Where Gay Rights Fails


This sign was displayed at a protest for prop 8.  I wonder how the lesbian members of the gay community feel about having it declared that womens rights have been accomplished?  I wonder how the gay people of colour who are daily confronted with racism feel about the assertion that African American rights have been enshrined?

Being both gay and of colour, or a woman will mean that you will face at least two forms of marginalization and yet the white male leaders of the community have no problem announcing that these problems are solved.  Oh I know we have  Obama, and a woman almost won the democratic nomination but the problems of racism and sexism have not been solved.

As I have repeatedly said, one of the problems with the GLBTQI community is that it privileges certain bodies over others. While gay marriage is definitely an important factor in terms of social equality, will it benefit everyone equally across the board, or  will it just create a socially accepted vision of what it is to be gay; thereby causing divergent bodies to continue to be marginalized?

There seems to be the understanding that all gay people are affluent.  When we see homosexuality in the media it is always represented by a well educated white person, and more often than not that person is male.  As I watched Dan Savage on CNN eloquently advocate for gay marriage last night, I could not help but wonder where is your passion for those that are less well off than you?  Where is your passion for those that are of colour?  What about those that are gay that are dealing with a disability?

Gay marriage as important as it is, should not erase the need to organize around other causes.  It is a one dimensional approach aimed at seeking acceptability from homophobic heterosexuals.  While I agree that love is love and that everyone should have the same rights around marriage, I cannot help but wonder why this above all is privileged as the organizing focus? 

Could it possibly be that a gay identity is assumed to be a white, predominately male, able bodied identity?  Could this privileging of concerns have anything to do with the social hierarchy that exists outside of the gay community?  It would seem to me that if  we can agree that hierarchy and oppression are a part of our social interaction, then homosexuality should not be eliminated from the equation of possible oppression supporters.  Being gay does not mean that you are not racist, sexist, or ablesit.  The isms act on you just like everyone else.  Facing one kind of social stigmatization does not mean that you do not benefit from the social hierarchy that has come do define western society.

So, yes to gay marriage but how about a yes to dealing with poverty, racism, sexism, fat phobia, and every other ism that works to create a single human being as less than.  Each and every person is worth something.

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