FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Why are LGBTQ Rights Even a Debate?

As a newly out lesbian, I couldn’t help but watch the recent Supreme Court hearings on employment rights for LGBTQ people, and a recent Democratic presidential candidate town hall on LTBTQ issues, and think: “I’m sorry, what?”

How are my rights and my humanity a debate? And why is a personal, private matter that affects nobody except for the women I date a controversial issue?

I’m not new to LGBTQ rights advocacy, but in the past, I truly thought I was straight. I’d date men, looking for Mr. Right, like “No, not that one… not that one… he’s nice, and good looking, I just don’t know why I’m not feeling it with him.”

I fought for LGBTQ rights but I didn’t question the need to fight for them. The “debate” over these rights felt like a fact of life every bit as much as what goes up comes down.

My personal life as a straight person wasn’t a controversial issue, but it was up to me as a good ally to fight for the rights of oppressed others.

Once I came out — well after Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had already ended and marriage equality was the law of the land — I felt guilty that I’d bypassed so much of the injustice other LGBTQ people suffered by remaining closeted until it was over.

Then I realized that I didn’t skip it. I just experienced it in a different way.

Growing up, being straight was presented as the only option, so I assumed I was. When I learned about homosexuality, it was highly sexualized and stigmatized.

I was a kid then. My feelings for other girls didn’t feel romantic. They were more along the lines of “I feel so amazing when I’m with Jessica” and “Amy is the best girl ever! I wish she’d talk to me.”

In junior high, I wondered if I was gay because I didn’t like boys — but I thought I also didn’t like girls. I assumed that gay feelings would be more, well, sexual.

I also thought gay feelings would feel more… weird. Everything I felt seemed normal and natural. I just assumed every girl felt for their girl friends what I did for mine.

Thus commenced two decades of unsuccessfully dating men and going into adulthood alone — without love, without the ability to start a family — because I was shopping in the wrong aisle for a romantic partner.

My gay feelings were so buried it took a while to even find them. Once I did, it was like, “Wait what? That’s what people have a problem with? Why?”

The feelings are ones of love, plain and simple. The joy of being with another human, of getting closer to her, of caring about her, of wanting to share my life with her.

Where, exactly, is the controversy in that?

I live in Wisconsin now, and I was here in 2004, when the majority of this state voted to constitutionally ban my right to marry. Before moving back here, I lived in California — where in 2008, the voters of that state overturned marriage equality too.

Why are anyone’s love life, family, and identity a referendum? Why are they a debate? Why must we plead our case to not get fired for who we love in front of the Supreme Court?

I wish we did not even have to dignify our opponents with a response that legitimized the debate, but, sadly, we do. If we don’t, we will be denied those rights. And there’s nothing normal about that at all.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
November 18, 2019
Olivia Arigho-Stiles
Protestors Massacred in Post-Coup Bolivia
Ashley Smith
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Macho Camacho: Jeffery R. Webber and Forrest Hylton on the Coup in Bolivia
Robert Fisk
Michael Lynk’s UN Report on Israeli Settlements Speaks the Truth, But the World Refuses to Listen
Ron Jacobs
Stefanik Stands By Her Man and Roger Stone Gets Convicted on All Counts: Impeachment Day Two
John Feffer
The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Shock Therapy and the Rise of Trump
Stephen Cooper
Another Death Penalty Horror: Stark Disparities in Media and Activist Attention
Bill Hatch
A New Silence
Gary Macfarlane
The Future of Wilderness Under Trump: Recreation or Wreckreation?
Laura Flanders
#SayHerName, Impeachment, and a Hawk
Ralph Nader
The Most Impeachable President vs. The Most Hesitant Congress. What Are The Democrats Waiting For?
Robert Koehler
Celebrating Peace: A Work in Progress
Walter Clemens
American Oblivion
Weekend Edition
November 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ukraine in the Membrane
Jonathan Steele
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors
Kathleen Wallace
A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia
Andrew Levine
Get Trump First, But Then…
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton
Ipek S. Burnett
The United States Needs Citizens Like You, Dreamer
Michael Welton
Fundamentalism as Speechlessness
David Rosen
A Century of Prohibition
Nino Pagliccia
Morales: Bolivia Suffers an Assault on the Power of the People
Dave Lindorff
When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia, Look For a US Role
John Grant
Drones, Guns and Abject Heroes in America
Clark T. Scott
Bolivia and the Loud Silence
Manuel García, Jr.
The Truthiest Reality of Global Warming
Ramzy Baroud
A Lesson for the Palestinian Leadership: Real Reasons behind Israel’s Arrest and Release of Labadi, Mi’ri
Charles McKelvey
The USA “Defends” Its Blockade, and Cuba Responds
Louis Proyect
Noel Ignatiev: Remembering a Comrade and a Friend
John W. Whitehead
Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded
Patrick Bond
As Brazil’s ex-President Lula is Set Free and BRICS Leaders Summit, What Lessons From the Workers Party for Fighting Global Neoliberalism?
Alexandra Early
Labor Opponents of Single Payer Don’t  Speak For Low Wage Union Members
Pete Dolack
Resisting Misleading Narratives About Pacifica Radio
Edward Hunt
It’s Still Not Too Late for Rojava
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Why Aren’t Americans Rising up Like the People of Chile and Lebanon?
Nicolas Lalaguna
Voting on the Future of Life on Earth
Jill Richardson
The EPA’s War on Science Continues
Lawrence Davidson
The Problem of Localized Ethics
Richard Hardigan
Europe’s Shameful Treatment of Refugees: Fire in Greek Camp Highlights Appalling Conditions
Judith Deutsch
Permanent War: the Drive to Emasculate
David Swanson
Why War Deaths Increase After Wars
Raouf Halaby
94 Well-Lived Years and the $27 Traffic Fine
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Coups-for-Green-Energy Added to Wars-For-Oil
Andrea Flynn
What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Health Care
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail