Because of a little piece of paper

You probably didn’t notice, as I believe most of my readers don’t fall into the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) family blogging circles, that yesterday LGBT families and allies around the world blogged about their families.  Some of them blogged personal stories of struggle in creating a family or protecting their families, some blogged about love and what it means to be a family (hint, just the same as being any other family only with a little more legal struggles), some were activists, many were mothers and fathers talking about the children who became the center of their world.

This year, although late, (again, blame the Russian classes), I want to talk about privilege.  As my readers know, a little over a year ago I accepted a new job in international work.  I also married a man.  We are finally reaching that point in my job, where the Russian classes are dying down and my departure to Kazakhstan feels imminent.  This is exciting! Really! It is!

And yet, at the same time, it is sad.  So often I feel this unearned privilege of having married a man thrown in my face.  What if S had been a woman? My life partner very easily could have been a woman.  And what protections would she have been given?  The unfairness of it all burns.  And, you think I exaggerate, but writing this, my eyes are welling with tears.

S got two months of Russian classes—if we had the same genitalia, he wouldn’t have.  My office is working on getting him a visa—I don’t know how this would have worked without that little pesky marriage license.  They are buying him a plane ticket.  He has preference for other jobs in the agency.  He can take classes on security, getting a job overseas, using the internet to maintain work or continue to study.  So… much… all because we have opposite body parts.

But… the love we share is no different than that I would feel if I had ended up with a woman. And that is my point.  If the love is the same. And the family is the same. And the fears are the same.  Why aren’t the protections the same?

Please take a moment, even if this isn’t your fight, and read some of the posts.  Educate yourself. (I know I learned a lot by reading the pieces) Maybe it should be your struggle too.

9 thoughts on “Because of a little piece of paper

  1. You brought tears to my eyes as well. And I have to admit, it’s a privilege that I definitely take for granted. Thanks for making me stop to appreciate it.

    1. I wish more people would think about it or even see it. Then the marriage debate would be so easy to solve. And, maybe I would feel a bit less guilty.

  2. Man or woman is irrelevant here- it’s a matter of genitalia alone. Straight couples, people who would be husband and wife, are denied all of that just because the genitalia doesn’t match up like society wants to say it should.

    1. Hello Chartreuse. You are write. I was using Male or Female to clarify the physiological features that society sees as “appropriate” (read: marry able) partners rather than the all the social and personal issues surrounding gender identification.

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