When the question to amend the Minnesota Constitution to limit marriage to one man and one woman appears on the ballot in November, there are a number of sound logical arguments why Minnesotans should vote no. We could talk about why a constitution should ever be amended and whether this question qualifies. We could talk about the support for marriage equality from large corporations who want to access a highly-educated work force as well as reap gay dollars. But as Farhad Manjoo of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society says –
…sometimes getting more information about a controversy doesn’t produce a better foothold on the facts—sometimes, strangely, more information actually pushes us deeper into the cocoon of our long-held views.
So I’m not going to make those arguments unless somebody asks. Instead I want to tell you what difference marriage equality makes to me, a transwoman.
I’m not crazy to ever get married again. I now realize that a big reason why I ever got married (more than once) was all about convincing myself and then others how masculine I really was and ignoring my personal truth about my real identity. A lot of people got hurt in the process.
Unlike most people, I’ve performed numerous marriages as a pastor. I learned from counseling sessions and wedding preparations that more people than not viewed what we were doing as a cultural right with little attention to the religious significance. I performed weddings that, looking back, I should not have. I did the service out of lack of courage in the face of church and/or community pressure and I know the marriage failed.
I’m a real person many of you know personally who is as apt to be attracted to a man as a woman. (Sexual orientation has no correlation with being a transsexual and I may understand it differently than you. But in my life it is as real as your orientation is to you). If I ever fall in love again, if lightning should strike and I find another to grow old with, I want to be able to do it. I want to have the same rights and status as other people, no matter who it is. I want that person to be there to hold my hand as I pass into whatever waits beyond. In short, like every other human being, I need to be loved. It’s…personal.
So when you fill out that ballot, whether it’s marriage equality, gender non-discrimination or public access for trans people, think of me. I’m a real person and I count.