Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recommended Reading

This has already been said so many times in so many ways for years, but I think this article, shared with my by a dear trans friend, really does a good job explaining the privilege gap in the LGBTQAIP+ community and why so many of them were actually depressed by the legalization of same-sex marriage across the US and the resulting celebration.

[TRIGGER WARNING FOR LINK: STATISTICS ON ABUSE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE]

The Queers Left Behind: How LGBT Assimilation Is Hurting Our Community's Most Vulnerable

After all, although marriage is a declaration of love, in many ways it is also an expression of interpersonal stability, economic security and social respectability -- attributes that many marginalized LGBT people do not have. So while love may have won for middle and upper class gays, many transgender people, queer people of color and queer homeless youths instead find themselves left behind by a community that has become increasingly defined by the interests of its white, cisgender, middle and upper class members.

In the US especially, weddings are a huge and very expensive affair. People expect weddings to involve many guests, pricey venues, extravagant clothing, high class food, professional photographers, and on and on and on and on. Thanks, capitalism.

Many young couples across the country are delaying marriage for this reason. For homeless youth, it must seem utterly out of the question. They might not be able to even afford the fees for a courtroom wedding. And really, getting married is probably one of the last things on their mind with all the awful shit they have to deal with.

And yet, as middle and upper class gays poured time and money into the fight for gay marriage, these and other less marketable LGBT issues were largely forgotten. The number of queer youths on the streets rose. Violence against transgender people increased. And the gap between the 'mainstream' queer community and its fringes grew. As one gay, black and homeless youth on Pier 45 told me, "It's like once they had marriage equality it's like, 'Nah, we don't feel your pain any more, sorry.'"

The article's quite long but the entire thing is so important. Please go read it all, fellow cishets.

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