Yay Marriage! What’s Next?

Now that Notorious RBG and her crew used some jiggery-pokery, marriage equality is the law of the land. Everybody seems to be asking, what is next?

Well, over here at Alyson’s research central, I have put together some ideas on what we can do to help the TBLG community.

Healthcare access for all, especially trans people.

Why this is important:
Many trans people have difficulties obtaining simple medical help. Making it regulation that all trans peoples’ treatments are covered will force the healthcare profession to at least become more aware of trans issues. We can’t just have medically competent doctors in trans-centric places like Seattle or New York.

How do we obtain this:

  • Pass legislation requiring private insurance to cover GCS (gender confirmation surgery) and other medically necessary surgeries including breast implants for trans women and top surgery for trans men.
  • Enact federal regulations making public insurance cover GCS and other medically necessary surgeries.
  • Enact state regulations making public insurance cover GCS and other medically necessary surgeries.

Protecting queer people from being fired just simply for existing.

Why this is important:

In 32 states, it is legal to fire someone simply for being trans and in 28 states, it’s legal to fire someone for being gay. Even though your marriage is legal in a state like Mississippi, this won’t protect you from losing your job. If your boss doesn’t like queer people, they can fire you for it. This is especially important for trans people, given how vulnerable our population is. It is hard enough to afford transition related things with a job. Without a job, it makes it almost unobtainable, yet people still wonder why do we have such a high rate of suicide.

How do we solve this:

  • Ideally, get protections under the Civil Rights Act so that gender identity and sexual orientation are included as protected classes. This makes it more than just employment.
  • ENDA (The Employee Non-Discrimination Act) has been floated for many years, but could never make it out of any GOP controlled chamber. Even when it was just sexual orientation, enough Republicans and Democrats still didn’t want to protect gay people. Riding waves on the marriage win, we could convince Congress finally to pass regulations.

Public accommodations and housing

I’ve spoken in the past about bathroom bills. These are not going away. In fact, they have increased over the last year. Trans people have settled in to becoming the major target of anti-queerness since it’s harder to target cis gays. The amount of homeless queer people, especially youth, means we need to solve our queer housing crises.

How do we solve this:

  • Continue to fight bathroom bills at any turn; instead, offering legislative pieces protecting trans people, especially children, like has happened in California.
  • Work on federal housing regulations to make sure trans people are protected in their living situation. Plenty of trans people have lost their apartment/home/etc. during or right after transition, simply due to their landlord being a bigot.
  • Work to end queer youth homelessness.

Overall, what these movements need more than anything is inclusivity. Gay Inc. has mostly been white middle class cis men running things. We need more PoC, especially trans women of color, representing the movement. We need to support the most vulnerable. We need to end the targeting and imprisionment of sex workers. We need to end the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants. Jennicet Gutiérrez was right to interrupt the President and bring the plight of our queer siblings in detention. Sexual assault is too prevalent in ICE. I hope Gay Inc., like the HRC, will in turn focus on these issues now that marriage has been obtained.

Let’s celebrate the awesome win and still recognize where the movement needs to go now!

By Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

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