On those damn rainbows and marriage equality

My Facebook has turned rainbow. Seriously, everywhere I look people have turned their profile pictures into rainbows in celebration; even typing this post now, I am faced with a rainbow banner across the WordPress website. I have never seen so many rainbows in my life, and I am sick of it… Yes, call me Ms Pessimist, but I really am…

The United States of America has become the 21st country to legalise gay marriage (though by a narrow 5-4 vote) 14 years after the first country did so in 2001. Though if you would judge from the internet, it seems as if it is the first country to ever even consider it, but lets leave that part aside for now. I get why people are celebrating, sure it is an issue that many care deeply about; however, my issue is one of privilege… And that is what this rant is about.

Here is the thing… I see all the support for marriage equality, but I cannot remember when the same support was shown for an issue that one would think would be a much higher priority for the so-called LGBTI movement. Trans* people are dying, getting killed, with “panic defense” still successfully used by perpetrators; let’s talk about racism, and the issues of queer people of colour; what about queer homeless youth? What about stigma, discrimination, and violence faced by sex worker? That last part not an LGBTI issue? I beg to differ, it absolutely is (unless you, of course are a white and middle-class cisgender queer person.) And what really irritates me is that only a minority of the 701 “friends” I have on Facebook have raised this specific issue… Of course, something could be said about me not being selective enough in friending people on Facebook – and mind you, I almost went on a deleting spree when this rainbow stuff started.

The thing is, the gay and lesbian movement (and lets be honest, it is far from an L G B T I movement) has a history that is undeniable and uncomfortable, and now it is plastered all over the internet. It was the same thing as when the logo of the Human Rights Campaign, the Donald Trump of gay organisations, was thrown into my face by people at several points in the last few years… gay marriage is the hot topic, it is an easy topic. Pushing for marriage equality is pushing for queer people to be less queer, for gay and lesbians to join the heteronormative, and in that agenda there just is little space for those on the fringes.

Marriage equality isn’t marriage equality. This is about expanding the heteronormative, this is about including gays and lesbians into a modern Western and heteronormative legal framework. And that is what it is: a Western heterenormative understanding of love and desire, and if anything, those rainbows somehow remind me that this understanding has little room for people like me…

End rant.


2 thoughts on “On those damn rainbows and marriage equality

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s