For awhile now, people have been fed a huge lie; that a family is always a mother, a father, and their kids. That's it. It's a cookie-cutter model you see on shows like Leave it to Beaver, where everything is the way you would think it's "supposed" to be, or what is supposedly "normal."
But after awhile, people started to accept the idea that not everyone lives the life of people in picture frames. Not every kid still has contact with both their biological parents, and some adults are incapable of conceiving their own biological kids, but still want to raise or help kids, or simply end up with kids through circumstance. As a result families are often born from people in these situations as well.
Because of this, I think, eventually, people in general grew a big realization that families were not dependent on things like arbitrary gender roles, religious rules, or even blood relations. People began to accept the idea that a family is more strongly defined as a group of people who love and support each other and stick together through everything until the end. A family is, more realistically, unconditional love.
In early history, people didn't live in nuclear "leave it to beaver"-type families. They lived in large extended families with all of their relatives, all of them helping to raise the kids. Humans, as a social species, have a tendency to form groups and group bonds with others, and express it in different ways with different individuals. Human bonding and human sexuality has always been very complex and heavily ingrained into our social structure.
However, as LGBT people began to make themselves noticed and heard, I saw people regress to promoting the strict cookie-cutter model. I never understood how this could even happen. In a world with tons of nontraditional families, where you have grandparents raising kids, single parents raising kids, foster parents raising kids, and sometimes even older siblings raising their younger siblings, why does society decide to pick on the LGBT-headed families? Why so they suddenly tell everyone that a family can only be the standard cookie-cutter model when an LGBT-family is the topic of discussion?
Humans don't limit sexuality to only members of the opposite sex, because we use sexuality an adult bonding ritual, and we're capable of bonding with members of either sex, as group bonds further human survival. Humans are also complex and intelligent enough to know whether or not their personal internal identities don't match the bodies they were born with.
I understand that people have an aversion to things that seem a bit out of the ordinary, as that too is part of our instinct that kept primitive man alive. However we're now intelligent enough to be able to judge whether or not something is a danger to us on a rational basis, rather than a knee-jerk-fearful-reaction basis. And I, personally, cannot even begin to comprehend how two adults of the same sex or gender being involved romantically with each other or raising kids together is dangerous to anyone in any conceivable way, or how someone's personal gender identity is, either.
I completely fail to understand, for example, how this woman wanting to see her loved one before she died was a danger to anyone.
I also fail to see how giving LGBT people equality under the law as well as basic human dignity is a threat to anyone's rights or welfare. In fact the opposite is true.
Tonight, the night I write this, is the night Maine had something on the ballot that should have simply been guaranteed on the basis of equal treatment under the law in the first place. Like prop 8 before it, question 1 passed by a slim margin and banned gay marriage in the state.
After reading the above story about a lesbian forced to die alone and unable to even say goodbye to her kids, as well as watching as several LGBT people went to bed feeling like subhumans after tonight's election results, I was motivated to write all of this. I'm an outraged genderqueer bisexual and I'm not afraid to let everyone know it anymore. Neither should anyone else be.
I will NOT
ever stop being passionate about this. I will NEVER
stop pushing this and fighting this. We as a supposedly free and rational society should know better than this.
No one group, or one set of beliefs, should have a monopoly on the right to have a family. We should know by now that families are not
subject to arbitrary gender roles, religious rules, or even by blood. We should ALL
know by now that families are a group of people who love and support each other and stick together through everything, whether you are a single parent raising kids, a grandparent raising your kid's kids, or a foster parent raising adopted kids. I used to think that most people DID
know this. But why does it seem to suddenly change when gay people are involved? Why do arbitrary gender roles and blood suddenly matter more than love and dedication when you learn that someone is gay or transgendered?
Marriage is not owned by the religious right. Marriage means different things for different people and it's a deep and personal thing that has never had any single set of objective rules throughout history. Legally, marriage is a government contract, which LGBT people put their taxes into,
that says two consenting adults are now part of one family. Why should only opposite-sex couples be allowed to obtain this contract, but not same-sex couples? What is really the big deal to you? What is it to you if two men or two women form their own family?
LGBT people are not demanding any sacrifices from you. They aren't demanding that you be forced to approve of their sexuality or gender identity. They're not even asking anti-gay churches to preform gay wedding ceremonies. All they are asking is for basic human dignity, equal legal rights, and equal opportunities. We only want the right to be treated equally under the law as guaranteed by our constitution, the right to be respected enough to be allowed to lead our own personal lives as we see fit, and for you to acknowledge that we exist and are human beings with the same dreams and aspirations that you have.As long as LGBT people put taxes into marriage, then we will DEMAND equal access to it and equal coverage under it.
End of story.
To all other LGBT people out there: I beg you to not lose hope for the future, or be afraid. There is living proof that LGBT people can lead fulfilling lives and have families without compromising who they are.
Case in point, I'd like to direct your attention to the Leffew Family:Their website Their blog Their YouTube LGBT Declaration of Independence
Please check them out. They're good people, they have kids, they're gay...and they are just one family out of many others just like them. They ALL fight every day to protect their families. The Leffews make videos to show people that they aren't so different from anyone else. I ask that if you have time, to watch their videos and listen to the stories of their lives. It may even surprise some of you.
Be sure to take a look at this blog
too, and/or bookmark it. Not related to the Leffews, but still a good blog with a lot of good reading and issue coverage.
Support for equality is growing, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. Don't back down now. Don't be afraid to fight or speak up loudly and proudly for yourself or for your family. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for demanding the dignity you deserve as a human being. You are not alone, and there are other people like you out there, and people who will support you. No civil rights battle has ever been won by sitting on the sidelines.