Hey, Preacher! Leave Those Kids Alone

Marriage Equality U.S.A has a report out that says, in the wee voice of a child, “Prop. 8 Hurt My Family, Ask Me How” that will probably get your blood boiling. We get mad about having our rights away, but we forget how hard this must be for gay parents and their kids. But with stories about how “My six-year old, the day after we lost Prop 8, asked me, with tears running down his face, if we were still a family”, the report brings home [literally], the sort of real-life damage Prop. 8 is doing, covering the individual stories of over 1,200 people.

According to the report, (which you can download here) Prop. 8’s social effects are:

“LGBTI people experience increased verbal abuse, homophobia, physical harm and other discrimination associated
with or resulting from the Prop 8 campaign;

Children of same-sex couples express fear due to direct exposure to homophobia and hate and concerns that the passage of Prop 8 means they could be taken from their families and targeted for further violence;

LGBTI youth and their supporters experience increased bullying at schools as Prop 8’s passage fosters a
supportive environment for homophobic acts of physical and emotional violence;

Straight allies experience the impact of homophobia firsthand and express shock and fear for their LGBTI family members and friends and the danger they may experience if they were perceived as gay or an ally;

Families are torn apart as relatives divide on Prop 8; and

Communities are destroyed from the aftermath of abusive behavior towards them during local street
demonstrations, neighborhood divisions, and the impact of “knowing your neighbor” voted against your family.”

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23 Comments

  • chapeau

    Ok. Enough with Tacking more Initials on LGBT … WTF is “I”?

  • Lauren

    “I” stands for intersex.

    Just because you aren’t aware of a population, doesn’t mean they cant/shouldn’t be included under the Queer/LGBT umbrella.

  • Dayne

    @ Chapeau:

    Be happy they didn’t post the whole thing. It’s actually LGBTSIQQA. Stands for (the obvious) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Straight, and [the less obvious] Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Asexual.

    ….and there will probably be more letters added as time goes on, as people learn that there is no set form of gender or sexuality.

  • Tim in SF

    @chapeau: Why are Ts in the list for Prop8? A lot Ts are straight and, last I checked, straights can marry whomever they wish.

    I’m all for inclusion of Ts in gay rights struggles when they are getting discriminated against (and, really, they have it a lot tougher than me, a gay white dude), but adding the T on here seems as if it is done out of force of habit.

    I favor dropping ALL the letters and just saying same-sex marriage, because that really is more descriptive and it doesn’t presume orientation of any type or stripe.

    (let the flames begin…)

  • Mark

    I’ll tell you what makes my blood boil. It’s the use of children for political purposes.

  • Lauren

    I would really love to know when our communities are going to stop fighting over symantics and realize – we are all in this together. LGBTQQIAAS – everybody.

    The word transgender represents an entire umbrella of gender-diverse people and experiences. Not every single trans person can or wants to legally change their sex. Its very expensive, difficult, time consuming and sometimes just not what a person wants. Therefore lots of “same-sex” relationships involve transgender people – and their are LOTS of gay/lesbian trans people out there too.

    I dont think trans and intersex were thrown on out of habit – I think they’re included because this marriage fight involves all of us and our discrimination is interlinked.

    I like what Tim said about ” just saying same-sex marriage, because that really is more descriptive and it doesn’t presume orientation of any type or stripe” but I disagree with the idea that transpeople aren’t as involved in the marriage fighr as gender”normative” LGB people.

    I’m a gender”normative” bisexual woman, though I personally prefer to describe myself as pansexual as pansexual rejects the idea of the gender binary – but I know first hand that Trans people make up same-sex families and therefore marriages and shouldn’t be left out when we talk about the same-sex marriage fight.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    “What about me?” Gaydolf Hit-on-Her

    Seriously, I thought the I was for “Incoming wounded”

    I’m just mad that they did not include Two Spirit or Bovine Quadrapeds so guess we should focus on Same-sex marriage as fighting for straight-identified people in this group seems counter-productive when they already have that legal right to marry someone of the opposite sex.

    BTW – Why should Christians be the only ones to “pimp their children”

  • Tim in SF

    @Lauren: I’m not necessarily disagreeing with anything you wrote. However:

    1. Semantics are important, especially in a fight over a word.

    2. “The word transgender represents an entire umbrella of gender-diverse people and experiences.” Although this is true, the fight for Trans rights it’s not the fight I am interested in today. I am interested in the same-sex marriage battle. I feel sometimes as if the T is added out of force of habit. Other times it seems as if it’s shoehorned into the discussion (sometimes appropriate, but often not). And as often as not, it reminds me of the “Free Mumia” demonstrators that show up at every protest for a progressive cause – no one would say that the Free Mumia people don’t have every right to be there, or that their cause is not just, but I can say with complete certainty that the Free Mumia people dilute the meaning and effectiveness of an action when they show up.

