On Wanting To Be More Than Just A Straight Ally To GaysCecily Kellogg
Last Sunday my daughter and I headed into downtown Philly to help run a booth at the Philadelphia Pride Festival (the booth was promoting my daughter’s school). It was exhilarating to see so many happy young couples celebrating Pride, holding hands and kissing and flirting and dancing. I’m thrilled that by exposing my daughter to the site of men and women being romantically involved and sharing “public displays of affection” with the same sex will seem normal to her instead of, well, NOT.
Because I fully believe it IS normal.
It was a heartening day, but my joy was smacked dead by this news story about a judge ordering two women to split up if one of the women wants to keep custody of her children. I cannot imagine how horrifying it is for those women, being faced with such a horrible choice. And I know that without a doubt no one would ever tell me because I’m a straight woman that I’d have to stop living with my partner if I wanted to keep my children (unless, of course, my partner was abusing the children, and even then it would take serious legal effort).
Does it feel to anyone else that each inch our society scratches and claws forward in this debate leads to more cases of homophobic rhetoric like the judgement above? I mean the judge is citing a MORALITY clause as the reason he can force these woman apart. I want to drive to Texas, find him, and kick him hard in his morality clause to make him see sense. To see love. To see FAMILY.
I don’t want to just be a straight ally anymore. I want to be a soldier in this war, and cheering from the sidelines isn’t enough. As much as I am working on helping my daughter view the spectrum of gender and sexuality, I want her to feel safe to choose who she loves when she’s older. As I watched the young couples at Pride hold hands and kiss, I know they cannot safely do that outside of the festival grounds, and that infuriates me. I can practically hump my husband on a street corner without getting more than a “get a room” comment gay couples could actually be risking their lives if they behaved the same way in public. And I hate that for them.
There are over one thousand rights denied to gay couples that straight married couples take for granted such as being able to apply for a green card for the person you love. One of my best friends married a man from England; they had to jump through plenty of immigration hoops, but they are legally married and he’s allowed to live here, no problem.
This isn’t true David and Jason (see video below), legally married in New York State, and forced to live in separate countries for most of the year. Their lives and their happiness lies in the hands of nine people the Supreme Court that will decide whether or not the federal Defense of Marriage (GAH! I hate that name! My marriage does NOT need f**king defending from gay couples) is unconstitutional.
I do see signs of hope, of course. ABC Family‘s new show The Fosters highlights a happy marriage between two women that are raising a mix of kids. And yesterday I heard the brilliant song, “Same Love” on the mainstream pop station here in town. It’s clear the winds are changing when it comes to gay marriage, but damn, it’s rough in the meantime.
I’m praying that the Supreme Court comes down on the side of love. And family. And HOPE.
Sorry if this is a bit of a rant. I’m just fired up, folks.