Apr. 11th, 2012

johanna_alice: (Default)
Our LGBT hot potato right now is Gay Marriage. Lots of my wider community want it, and though it isn't any kind of priority for me, I support those who do want gender-equality in this important area of their lives. I'm a trans-activist and this really is a gender-issue - we'd be going from trans parners to having trans *or* cis partners in a marriage. I've thought about this quite a bit and ranted not a little.

But even if gay marriage is achieved, it still won't be equality for a lot of my immediate community. There will still be a gender requirement attached to marriage. Man will be able to marry man, woman will be able to marry woman and woman will be able to marry man. We're still living in a world of binary genders where you must conform to one gender or the other to be recognised as a person in terms of both gender and legal things like anti-discrimination legislation and marriage.

I live in a world of spectrums and bell-curves where everyone is somewhere on the line between absolute masculinity and absolute femininity, but where no one is actually at the extremes. In many ways gender is not an issue because we all have a different one unique to ourselves and every one of those genders is valid.

Until a gender-variant person has legal recognition of their gender and the rights and protections that go with that recognition, they cannot possibly fit into the binary-gendered marriage/civil-partnership framework.

There's another, increasingly common, factor in considering legal partnerships. Many people have multiple partners and since I'm not religious, I really don't see any issue with numbers involved in said partnership. Right now a polyamorous person finds themselves having to choose between people in order to gain legal recognition - even if only in terms of next-of-kin. I might not be popular saying this, but that's an inequality too, because it is the state and society dictating what a legitimate relationship should be to it's members.

I'm sorry, but the campaign for equal marriage simply isn't for equal marriage. It's for equal binary-gendered marriage. Yes, it can and will help those trans people (like me) who do have binary genders and can fit into the boxes labelled, 'man', and, 'woman'. That's only some of us though.

Truly equal marriage would be a partnership between two people (or more controversially, two or more people) who wish for recognition of their partnership in either or both of the law and their religion. But no one is campaigning for that. No one is even looking at the part of my immediate community that doesn't fit boy or girl. Gay marriage is being sold as the end of a process of creating equality in recognition of life-partnerships. Once it's here, it will be done. I's dotted and t's crossed. There will be no further debate because the LGBT community will have what it wants. But it's not and can't be equality for all of us.

I know trans-issues are big and complicated and cross all kinds of lines and just don't fit in with how other people may relate to the world. But it really is as simple as saying something along the lines of, 'This is a person and their identity is worthy of respect and recognition.'. That's true for all of us, no matter what, and in that recognition of diversity and variety is equality.

So yes, I support gay marriage. But I resent it being mis-represented as equal marriage, because it's really not equal, and will continue to be unequal until people are seen as individuals with rights and protections that aren't dependent on anything else but being an adult human being. It's unequal-marriage until anyone can marry anyone and their genders simply aren't a factor in assessing the legality of the partnership.


johanna_alice: (Default)

May 2014

1112131415 1617

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags