As marriage equality becomes a reality as each day goes by, I would like to make a bold statement:
Marrige equality is not enough!
That is easy for me to say, as someone enjoying heterosexual privilege? I have been married to the person I love for over a decade and there was no traveling to a different state then our home state to have our marriage legal. So my saying marriage equality is not enough, could be taken as an ill advised statement from a heterosexual male who is blinded by his own heterosexual privilege.
My words are influenced by those who do not have the protection of heterosexual privilege, they are influenced by those who reminded daily that they are black and same gender loving.
On Saturday May 5th 2012, a group of us (majority were LGBT/SGL) from diverse backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities met to discuss the issues impacting the black LGBTA/SGL community of Kansas City. On this day, our first task was to identify the top five challenges (we came up with eight) that face the Black LGBT/SGL community of Kansas City.
- Church Based Homophobia/Heterosexism
- Apathy and Self Loathing
- Lack of spaces of support
- Lack of community involvement
No one spoke on marriage equality.
Is that to say that marriage equality is not important? No way. What it says, is that there are some issues that if not addressed now, will continue to destroy and kill our LGBT/SGL brothers and sisters. These issues will continue to destroy and kill; emotionally, physical, spiritually and mentally unless we go beyond the politics and glamorized rally of the day. I am not downplaying the importance of legalized marriage and marriage equality. What I am doing, is screaming at the top of my lungs (cyber space at least) that Marriage Equality is Not Enough!!
We must not forget that church based homophobia and heterosexism are destructive obstacles in the lives of black LGBT/SGL people.
We must not forget that racism is still a destructive obstacle in the lives of black LGBT/SGL people.
These two issues by themselves, fuel; HIV/AIDS, homelessness, apathy and self loathing, lack of spaces of support, Hypermasculinity and lack of community involvement. This is why unapollogetically I declare that “Marriage Equality is Not Enough!”
As we move closer to marriage equality, let us not abandon the thought of equality for all.
Continue the fight!!
Rev. Gerald Palmer,MSW
For more information on the impact of racism and religious based homophobia please see these: