If you’re living in America right now, one of two things is happening to your Facebook feed: It’s either blowing up with all kinds of red equal signs (can I get a what what for the HRC?) or you’ve got lengthy theological posts on why gays are, you know, OK, but they shouldn’t marry.
If you’re like me, you belong to the first group, and you wonder if you’re really just that gay or if your friends are really just that awesome. I don’t know what happens to the other group, but I’m sure some kinds of gay thoughts (not the good ones, just the ones about the oral arguments that the Supreme Court of the United States heard yesterday and today) go through your mind.
But for LGBTs and their allies (hopefully you?), it’s important to call out shit when you see it. Like for real, just call it out. I got so lulled by the overwhelming support for marriage equality cascading down my newsfeed that I almost missed a good friend post this USA Today article by San Francisco Archbishop Cordileone with some weak disclaimer about how it doesn’t make him a bigot. My own disclaimer: if that friend is reading this, I don’t think you’re a bigot, but here’s what I do think (Also, real quick, in a large majority of cases— not this one— if you have to say that what you’re posting doesn’t make you a bigot, chances are… it kinda does?):
We as a community, and our supporters, owe it to ourselves to call out this kind of anti-gay shit. And yes, this is anti-gay. The idea that I am less or inadequate or cannot have or be something because of who I am is an aggressive idea against me. That’s what not allowing same-sex marriage boils down to: discrimination, no matter what your reasoning.
So here are the reasons you should call out that shit on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr- wherever you see it.
1. Stand Up for Yourself
Be proud. Don’t let people passively trample you in the name of whatever god so sovereignly protects the sanctity of an unchanging (O RLY?) “definition” of marriage.
2. Don’t Agree to Disagree
Please, please, please don’t let conversations with your friends, especially online, slide. I think we have this tendency to think that anything we post online is absolute truth and that our friends will take it the same way (This blog post is Example A). But in matters of civil rights, we can’t afford to let conversations like this just die off- we can’t let people who would actively oppress us think that we’re OK with it, and that’s the message we send when we don’t stand up and say anything.
3. They Need to See Your Pain
I have this idea that people are most directly moved by those closest to them. So long as the “gay community” is faceless and voiceless, ideas won’t change, nor will laws. Your friends and family need to know that their objections to same-sex marriage directly affect YOU. They need to know the pain it causes you and they need to know that what you tell them in support of same-sex marriage is not just a political belief, but it comes from your identity.
4. Give a Voice to Those Who Don’t Have One
If you’re able to do the above, it’s very likely that you’re out to your family and friends. And you’re lucky. I’m lucky. Because there are many LGBT people who can’t come out. They actually risk their lives if they do. And they deserve a voice, your voice and my voice, until they’re in a place to speak up themselves.