My sister is not coming to our family thanksgiving this year. Because my wife and I will be there.
Our relationship has been tenuous at best since I came out to her 8 years ago. We were best friends in high school and apparently now our relationship consists solely of awkward meetings at family funerals.
I say this to highlight that we are not done yet. Marriage Equality is great, but it is not the end.
I am lucky to live in a municipality in the state of Missouri which has ordinances protecting my job and my place of residence. Others aren’t so lucky. Springfield, Mo for example overturned their gay rights ordinance last year. LAST YEAR the majority of voters in a city bigger than Columbia came out to say I don’t deserve to keep a job or have a place to live because I am queer.
Yesterday I was at Aldi, fuming because I simply cannot understand where my sister is coming from in segregating her family from mine, and a little boy came up to me and waved and said “Hi.” I of course said hi back, and the little boy ran over to his mom and said “SHE’S A GIRL!”
Little things like that hurt. And they happen regularly.
We all have work to do. Even if it is simply noticing your own biases and working past them; or calling out your relative who says bigoted things at Thanksgiving.
I know things are getting better. I see progress being made every day.
But I still have to be careful when I go to the bathroom on road trips, just in case someone misreads my gender.
I still have family members who cut me out of their lives because of their “love” for me.
This fight is not over.
Marriage Equality was not the end.
Let’s keep fighting.