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Marriage Equality: Check. What’s Next For LGBTQ Youth Of Color?

National Youth Pride Services is an urban, intellectual, creative, socially forward movement led by young adults who are independent thinkers. In light of the recent Supreme Court decision on Marriage Equality, we asked one of our own to give a response on behalf of National Youth Pride Services.

Here is that uncensored response.

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Josh Rice of Illinois

This has without a doubt been a monumental week. It started when the Supreme Court came through for millions by saving the Affordable Healthcare Act. But then they turned around and made Marriage Equality the Law of the Land, just in time for Pride celebrations nationwide. On one hand, we should definitely take a moment to celebrate. Our nation has just taken one step towards abolishing our second class citizenship, as Queer and Trans people of color. It’s important to recognize that, and the conservatives gagging nationwide.

“Our nation has just taken one step towards abolishing our second class citizenship, as Queer and Trans people of color.”

-Josh Rice

Let’s acknowledge them while flooding there timelines with invitations to, and pictures of our weddings. Let’s ask them if they’re big mad or little mad while flashing our marriage certificates. Let’s enjoy this moment, because no matter what the bigots and naysayers think, Marriage Equality is a reality. The legal benefits that coincide with legal married status; they’re now a reality. But let’s also remember that we, as Queer and Trans People of Color, were never merely fighting for our right to say, “I do.” Because there is no marriage certificate that is strong enough to stop a bullet.

The reality that our Black and Brown bodies could at any moment be subjected to police brutality, as well as other forms of mental, physical, and sexual violence doesn’t disappear because we can now say,
“I Do.” “I Do” does not change that we can still be fired due to our gender identities and sexual orientations. Nor does “ I Do” aid our undocumented Queer and Trans Brothers and Sisters that are still being detained, tortured and abused as they wait to be deported. And let’s not forget that we’re still fighting for visibility for our voices, bodies, and stories among the LGBTQ population itself, so there’s still work to do.

We can be happy about Marriage Equality, and we should celebrate. But make no mistake, Love didn’t win today, we took a step. Love transcends “I Do,” and should also be applied to our very being. Love cannot win until a Trans Womyn of Color can make a plea to our President, in any environment, and her voice be heard not silenced. Love can’t win until a ban on conversion therapy is the law of the land. Or we can walk down any street, with those partners we can now marry, and not fear for our collective safety. We should be able to count on the police to protect us. The same way we should press each and every organization to see and say the names of our victims, and remember our faces. Again, we were never merely fighting for our right to say, “I Do.” We were, and still are fighting for our LIVES!

National Youth Pride Services,

Chicago, IL 60601

Phone. 773-YPS-8051