Tuesday, May 29, 2012


As usual, I'm late to respond here to a current event, because I've had a debate with myself about whether or not I should blog it. But after dithering, I needed to, because I find myself angry after President Obama's current stance on gay marriage. I feel badly for being so critical of what many view as a major landmark for LGBT rights. Firstly, I'm disappointed it has taken him this long. This is a statement that had to be lured out of him. A response anyone may give me is the classic "better late than never" rote optimism. But, I'm sorry I can't focus on the now of the situation. A main source of my spite isn't so much at Obama himself, but at what this is politically -- a move. He waited until it was safe. The hateful anti-gay bombs have been disarmed by public opinion lately, and so it's all right for him to come out from the bunker and into the dust. It gives me a queasy feeling, realizing that this apparent public "evolution" is basically strategy for a broken but powerful political machine.

Not only is this supposed new position not all that revolutionary, it's also not marriage equality. For all my mixed feelings about marriage, one aspect I stand firm on is how necessary gay marriage is for LGBT liberation. He has made a clear delineation. He is for same sex marriage only on a state level. Some may need this outlined for them, others not, so I'm going to reiterate what's been outlined in all kinds of studies, articles, and blogs. A gay marriage within a state is not equal to a heterosexual marriage on a national level. Over 1100 benefits are still denied to ALL same sex couples -- married in an individual state or not -- under the federal government. And anyway, putting rights for minorities to a vote by the majority is flawed -- a nail in the coffin. Human rights are not conferred to the disadvantaged by the masses. They are inherent. If only five hetero US citizens supported same sex marriage, that should not be a deciding factor in whether or not it should be put into law. As an outlandish example, if I didn't want Guatemalans, and Guatemalans only, to become legally documented equal citizens to me, it would not matter. Their rights are not for me to decide. So, excuse me if I'm not leaping for joy at Obama and lauding him with, "Oh, thank you SOOO much my hetero President! for helping me get my rights. Give yourself that pat on the back!"

I realize arguments about how change has to happen slowly and on an individual level are circulating out there on the internets. And, there are the well intentioned, honorable, and courageous battle cries about not giving up the fight, but I can't find the motivation to be rallied, and I'm truly sorry about that. Maybe it's because I'm weak willed. Among all of the cultural divide, I'm more so filled with disillusion that being treated equally is something I have to fight for in the first place. When I'm surrounded by the swarm of heterosexism -- even the small things like those dumb stick figure family bumpers to obnoxious Facebook man, wife, and kids picture posts toting them as the "perfect family" to subtextual hints from family members that I should date a girl, even though I am out -- I'm sorry my natural reaction is feeling disheartened and bitter. Similarly, others may argue to me that I need to be an example, a testament for change. When did it become my responsibility to educate the ignorant? Seriously, why is it my job to change the prejudice of the outright hateful grandpa voting against positive gay legislation, or even the soft homophobia of any random dude on the street with a head full of stereotypes and fear of anything feminine in masculinity? Yet somehow I feel like that has become my burden to bear, and it makes me want to say, "Screw it" and live my second class citizen life in my curtained room away from those kinds of people while the political opportunists and analysts use me as a wedge issue.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly, Mike. This is going to seem feeble compared to the eloquence I just read, most especially because you're not wrong, but I suggest living your life for yourself. I think by acting like the man you are and the man you want to be, you're showing the world that we're just people. You don't need to wave a flag to be a force for change. Motivations aside, Obama's stance is the beginning of a good thing. You can be cynical and say that these things are happening for the wrong reasons, but they're happening. You're absolutely right that Obama only made this move, and it's totally a move, because he knew public opinion would support it in an election year, but the mere fact that there is a public opinion that would support such a notion fills me with a little hope. Who cares why our president made the decision? The bigger picture is that he made it because people think it's right. I live in the same world you do, and I experience it's heteronormativity just as strongly. It's annoying for sure, but progress is being made. Gay characters, some good and some bad, are very present in the media now, and more and more children have friends with gay parents if those kids don't have gay parents themselves. Maybe someday we'll see some more inclusive bumper stickers. I know this doesn't help you now, but if you become an instrument for bringing equality to the future, even if it's just by living your life, it might offer some fulfillment. I hope you don't read this as an attack. There are days where society annoys the crap out of me, where my mom tries to get me to date a girl, where my dad says that he wants me to change my name because I'm dead to him. Just live your life, show the world you're part of it and that you're here to stay.

  2. My fear is that this is coming off as playing a victim -- something I want to avoid and partly the reason I debated putting these feelings out there. But, I couldn't not. This reply is the opposite of attacking. Thank you for your insightful and kind words, Ben : )