  • Mike

    Semantics aside, folks, my husband (until California decides to divorce us, I guess) and I now find all of these findings to be challenges to be met with every single day. Family, whom we loved, no longer speak with us because we wanted to intrude on their religious freedom (I wish they would speak to us for just 5 minutes so that I could tell them exactly what I think of this, but in the mean time, I’ll just say “whew!”); our neighborhood, which was once close, is no longer friendly; where folks used to stop to tell us to tell us they loved the garden in our front yard, now trash is thrown there; our nieces and nephews are harrassed at school for having gay uncles.

    We’d leave, but we both have obligations here, along with elderly parents who rely upon our support. If not for that, I’d be a new Bostonian.

    I’m a native Californian, and it is just amazing that this is happening here, I just can’t believe it. I fight all day long for our rights with every single person who brings it up to me–clients ask, “do you have to have marriage?,” — and I have to keep up a facade that suggests that I’m confident, unphased and strong, but it sure does hurt deeply.

    Worse yet, in the face of all the families being tossed out on the streets, all the people who are hungry and lining up at shelters and soup kitchens, one needs to be mindful to argue their case, while not losing sight of human suffering on an entirely different plain, and one needs to keep one’s heart open, knowing that many of those suffering would take your rights away.

    It’s really hard, it is. Just in case anyone wishes to be caddy or judgemental with my posting, I just ask that you be mindful that I live in one of the conservative enclaves of California, and we are doing the best we can. Hey, I’ve got to vent somewhere!

  • Brian

    I completely relate to Mike’s post. I was raised a good Fundamentalist boy and was in a “traditional” marriage for 12 disastrous years. The good news is I have three wonderful children, and my husband is a fantastic father whom the kids call “Daddy.”

    The election tore our heavily-Mormon community apart, and people we thought were friends or good neighbors betrayed us. And the morning after the election, my 8-year-old daughter looked up at me, tears in her eyes, and said, “Does this mean Daddy has to move away?”

    Of course, the only people who are moved by stories like mine, or others that are being told about the devastation Prop 8 has wreaked on families, are those who are pro-equality in the first place. The Yes on 8 folks couldn’t give a shit, and their campaign was not about “tradition” or “family” or “children” — it was about bigotry and hatred. And that hurts everyone.

  • Lauren

    I meant semantics (and thank you for correcting the spelling, I knew it looked off) as in who does and does not Count as being a member of our community.

    Gender”normative” people may not feel like transrights are apart of their human rights, but I disagree. After all, are white people not obligated to help see to it that people of color recieve their full human rights? Should straight people not care about whether or not same-sex couples can marry? I dont believe that any of us will achieve our full equality – for anything, marriage rights, adoption, hate crimes, employment, dont ask dont tell, immigration – until ALL of us achieve our rights.

    I’m not saying that you necessarily have to be a transactivist if you are LGB but to suggest that our battles for equality, humanity and freedom are not the same battle is…limited, in my opinion.

    I want trans people to help me achieve my full rights to marry whomever I want. We are a community and Trans people have been apart of our struggle since the beginning – despite our repeated and often cruel attempts to keep them out. Trans people stood along side gay people at Stonewall. Also, simply declaring yourself transgender and therefore in a “heterosexual” coupling – doesn’t mean our government recognizes it as heterosexual and will allow you to marry. Changing your state and federal documentation to represent a sex other than the one assigned at your birth is costly and difficult. Not every trans person wants or can afford surgeries that can cost upwards of $90,000.00.

    I know that lots of gay and lesbian people seem to only care about the marriage battle – and the marriage battle certainly is a battle close to my heart – but it can not be our only focus. Marriage Equality is not the “fix-all” for gay and lesbian people.

    The people who hate us can barely distinguish between gay and trans. If a butch lesbian is the victim of a hate crime, was she targeted for being a lesbian, or was she targeted because her expression of gender fell outside someone elses gender box?

    I live in NY and we are going to have our own marriage battles over the next few years. If you live in NY as well – we are going to need Everyone. I want more than marriage equality in NY. I want the Dignity for All Students Act. I want the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. I want the Healthy Teens Act. I want the organizations that provide services to our communities not to have their funding slashed. We need Everyone.

  • Tim in SF

    @Lauren: Lauren, I think you’re either not reading my response or you’re misunderstanding. I’ll try to make it shorter.

