I had a conversation with an archaeologist at my company who identifies as a lesbian. She’s a 35 year old latina divorcée (her ex was a woman). They got married, presumably right after it became legal circa 2008. But anyway, the conversation we had had to do with what rights queer people lack in comparison to our straight counterparts. It became clear to me that even though she is only 11 years my senior, her place in the [queer] community and her views and opinions of certain issues were very…not modern? She seemed to prioritize tolerance and being treated as an equal, whereas I feel there are a multitude of queer-specific issues of great(er) importance (mental health, homelessness, and racial injustices to name a few). She also seemed to put a great deal of value on our ability to marry, and get all those tax benefits and what have you…legal shit. I didn’t use to think this, but fortunately I’ve come to learn that the “fight for marriage equality” is a bit of a sham.
We’ve talked at length about her ex, the merits of marriage, and how she became jaded after the divorce. But still, in thinking of equality for LGBTQA folks, her mind goes to things like marriage and workplace/commonplace discrimination. I guess I just think of those as low-priority issues, because being able to marry, and stopping people from making their discriminatory views public doesn’t prevent our community from experiencing all the different forms of violence that it does. Coincidentally these are the issues that are at the forefront of the media’s portrayal of “the fight for LGBT rights” [womp womp]. I guess my point is that it’s interesting for me to hear the views of a community member who is moderately older than me (i.e. not college age). Particularly of someone who shares many of the same privileges that I do.
I’ve missed interacting with QPOC. She’s been a refreshing person to talk to in the sea of middle-class, white, kid-raising, 30/40-somethings that make up the majority of our company.