3 Reasons You Need to Stop Saying "Gay Marriage" Right Now
The Defense of Marriage Act centered around how the law — and how we as a nation — define marriage.
1. To Be More Inclusive to the Entire Community
“Gay marriage” as a term leaves out many of the identities which comprise the LGBT community. Though the media and conventional rhetoric have conflated “gay” to also mean “lesbian,” “gay” never includes bisexual, pansexual, transgender, or queer identities. The term “gay marriage” silences the voices of those identities outside of the G in the LGBT community. Using only the “gay” identity to define a diverse and varied group of people is dangerous, calling everyone in a same-sex relationship “gay” implies that even people within the LGBT community do not view the other identities as real or as equal to the gay identity.
2. To Raise Awareness Rather Than Limit Exposure
On the bridge of equality is not the time to cast shadow on the rest of the LGBT community. Proponents of the term “gay marriage” understand that simplification of terms is often helpful for gaining media exposure and widespread understanding. However, how can the LGBT community reach equality if only the gay male identity is the face of the movement? Bisexual, pansexual, transgender, and queer individuals already suffer a great degree of misunderstanding both in and out of the LGBT community. The quest to marriage equality is a prime opportunity to raise awareness and educate the media on the multifacets of the LGBT community which fosters the long term goals of acceptance and equality. Giving exposure to identities which may be less understood or less commercial than the “gay” identity makes them more human and relatable — the LGBT community should strive to take pride in all aspects of our community and not just some. Trying to simplify language is never an excuse to silence individual identities or experiences.
3. Heteronormative Doesn't Have to Be the Only Normal Anymore
“Gay marriage” does not award deeper visibility to the LGBT community; it awards deeper visibility to the G in the LGBT. Playing into the patriarchal and macho-focused aspects of society the term “gay marriage” highlights the males in the LGBT community and steps away from those society historically oppresses — women those who are transgender and those who do not conform to any gender identity. Same-sex marriage equality is a step towards a society which is overall more inclusive to all orientations and identities — there is no reason for same-sex marriage to mirror the patriarchy and power structure which exists in heteronormative society.