How Does It Feel to Be Southern and LGBTQ After the SCOTUS Decisions?

Reblogged from The Huffington Post

I am a white, queer woman who lives in the rural South. I work for a multiracial, Southern LGBTQ organization. That means that the Supreme Court decisions relating to the Voting Rights Act (VRA), affirmative action, the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Fifth Amendment, Prop 8, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) all affect me. Why?

Because I live in a part of this country where my family and community have no basic protections at all. Google the word “gay” and the town I live in, “Goldsboro, N.C.,” and notice how many hits you get: zero. That’s right. There are no LGBT community centers, no clinics, and no advocacy groups within an hour of us. There are also no basic protections for work, safety, or families in most of our Southern states.

But you know what living without those basic protections reminds you? That justice is not an individual or single-issue need. The working-poor black communities down my street, and the farm workers outside in the heat 10 miles away, lack all kinds of basic protections too. We need a strong and vibrant LGBTQ movement that will not quit until we are a fierce and crucial team within the league of people in this country who are playing to win justice for everyone.

So the group I work with, Southerners on New Ground (SONG), made this video, called “Marry the Movement”:

We made it because we believe that the real victory in DOMA and Prop 8 being struck down is the victory of thousands of LGBTQ people and our allies who have changed the culture of this country, not just its policies and laws. We also know, because we live it every single day, that there is so much more to be done for LGBTQ justice in this country. We cannot be whole as an LGBTQ community while some of us have every privilege under the law and thousands of us do not because we are living in the South, or because we are transgender, or because we are undocumented, or black and poor.

We know that in times like these, LGBTQ people need each other, and that we must turn to each other in the spirit of our collective survival. There is still much work to be done in order to bring the reality of true justice home to the South and the whole country, so join me (and SONG) in “Marrying the Movement” until every LGBTQ person has full dignity, safety, and liberation.

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