Friday, March 29, 2013

Trans people need marriage equality too

On the heels of the marches for marriage at the Supreme Court building comes the news that Thomas Beatie is having difficulty getting a divorce. It seems that the judge isn't sure whether Thomas was man enough to marry his wife when they got married. This is all tied up with the fact that Thomas gave birth to three children as a man after his wife couldn't get pregnant.

What makes this story so interesting to me is the fact that at the marriage rally at the Supreme Court, there were people asking trans groups to take down their flag because marriage equality was for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals; not transgender people.

It is true that sometimes we can actually get married. It depends on whether we are gay, lesbian, or bisexual after our transitions, and whether we are perceived as such by the people that issue our marriage licenses. All too often we can find ourselves married yet not married when it comes to the important things like visitation, survivor's benefits, or standing with our spouses when their family doesn't approve or us.

Unlike lesbian, gay, and bisexual couples, our marriages can disappear like smoke when our spouses need us most. The best way to make sure that our spouses are protected in times of need is to have full marriage equality across the United States. For anyone that finds themselves with a mismatch between their genitalia, birth certificate, driver's license, medications, and possibly appearance, we share the same frustrations and risks as any other member of the lesbian, gay, or bisexual community.

As for how Thomas Beatie's divorce will turn out, there is no way to know at this point. Both his and his wife's life is in the hands of a judge that can't treat them like married human beings because Thomas didn't fit neatly into the category that the judge carried in his mind.

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