Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gay Marriage is so.....uh...'Gay.'

Somehow folks don't realize that the Trans* Community is deeply affected by the Prop 8 Decision. In Missouri, a Trans person in a marriage is seen as same-sex unless some form of irrevocable transition surgery is performed, and many cannot afford it, do not want it or have unrelated medical conditions that prevent doing it. Somehow folks do not or will not recognize that this is our fight too!

I am quite miffed that the marriage issue as related to the transsexual, transgender, et al community has been totally overlooked, yet we are dealt with the same hate unless we are lucky enough to get our gender markers changed. With the Trans Community representative of the lower end of the socioeconomic totem pole of the Community, most cannot afford the surgey required to get gender marker changes. One tends to forget that unless gender markers are changed, we cannot get married...and if one does get their gender marker changed but is lesbian or cannot get married. Imagine that!

Far too often when I see Facebook postings, blogs and websites, the words are 'gay marriage' or 'lesbian and gay.' Yes, some have the words 'same-sex' but the conversation always seems to revert back to 'lesbian and gay,' meaning those of the cisgender brand. Typically, though, the majority refers to it as gay marriage.

This past year, stretching back to October of 2009, I worked with Pride St Louis to make certain that St Louis PrideFest 2010 was seen truly the inclusive event as it is, our efforts were not in vain as we saw the largest turnout of the Transsexual, GenderQueer, CD, and Intersex Community that PrideFest has ever seen. I managed to reach out to 10 of that Trans* Community to support the Prop 8 / NOM Rally, but there would have been more if the Trans aspect of Marriage Inequality had been better promoted. Clearly, we need to keep that feeling of inclusiveness strong and not simply with words now and then.

I am a persistent advocate of 'Unity in the Community' but when events include the Trans* only as an after thought in it's promotion why should I waste my efforts? I know that some may say that it's my job to promote Trans* inclusion, but why so, if they use the word "Equality" with a "silent T." Me? I have been working for the Trans* Community, but haven't forgotten the "LGB's." When the issue is across the board, the work is inclusive of them. My staff assistant is a gay man and at PrideFest, I had volunteers that were male, female, genderqueer across the diversity spectrum of Transsexual, CD, Intersex, Cisgender Gay and Lesbian, Trans Gay and Lesbian, Trans Bi, Cisgender Bisexual, and oh yeah, male and female hetero allies. Something to be said about inclusion, eh? Well, if you project it, you get it.

And no, this "T" isn't silent, and she is not going away, anytime soon.