Why Marriage Equality Makes a Difference to Me

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.

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