TODAY I want to shine light on the LGBTQI community and the on-going battle against oppression and prejudice. It wasn't until 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalized it in all fifty states, and required states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses.
However, let this sink in, IOWA BECAME THE FOURTH STATE TO LEGALIZE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE back in 2009.
Six years before the rest of the country.
I agree, just because the state legalized same-sex marriage does not mean its people fully agreed with the ruling. Back in 2014, my husband and I went to Des Moines, IA for our birthday weekend. I know, I know, why? Don't matter. Anyway, so it was a rainy weekend so we had to park and walk a few blocks to the bar. No big deal, It was just a little sprinkle. On our way back, I noticed a white truck driving slowly a few feet behind us. Someone yelled something and I heard a thump! My husband said someone had threw something, but he said it nonchalantly that I supposed it was random people that we just had passed. We crossed the street and the white truck is now on the oncoming lane, facing us, and as soon as they drive a couple feet past us, someone from inside the truck threw eggs at me (my back and head).
Now, this does not mean all people in Iowa are the same way as the people in the white truck (and I also don't even know if they targeted us because we are gay), I am just saying, why do people go out of their way to hurt/humiliate others? I guess there is really nothing else to do in Des Moines so they take it out on anyone downtown. Yet, as a member of the LGBTQI community and knowing harassment, the first thing that came to my mind was exactly that - targeted. It's like second nature.
I feel the same way about race and I am sure I am not the only one with this preconceived thought, but that's a topic we can cover in another post. Right now we are talking about the gays and everyone in between.
SIDENOTE | This post was originally to be released in July during PRIDE month, but with COVID and super busy at work, I barely had any mental strength to sit in front of a computer and type. I have been thinking of dictating, but I feel like it defeats the purpose to call this a blog if I am not typing it. We will see how this goes. I am doing everything I can to build a persona in social media, especially with writers.
To wrap up the Day of Silence post, I just want to put a reminder out there:
To those that've told me (and out there that still think) that homophobia (and racism) does no longer exist, let me tell you it does. It is your privilege that does not allow you to see it, but it's still alive - just ask our trans brothers and sisters of color. Do not bring your bible and your 'sexual predator' arguments. Just listen to their stories and SEE THEM.
Day of Silence mirror our brothers and sisters still afraid to come out and live their true selves freely. There is a reason why and it is valid. As a community and allies, we remain silent for a day to bring awareness to their struggle. "It is only one day, how are you making a difference?" you might say. Well, you do notice and that's the point. Imagine seeing your friends not speaking for one day in April. Now imagine millions not speaking for years! The least you can do is NOT MINIMIZE their existence.