Sunday, February 8, 2009

Keeping my spouse happy

Wow, I need to be more active in the kitchen! So much has happened I’m having a hard time deciding what to talk about! I could talk about my trip to Albany last Tuesday, sponsored by Marriage Equality New York (MENY) or I could make some noise about Kim Petras and how envious I am. I could mention some of my arguments with bigots in the Topix Transgender forums, Eventually I think I’ll complain about how ENDA is not nearly enough and that we ought to be specifically included in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The one most recent issue that I’ve run up against, though, is the conflict between my activism and my family. As I mentioned in my introductory blog entry, my spouse has encountered more direct criticism of my transition and her decision to stay with me than I have. It’s why I use a pseudonym for my activities on the internet, although my picture and home town designation makes it pretty clear, to those who know us, who I am. I feel a strong need to write about and actively work for my, and my community’s, equal rights. I realize my activism may put me at risk, a risk that I feel is necessary. Yet I have to weigh that risk for myself against the involuntary risk my spouse has to shoulder. I spend a lot of time with her. Someone who targets me because they don’t like what I am or what I stand for can easily include her, purposefully or not, into whatever malevolence they wish to perpetrate. Her living is directly affected by my ability to get and keep a job, for instance.

Another issue is that my spouse has cerebral palsy. She does quite well, only needing a wheelchair outside the house, and does an amazing job keeping things running here on the home front. In her eyes, my responsibility to her is sometimes compromised if my activism takes me away from home. She’s right, I think, although she is a very capable woman (has always had to be, to deal with the like of me!) my first responsibility, willingly and lovingly accepted, is to her. Even though she is a member of the trans community, as a “significant other,” and the issues I work on: non-discrimination laws and marriage equality, affect her in profound ways she seems more inclined to take a role in the deep background and wishes I would do the same. She certainly wishes I would at least shut up about it once in awhile!

I can't, though. I can't shut up about how trans people and the rest of the GLBT community are treated in this country.

No comments:

Post a Comment