Seperate Toilets

Posted: 18 June 2009 in observations
Tags: , , , ,

It seems a little unreal that domestic partners employed by the federal government will have some benefits.  I have confidence that, eventually, it will as illegal to discriminate against gay individuals as it is to discriminate based on age or gender.  There’s no perfect world and discrimination still happens to all kinds of people all the time, but I look forward to the day when it isn’t sanctioned by the government.

For a second, I thought I might regret leaving the State Department in light of this change and the almost certain extension of more benefits by the Secretary of State.  But I don’t.  I don’t regret leaving for a second.  It was no longer the right job and the limited benefits wouldn’t make up for that.  Unfortunately, I’m confident that the good state of Virginia is unlikely to get on the progressive bandwagon anytime soon.

The whole thing leaves me feeling a little hopeless and unsettled.  It seems like no one is able to make change.  The President says it’s beyond his ability to change and if left to the general public, I’m afraid a vote would be to maintain the status quo.

At Capital Pride Sunday I watched a man my age walking with his pretty wife, their young baby and the baby’s grandmother tell his family that they could not use the restrooms in the area because (hushed whisper) “Look at that sign” (pointing to Pride banner) “we can’t go over there”.  I couldn’t tell if he was afraid they might catch something, sheer discrimination, or fear that we might tar and feather them.  Seperate toilets.  Great.

  1. hannah says:

    I just finished reading Black Like Me, the story of a white journalist who artificially darkened his skin with medication and sun lamps and hitch-hiked around the Deep South in 1959. It was chilling, especially reading it through the lens of the gay rights struggle happening right now. The day I finished it, the State announcement of the expansion of many (but not all) benefits to domestic partners was released. I have hope that the child in the stroller will look back at his parents in thirty years with the same bemused expression that people my age bear when our parents talk about desegregating public schools.

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