children? How can we trust that they will treat instances of bullying fairly when they don’t even believe we have a right to be who we are.  Those are the questions we should be asking them right now. It’s about how can we trust them, not the other way around. As a community, we have nothing to prove to these bigots. There’s no way in hell I would ever allow a child of mine in such a demented, callous mindset as the BSA. I do not trust them. And neither should you.