27 October 2012

The marriage industrial complex

Ryan Conrad of Against Equality discusses the complexities of same-sex marriage and the discourse in which it is enmeshed.  In particular, very compelling is the argument that marriage is a raced, classed issue. For example, take note of what he says about healthcare.  Concerns of class, privilege, and access are central to my project because I am in a position where I have something I cannot use (domestic partner benefits through my employment, a reliable automobile, a weekly paycheck) that I can share with someone who needs them. This is central to my selection criteria of future husband-- need.

I was born into a lower-class, farming family that moved gradually into the lower-middle-class after my parents physically moved from our rural town to the suburbs of a larger city. Through education (courtesy of mammoth student loan debt) and near-constant employment (at times in three jobs simultaneously) I have moved into the central middle class, where I enjoy privileges I could have never imagined in my childhood. I have a job in academia that, most days, doesn't even seem like work. And, most days, I feel I don't deserve it.

What I had not considered are issues of race that complicate the same-sex marriage movement. Even embedded in my Craigslist ad are signs of internalized racism: the fact that I said I am seeking a "Straight White Male," for example. I chose these words only cursorily, influenced by my own minute experience with personal ads and, perhaps even with a specific candidate in mind. This was not intentional, but, of course, the best of intentions...

Thank you to Ashlie Sandoval for sharing this video on Facebook.  Keep fighting the good fights, Ashlie!

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