Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Cloud Nine

It's still sinking in. From that rally in Iowa a few years ago when they won the freedom to marry to today, when it happened in my own home, I can't believe it's real.

I knew we could do it. I am still so surprised though.

Minnesota LGBTQ couples can get married to the person they love.

I am so fortunate to be Minnesotan. If I were in most other states, I could be evicted and fired because of who I am and it would be totally legal. Here, I have the right to work, and live, and love as I need to without fear of repercussion. My future is just as valid as any other person's future.

Before today, it wasn't, and I'm having trouble understanding the endless possibilities that just opened up. I won't have to adopt my own children. I won't have to get permission from my future spouses family to visit them in the hospital. This is almost unreal to me.

On the other hand, there is still a lot of work to do. Other states are terrible to their LGBTQ citizens. I will still have to be careful about who I am me around (some people wouldn't like it if I were myself around them). There is still an uphill battle for bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. people who may not want a traditional monogamous cisgender marriage, but who deserve to have a dignified and respected life based on who they are. Queers outside of the mainstream, like myself, are not who were represented in the campaign for same-sex marriage.

When telling my story to people, I usually kept it vague and used examples from my friends. Someone who is thinking of becoming a supporter wants to hear about Mitchell and Cameron from Modern Family instead of the bisexual genderqueer person who thinks marriage is a patriarchal institution that limits people into distinct gender roles unnecessarily. I definitely want a committed long term relationship, and I will probably get legally married, but I will never be a "wife" or "mother." I will be a partner and a parent.

Queer activism goes beyond having what the straight people have. It's about being accepted and affirmed as a queer person, and not someone who is "just like you, only gay." It's opening up a whole spectrum of identity and opportunity for everyone, including straight cisgender people. My success measure is having people understand what I mean when I say "My preferred pronouns are Ze and Hir," and not having people get angry with me for asking that they acknowledge that I am not a cisgender person.

Even though it is not by any means the end all of LGBTQ activism in Minnesota, this is a huge milestone, and I am really proud of my state. I have cried about 6 times in the past week just from pure excitement and happiness. This is real.

1 comment:

  1. Similar reactions to me. Though I am cisgender straight, I feel like it's just as exciting! I find it interesting that you listed "non-monogamous" as people who still have an up-hill battle. I'm curious what your thoughts are on the use of "queer" not in relation to gender/sexuality, but in relation to non-traditional relationship models. http://polyaphrodite.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/queer/