Why I'm Not Excited About Marriage Equality
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Politics and Activism

Why I'm Not Excited About Marriage Equality

My take on marriage equality, and what I think it means for the LGBT+ rights movement as a whole.

Why I'm Not Excited About Marriage Equality

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court made the landmark decision to legalize marriage equality. Some people were outraged, some ecstatic. Others, like myself, were wary as to what the consequences of this decision would be. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of the day marriage equality would become law. I knew that once it did, I would be so excited. But now that it is here, that happiness I wished for is absent. I cannot take part in the celebration that my fellow members of the LGBT+ community are participating in, and there are several reasons why.

For the longest time "gay marriage" has been what has kept LGBT+ issues in the media. Now that we are “all equal,” as some people have foolishly stated, I am afraid that people outside of the community are going to stop caring about the other issues within it. Rates of youth homelessness, job and housing discrimination, mental illness, suicide, alcoholism, addiction, etc. are much higher for individuals who are part of the LGBT+ community than the general population.

Can we talk about how out of the 10% of the youth population identifies as LGBT+, and 20% of those youths are homeless? That a trans woman has a 1 in 12 chance of being killed by a cis person, a number that jumps to 1 in 8 for a trans woman of color? That the gay and trans panic defenses are still being used in courts today? That LGBT+ people are still legally denied jobs, housing, and healthcare just for their sexuality or gender? These are just a few issues facing the community, and do not even begin to tackle the nuances when race and socioeconomic background come into play. These are real issues that are affecting huge portions of the community, and I do not want people to stop paying attention to them just because an almost insignificant “milestone” was reached.

Marriage equality honestly matters so little in the scheme of things, and I feel like its legalization is going to have a negative impact on keeping LGBT+ issues in the public eye. People are already starting to say "the fight is over" and "love wins" like this is the end, as if this is all we need to be equal. But we are far, far from equality. Now that LGBT+ individuals are seen as “equals”, people are more than likely going to start pulling back their support for LGBT+ rights organizations because their "end goal" has been achieved. This will make it so much harder for work to be done to address the more serious issues facing the community. This article may sound pretty pessimistic, but it honestly feels (and I know many others who feel the same way) that this is the direction we are unfortunately headed.

In summary, we haven’t even made a dent in securing equality for LGBT+ people, and there is a long, long way to go.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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