Today, anti-equal marriage protesters appeared on my doorstep. A married, middle-aged couple with grey hair, some leaflets and their petition. They told me they were from “the church”, but I’m not sure exactly what church. I think, judging on their leaflets and petition, they may not actually be carrying this out on behalf of a church. I immediately didn’t warm to their constant use of the word “dear”, but I thought I’d do what I usually do when religious people show up on my doorstep; let them tell me who they are and politely tell them I’m not interested. However, when they started explaining they were collecting signatures to “protect marriage from gay government” I was so shocked that I started laughing. Loudly. I then bluntly told them to piss off and closed the door. Far from polite and no help to my cause, but I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I went inside and phoned my boyfriend to laugh about it.
Afterwards though, I began to think. I had people show up at my house today to tell me they don’t think I deserve the right to be married. That there is something wrong with me based on my sexuality. I can’t watch television, read a paper or go online without seeing an attack like this. I see it and hear it in the street sometimes. These people just proved to me that not even in my own home am I safe from bigoted ideas of people with more power. My safe space isn’t free of people telling me that I am not okay.
So, in light of this, I’m going to urge any Scottish readers to respond to the Scottish government’s consultation on the draft of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) bill. If you don’t live in Scotland? Signal boosting is great. There is opposition and, while I don’t think they are particularly large, they are loud. The first draft has been far from perfect, and has not covered some of what was being campaigned for. We need to push for more, and make ourselves heard.
Equal marriage won’t stop homophobia or transphobia. It doesn’t mean LGBTPQ+ people would suddenly be free of discrimination. It does, however, mean that there is a chance to influence future generations and their attitudes towards these issues.
One thing I am always asked when I say I run blogs is why? Why would I pour effort into something that is unlikely to gain much, if any, attention?
The answer is simple: I want this information to be accessible somewhere. Perhaps it’s a little self-serving, but LGBTQ+ people are vastly under-represented in the media. We are forced to fit boxes, perceived to be a set of stereotypes and often only dragged out to be demonised or used as a sob story. The two weeks alone have proven that sanctioned transphobia is still a current thing, and that absolute rags are still allowed to publish hatred. Yet we’re told to be apathetic and “deal with it”.
Why should I sit back and stay silent about that? Why should I just accept this is the order of things and not complain? I’m not going to. I don’t recommend it to anybody else either. We all have voices; very few of us ever get to be heard.
So, I hope you enjoy my writing because this is something that means a lot to me.