Don't get me wrong, I was just as happy as many of you when the California Supreme Court came down on the side of justice Thursday. You have every right to be happy, excited, proud, party hearty or whatever emotion you're feeling as the reality of this historic day and historic decision sinks in.
But the emotions I'm feeling are akin to someone who's not part of the cool kids' clique getting to watch from their bedroom window as a cool neighbor throws a slammin' party that the non-cool kid outsider can see and hear boisterously blaring next door.
My mood is tempered because I'm thinking about Christie Lee Littleton. She's a Latina transwoman who in 1999 had her 1989 marriage to Mark Littleton tragically invalidated thanks to a retroactive application of DOMA to it by insurance company attorneys. Her name and gender change was invalidated as well.
Why did it happen? To keep her from winning a share of a $2.5 million wrongful death malpractice lawsuit she filed as her late spouse's widow.
I'm bringing this up to remind my GLB bretheren that this landmark victory has come at the cost of the marriage rights for transgender people. Our religious right friends started attacking our legal marriages once they realized that we transgender people blow a Mack truck sized hole in their bogus 'marriage equals a man and a woman' argument they use as a baton to beat on marriage equality with.
The Law of Unintended Consequences effect of the push for marriage equality has been that some of the anti-marriage equality constitutional amendments that various states hurriedly passed during and after the 2004 election cycle contain prohibitions for transgender people to get married. It also has many transgender people who are in male-female marriages nervously wondering if their own marriages will be the next ones to be invalidated.
Many of us in the transgender community have noted that when it comes to marriage equality, some of you GLB peeps are not accepting 'incremental progress' when it comes to a civil rights issue you desire to have become a reality as expeditiously as possible, but you don't share our urgency to have the same thing happen for a transgender-inclusive ENDA.
In my time working for the passage of inclusive ENDA and hate crimes legislation, I've had the pleasure of meeting and observing many same gender couples. They have been together in loving, long term, stable relationships decades longer than some hetero couples I knew who were 'so in love' back in high school.
It's a travesty that those same gender couples don't have the equivalent access to the thousands of rights that married hetero couples have conferred upon them and take for granted. It's not fair to be penalized tax wise because you love and are spending the rest of your life (hopefully) with someone who just happens to share the same gender as you.
Don't get it twisted. Congratulations! I'm happy for the GLB community and I ain't mad at you. Thursday was a historic day for civil rights.
But I still feel left out of the celebration.