June 26, 2013

The Haves and the Have Nots

With today's SCOTUS decision regarding DOMA, my Facebook and Twitter feeds (both full of the gay) went wild. And I'm happy for the decision - it's right, it's long overdue.

But I'm also a little sad. In a lot of ways, same sex marriage is about privilege. The privilege afforded to heterosexual couples in terms of benefits (health insurance, survivor benefits, social security) and in terms of tax law are now available to same sex couples. And as a result a whole lot of people will rest easier, because their health insurance, estate planning, custody and survivor rights will be recognized by the federal government. I recognized this back in 2006; I was on an internet radio show that also featured two of the CT Marriage plaintiffs, and one of the "selling points" was how much money they would stand to lose (or gain) were they legally married. It was a lot of money (> $200K) - and I realized that for many in the gay marriage, it was a fight for those with money, power and privilege to get more of the same.

But for those of us outside of the mainstream in terms of relationships, who have not or may not be able to assimilate and become the G/L equivalent of happy heterosexuals, a helluva of a lot of allies and fellow sufferers just got theirs and got out of Dodge. So for someone struggling to maintain health care, to put a little money for retirement without the benefit of a spouse with benefits, to just stay afloat - it's kind of a sad day.

And yeah, I guess I could find a relationship. But really, how many 50+ women find Mr. or Ms. Right? And as a lesbian transwoman, well, it's a pretty slim slice (queer women who might date a transwomen) of an already thin slice (lesbian women). Let's just say I'm not picking out a dress or a china pattern.

So, DOMA was declared unconstitutional. Happy for all my mated and wedded friends who will benefit. I'm still outside, looking in. Hope the cake is yummy. 

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