Last night when debating equal marriage someone asked on Facebook "What is it that the LGBT don't have?" So I decided to put together a comprehensive little list for those who are 'getting tired of all this equality sh*t' as they have put it.
Until I can hold my partner's hand in the street of the city that I live in, pay taxes in and work in and not be told that I'm a faggot, that I'm going to get my head kicked in or that I'm going to die of AIDS (as my boyfriend and I were told on Saturday) then we don't have everything that those people keep telling us we already have.
Until I can walk out the door on a night out and not hear that little voice in my head tell me that I might look too gay, that I might want to not hold my boyfriend's hand in certain bars, that I should probably not wear that flamboyant t-shirt, that maybe I should tone it down in case a guy gets offended by my gayness and decides to crack a bottle over my head. Until I can be sure that I don't need to 'straighten up' when I get in the back of a taxi, talk to someone new at work, go into a non-gay bar or even talk on the phone on the bus then we don't have everything that those people keep telling us we already have.
Until I can turn down an invite in work to donate blood at the blood drive and not have to out myself to random strangers in the office because unlike the rest of the UK sexually active gay men cannot donate blood in Northern Ireland. Until I can walk into a blood bank and not have to lie about who I am in order to donate blood...Until I can walk into a blood bank and not feel like I am dirty, disgusting, shameful and a constant reminder of a time when gay men and AIDS shared the headlines then then we don't have everything that those people keep telling us we already have.
Until I can say the word marriage when talking to my gay friends who are engaged and not follow it up with "well you know, not a real marriage" and accidentally remind us all that despite being law abiding, tax paying citizens that we still don't have the right to marry the person we love and spend the rest of our lives together in Northern Ireland then we don't have everything that those people keep telling us we already have.
Until I can look at the gay news section of BBC and not read about another trans young person that has taken their own life because their church, their family and their teachers told them they were unnatural or sick or until I no longer have to read about the latest young gay man that has been beaten to death, stoned to death or locked up because they sent a text message to the guy they crushed on or because they just wanted to be happy and treated as a human being and not a walking sex act, pervert or something to be pushed away until they feel that they can't come back then we don't have everything that those people keep telling us we already have.
Yes I am angry. And you should be too. This is the life we have to live day in and day out as LGBT people. You think it's a choice? Read back over what I have written and ask yourself why anyone would choose this.