Tuesday, June 09, 2009
L is for Legitimization
According to some conservatives, gays have all the rights they need. So the push for marriage equality or for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (which, sadly, is still in effect following a Supreme Court decision)is really just a ploy for the legitimization of our "lifestyle."
Well, duh. This point got me to thinking about how the vernacular of gay rights is ever-changing: we've gone from lovers to partners, gay community to LGBT community, unions to marriage. And now we want legitimization - not acceptance. To me, it makes perfect sense. See, you can accept that there is evil in the world but you don't have to condone it. And in spite of what you've heard about me, I'm not evil, so acceptance means nothing to me and countless gays and lesbians. I want the same rights my straight friends have, period. And until that happens, I am not a legitimate U.S. citizen.
That's the realization that the gay community is coming to. Forty years after the Stonewall riots we're no longer fighting for the right to live as outsiders in our country (as in, "fine, we're different but please let us keep our jobs"). Now we want the legitimization of our place in American society. If you want to be crude about it, yes, we want the red carpet of citizenship rolled out for us. The Mormons did it (and they got a whole state in the end!), the black community did it, and now the gays are doing it.
Let's all rally behind the new L word.