You dismantled your right to approve or not and threw away the key
Let me report a side of the outcome of the referendum that I had not expected.
We knew that the debate would have personal costs. An Irish lesbian who is now a law professor in England
predicted it last November. And so it came to pass. BeLonG To, the lgbt
youth service, had a 10-fold increase in calls for support from lgbt
teens during the campaign; a lesbian couple wrote about the stress for
their daughter when the poster saying every child needs a mother and
father appeared on a lamp-post outside their house.
When the result came in (on a beautifully sunny Saturday), it was
clear that our fellow citizens were not merely allowing us to marry whom
we choose. They were endorsing our right to be gay or lesbian or
bisexual. We are no longer merely tolerated, or even, in an odd way,
accepted in that Irish way of “he’s gay, but he’s our gay”. The majority
called a halt to even that. They dismantled their right to approve or
not and threw away the key.
“It’s like every closet exploded open when we were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off.”
And the photograph on the front page of the New York Times shows just
what that means to some of us who, no matter how out we were, know that
being gay was simply not equal. The unarticulated pain of conceded
rights — conceded rights to not be criminals, not be discriminated in
the pub, of being allowed second-class civil partnerships — had been
silently sitting on our shoulders. Until Saturday.
This photograph(above) from Dublin Castle on Saturday and published on the
front page of the New York Times shows you what it feels like to have
that yoke of approval lifted from our necks.
Gay bashing at Chelsea Dallas BBQ in New York. Aside from the graphic violence they were also called faggots. This is why LGBT couples live in fear when we go out in public. We can’t hold hands or show any bit of affection without fear of being hurt. Don’t let the media or pop culture fool you. Many LGBT people are still being attacked, killed and harassed every single day.