There was a wonderful announcement by George Takei on my Facebook feed last Saturday that I just had to look into. He posted that England and Wales had lifted their ban on same sex marriages. As of midnight leading from Friday into Saturday, gay and lesbian couples were already lining up to be married.
For many, being LGBT isn't just about what gender they prefer to have sex with. It's how they identify themselves. For some in that community, it's now how they're born it's what they feel and believe they are inside. Not all gay/lesbians feel they should have been born the other gender. They just prefer the relationships with their own.
The ones who suffer worse than the gay/lesbian/bi cultures are the trans-gender. I don't know as much about their lives as I'd like but I know what I've read. And what I've read makes me sick at the cruelty of some people. Forcing a male-to-female to use the men's room even though she's likely to be attacked all because her physical birth gender was male.
There was a M-to-F that used to work where I did. Let's call her Maria. Maria was a brilliant, beautiful, and hard working woman. She was smart, funny, and had a way of making even the worst customers seem ridiculous and amusing. One day, when she was using the restroom, her stall door didn't latch all the way and someone pushed it open while she was using it. The shit hit the fan.
Maria hadn't gone through the surgery. It's not cheap around here and she was waiting until she and her partner had a little more saved before she went through it. She was going through the hormone treatment so in every aspect except one, she looked and for all intents and purposes was, female.
But because someone saw a penis instead of a vagina she was badly mistreated by the company. For an employer who prides itself on being LGBT friendly, they treated her like shit. It took a debate all the way to corporate before Maria was allowed to use the women's restroom. But every time she went in some woman went to management and screamed about how uncomfortable they were with Maria in there. No one stopped to think about how uncomfortable Maria was with that.
Maria finally gave up and quit. I don't know if she found another job that was more trans friendly or if she just stopped working because of the cruelty she suffered at the call center we worked at. I didn't even know she was gone until I overheard someone call her a freak and laugh about the fact that she was gone.
I had a gay co-worker who ran into similar circumstances. One of the ultra-conservative Christians working for the company saw his wedding pictures and threw a fit. She tore the pictures down and ripped them to pieces one day while he was off. She claimed she was saving us all from the devil.
When he came back and saw what had happened, he went to his manager. His manager told him she had every right to destroy his personal possessions because "we can't go against someone's beliefs". He handed in his notice right there and left.
I think in the time I was there, I witnessed every gay/lesbian/trans co-worker of mine driven off by the small minded exploits of the people I worked with and for. I was disgusted and eventually when my health ended the possibility of me working there, I was thrilled. I'm bi and a few people knew that. I was already getting some dirty looks and was once told to stop staring at a female co-worker's ass. My shoe was coming off and she was wearing a tight skirt. She thought when I bent down it was to try to look up her skirt.
Several states have marriage equality laws passed. There are countries that have done the same. When will everyone - lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, whatever you identify as - when will we all get the equality and the same rights as everyone else?