Thank the Gods that DOMA and Prop 8 have been ruled unconstitutional and struck down. This is a true victory.
But this victory is only a small beginning. Trans*folk, the genderqueer, the intersexed and others need so much more than marriage. We need equal protection under the law. We need the health care necessary for our well-being that insurance companies, businesses, states, and the Federal Government do not currently provide for. The right to marry is truly important and vital for gays and lesbians and bisexuals. For the TQI folks amongst the LGBTQI community — those mentioned above — not so much. Today’s rulings are however a signpost of hope.
I hope and pray that this victory is the beginning in America of equal rights for all the people of this country. Trans*folk et alia are people too.
Do not rejoice overmuch over today’s Supreme Court rulings. —We still do not enjoy equal rights or equal protections. In the minds of many we do not even enjoy status as people, as shown by references to us in the media using the pronoun it. Before we gain these rights and protections under the law, the attitudes of millions of people will need to change. We must somehow also become important and just plain human in the eyes of the majority of the American people.
One problem is that we are such a small minority that it is easy for most to overlook us, easy for many to act with prejudice against us, easy for some to abuse us. Many LGBT or LGBTQI centers across America are for all practical purposes LGB centers and TQI centers combined under one roof, and yet separate. TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) still crash trans events for purposes of puerile heckling and harassment and name calling. Fifty percent of transwomen of color are still being raped. States are still attempting to pass laws making it illegal for us to use the public restroom appropriate to our gender. And transsexual women continue to be, perhaps — I doubt there are statistics to back me up, but I don’t think I’m wrong — the most murdered minority in America.
As Kurt Vonnegut wrote in Slaughterhouse-Five So it goes.
This So it goes must stop. We must start coming out of our deep stealth and our closets. We must interact with the American people at large, and as equals, and demonstrate to one American at a time that we are, despite our otherness, people too, plain and simple. We need to come out. Coming out, as demonstrated by today’s victory for gays and lesbians, is an empowering act. It is also a self-affirming act, a powerful act that bolsters self-acceptance and begins the healing of the deep wounds many of us bear.
Are we ready to do this? Are we ready to take such action in the ordinary, work-a-day world? Those of us who are pagans and polytheists, shall we not today begin praying to our Gods for equal rights and equal protections to come to pass for us? Those of us who are magically inclined, are we not today prepared to enchant and I mean to enchant powerfully to bring such a day closer?
I hope so. I pray so. And I myself will be walking the walk I talk here.
Much love. —Rachel Izabella