    The fight for Same Sex Marriage has some overlap with transgender civil-rights issues, both in groups effected and in rhetorical argument. It also has some overlap for gay accountants, lesbian opera singers and bisexual parking attendants. There’s not room on my Same Sex Marriage protest sign for all the different groups effected by the issue. So I just talk about the issue in as plain and simple terminology as possible. That’s usually the most effective way to explain something. This issue is effecting same sex couples who want to marry, no matter their color, religion, career, or gender.

    No one is talking about ditching trans rights. I respect what you are saying but when you keep bringing it up, its a little grating because it assumes I don’t understand. I do understand what you are saying. I’m just disagreeing that Transgender Civil Rights must be discussed every time we discuss the Same Sex Marriage issue, which I believe is a separate issue, effecting different people (though there is some overlap).

  • Tim in SF

    @Mike: Nice post Mike. My heart goes out to you.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    @Brian:

    What can we say?

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    @Mark:

    The world isn’t black and white.

    “Our children are our future and stories like this one from a parent in Kern County provide us hope and inspiration. “My 6-year old daughter was very active in this election, and I am VERY proud to say she stood up to her OWN grandma and told her „mean people vote Yes on 8.‟ My daughter was very upset when she was told she could not vote. I received so much criticism for having my daughter involved, but that was completely her choice. If a six year old child will stand up to the people she loves, and teach her friends about equality, then I can do the same.””

    From the above report. Just click on the link an read…

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    @Brian:

    Sorry that seem abrupt. I just meant, fuck, there no words for what you have to go through..

  • Mark

    @Mark:
    Sorry, but no blindsighted-bigot has the capacity to form a valid opinion on any politcal issue involving human beings.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @Mike:

    Mike, your story is heartbreaking. It brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. I am just so appalled and overwhelmed by all of this. It is like a nightmare from which there is no awakening.

    It just goes on and on and on without end. And, no one is stopping them. And, it WILL continue to get worse if these people are not stopped…and soon. This is exactly what was happening to the Jews in pre-Nazi Germany. Then Hitler came along, picked up the torch and ran with it. The rest, as they say, is history.

    I have no words left to adequately describe people whose only seeming purpose in life is to divide, hurt and wreak havoc on people’s lives. If they continue on this path of destruction, I fear that they may very well bring down a calamity on their heads. And it will be well-deserved.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @Mike:

    Btw, I forgot to mention that my supposed gay friends here in Tampa no longer speak to me either because I support civil-rights and am outspoken about it.

    Two years ago, I and a friend were literally thrown out of a Christmas Eve buffet at a gay friends house…simply for bringing up the subject of same-sex marriage being approved in Massachusetts. I was later told by another person in attendance, that it was neither the time nor the place!!!

    This Christmas, I received a hate letter from a friend of some 10 years standing who literally told me to fuck off…simply for forwarding some HRC and Equality California email to him.

    He could have hit the delete button or placed a filter on his email, but since he chose not to, he apparently is on a mission of his own.

    I am considering selling my home here in redneck Florida and moving back to New York City where there are some educated, civil and sane people to live amongst.

    Being rejected by my own people is more painful than I can bear.

  • Zoe Brain

    Why are Ts in the list for Prop8? A lot Ts are straight and, last I checked, straights can marry whomever they wish.
    …. Unless they’re TS. Then YMMV.

    Some states don’t change birth certificates, so only Gay TS people there can marry. And some states change birth certificates, but don’t recognise even their own documentation for marriage, so neither gay nor straight TS people can marry there. Same with Intersexed people.

    Worse, any marriage involving a TS person may be retroactively invalidated, just by the insurance company (or whoever) choosing the right venue.

    “Christie Lee can go to Houston, Texas and legally marry a man, but if she moves back to San Antonio, Texas, her legal marriage in Houston is now illegal. She could legally marry another woman in San Antonio though, and it would be a same-gender marriage because the State of Texas administratively recognizes her current gender as female. Harris County only accepts current gender for marriage licenses, and Bexar County only accepts original birth certificate gender for marriage licenses, not current gender.”

    This is a series of losing battles TS people have been fighting for decades, with zero recognition, zero publicity, and almost zero help from the GLB(t) mainstream. I’m not surprised that you’re not aware of it, nor Kantaras vs Kataras, nor in re Estate of Gardiner.

    Perhaps because many GLB TS people have taken advantage of the law in the most antedeluvian states, and gotten same-sex marriages there – which gives the Fundies fits. This could have been leveraged in the same-sex marriage debate, had not too many GLB(t) people seen TS people as “icky”.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    @Charles J. Mueller:

    Your story is so disturbing but thats humans for you..

  • The Chexican

    LGBTQQIAAS… I humorously just refer to them as the Gay-B-C’s.

    A nice read, though. Stories like that 6 year old should knock a few conservative asshats off their “moral” highhorse…

Comments are closed.