As you all know, the Supreme Court decided a little under a week ago that all states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I was really moved by the decision, which was more inclusive than I expected it to be, and it's been so interesting watching people's responses to it. I learned about it when my partner woke me and said, "Hey! We can get married anywhere now. The Supreme Court legalized gay marriage." I'm butch enough to admit that this brought tears to my eyes.
Though there's plenty to say about the decision itself, what it does and doesn't do, and what this means for the future of LGBTQ people in America and beyond, today I just wanted to share a collection of responses I've gathered from LGBTQ Americans in response to the decision. Some are from social media, some from face-to-face conversations. But I thought the breadth of them might interest my beloved BW readers.
It was a joy, indescribable... To see years of activism, its fruition, and then to see many who have been dreaming, hoping, and thinking the day would never arrive within their lifetime, folks in their 60's, even 70's. That made those countless marching in the suffocating heat, sleepless nights planning , organizing... Someday, when I meet the right one, my soulmate, I can get on my knee, with the certainty that wherever I am, we can plan our wedding, our marriage... not just a bunch of legalities and notarized paperwork...
I'm happy about the decision, but now my mom and stepdad will be on me more than ever to get married and have kids like my siblings, and that is not the life I necessarily want! I love my partner and maybe will marry her eventually, but I am just a different kind of person and don't want the same life. The marriage decision doesn't prevent me from feeling less valid in their eyes.
This means everything to me, as my wife and I are expecting our first baby in December. We are in California (married 2 years ago yesterday). Her entire family is in Texas, so whenever we've visited Texas since we've been married, I've reminded myself "we're not actually married when we're here." Because of the Supreme Court decision, we can travel to Texas with our child and be recognized as a family just as we are in California, and our child will never live in a world where their moms' marriage only exists in some states.
I'm still getting all teary-eyed thinking about all this... I mean, I know we have a LONG way to go before we have achieved true equality across-the-board... but still, this is so much farther than I ever dreamed we would get when 30 yrs ago this-here spikey-haired dykey 19-yr-old gave a ring to my then-girlfriend, and wished like hell that such a thing as marrying her was even possible.
So there you have it, dear readers--a sampling of the breadth of the LGBTQ response to the ruling. Thanks to everyone who wrote to me with their thoughts. I hope that regardless of your take on it, you're getting a chance to bask in this victory a little, in whatever way is meaningful to you.
I've been thinking a little about what it means to "feel butch"--not in general, but for moi. What is it about feeling butch, exactly, that's different from self-confidence, or different from just feeling "masculine?" I suspect that this varies a lot from person to person, but for me, at the core of it, there's some kind of inner strength that comes from being a little different, from being a strong, confident woman with masculine qualities--and even more importantly, who is okay with those qualities, okay with being different, and maybe even a little proud of who she is.
Certain songs give me this feeling. Not necessarily because of the lyrics or the singer or even because I think the song is particularly fabulous. But I thought I'd share some of those songs here, and what I'd really like is if, after reading these, you could share the names of one or two of your own songs that make you feel butch--whatever that means to you.
Here are some of mine. I don't pretend to have sophisticated taste. :) I put links to these in case you don't know them and want to see if you like them.
So there you go. What are some of yours? And what other song lists would you like to see? Songs that make me cry? Best breakup songs? Best roadtrip songs with your girlfriend? Best pride songs?
BW Readers and Their Dogs!
Wow, dear readers--I can't thank you enough for the outpouring of love, good wishes, and virtual hugs you've sent me since my last post. I really am touched. I miss my dog terribly, and know I will for a long time, but it's heartening to see all the puppy love happening in the wide, wide world. Here are all the (nearly 100) photos readers sent in! (I think this is all of them, but if I somehow missed yours, let me know.) Enjoy the gallery!
SO cute, aren't they?? And the dogs aren't half bad, either. ;)
Seriously, all: thank you. It means a lot.
The Olympics and Principle 6
I love sports (almost) as much as the next dyke, but I have awfully mixed feelings about the Olympics this year. Russia's LGBT community is under constant, hateful, and often violent siege from its government. Gay "propaganda"--defined as anything depicting LGBTQ relationships in a positive or neutral light in a form accessible to minors--is illegal. This includes, as you can imagine, such "propaganda" as holding hands with your partner, wearing a T-shirt with a pink triangle on it, or even just being queer parents. Just a few weeks ago, the Russian government fined the editor of a newspaper who published an interview with a gay teacher. An interview, people. In a newspaper.
Gay people in Russia are regularly bullied, chased, beaten up, and subjected to all kinds of hateful acts. In a way, maybe it's good that the Olympics are being held in Russia this year, since it will draw attention to the human rights violations that go on in Russia every day. Principle 6 is the Olympic principle that forbids discrimination on the basis of politics, race, religion, gender, or otherwise--a principle decidedly not embraced in Russia.
The Principle 6 campaign is designed to raise awareness of the way LGBTQ people are treated in Russia and "and underscore that Russia's anti-LGBT discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic movement." I urge you to take the Principle 6 logo and make it your Facebook or Twitter image. I guarantee that people will ask you about it, which will give you more chances to spread the word.
And if you're a schwag-lover like me, you'll be happy to know that American Apparel has designed a very cool "Principle 6" clothing line, and it's money well-spent, since proceeds will support LGBTQ groups in Russia.
I hope you'll spread the word, and help LGBTQ folks in Russia imagine a better world.
As you know, I enjoy wearing queer themed t-shirts. And I'm not the only one! Two awesome BW fans in SF (who contributed to this entry, btw) have created this "JUDGE ME" T-shirt to help keep the DOMA and Prop 8 Marriage Equality debates centered on the LGBTQ community and our allies.
They're donating all proceeds to a combo of important charities: the Human Rights Campaign, SF's LGBTQ Community Center, and Lyric, a Queer youth empowerment program. (Check out the video.) There are only TWO DAYS left in their campaign and, with your help, I think we can push them over their goal. Whaddaya say?