I must have been in my mid-teen years when I realized that I was a second class citizen. Because of my orientation, I grew up believing that I'd never be able to get married, that I would lose all my friends and family, and that what awaited me was a lifetime of ridicule, ostracization, and discrimination. No matter how hard I looked, there were no positive gay role models to be found. Is it any wonder that LGBT teen suicide is so pervasive?
The same week I was anticipating a major victory in the fight for LGBT equality a teen, not so different from how I used to be, chose to take her own life.
"When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn't make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don't tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don't ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won't do anything but make them hate them self. That's exactly what it did to me."Even after her death, her parents still aren't getting it.
— Leelah Alcorn, 2014
"But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy."Wrong morons, you had a beautiful daughter.
"Fix society. Please." That's what this fight is about.
Even within the LGBT community there are people who still don't understand. There are people who think homosexual rights are one thing and transgendered rights are another. Bullshit. There is no such thing as gay rights or trans rights or women's rights; it's all one thing – human rights.
And if people within the LGBT community are still so clueless, what should we expect from schmucks like this?
After judges in Florida lifted the state’s ban on same-sex marriage this week, thousands of employees in Miami’s Catholic Archdiocese got a memo from their boss, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, that read as a warning: watch what you do or say, even after work or on social media, or you might lose your job.
Wenski’s note, after a brief reference to court decisions that he said “imposed the redefinition of marriage,” merely quoted from the employee handbook as a reminder to Church workers of longstanding policy: Every archdiocese employee, Catholic or non-Catholic, from ministerial leader to school teacher and custodian, is considered a Church representative and is expected to abide by Catholic teaching, and any conduct “inconsistent” with that can draw disciplinary action, up to termination.
Attached was a longer, carefully drafted statement from the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops reiterating its opposition to same-sex marriage, which it called “disruptive” and a threat to religious liberty.If you follow the logic of Archbishop Wenski, molesting children will get you transferred but supporting equality will get you fired.
Obviously, we're going to be facing this discrimination for the rest of our lives. But the parts that are written into the law, the parts that are institutionalized are quickly fading into history.
On Friday, the Supreme Court reviewed same-sex marriage cases that they might consider in this term and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals seems poised to strike down same-sex marriage bans in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The 11th Circuit signaled which way they'll be heading so I can't imagine that Alabama and Georgia are very far behind Florida.
By the time this gets to the Supreme Court, I predict that there will be somewhere between 7 and 4 states in the country left without marriage equality for gays and lesbians.
Last Tuesday, at one of our state's many marriage equality events, my husband and I got up to speak and we talked about our struggle and what this victory means to us. My heart was warmed by the fact that so many young people were moved by our tale. Many wanted to shake our hands and pose for pictures with us. Tears formed in my eyes when I realized why – my husband and I were now the role models for them that my generation never had.
The YouTube video bellow is the full-length documentary "The Day It Snowed In Miami," and it's a wonderful look at Miami's history in the LGBT rights movement. Highly recommended!