Showing posts with label Heterosexual. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heterosexual. Show all posts

October 25, 2014

Hetero Couple Files to Stop gay Marriage in Kansas

 Claiming that their marriage is protected by the 5th Amendment, a Kansas couple is filing a lawsuit to keep gay marriage from coming to the Sunflower State.
The lawsuit comes from Attorney Phillip Unruh and his wife Sandra. The couple is asking a federal court out of Kansas City to let them intervene in a gay marriage case.
Unruh’s lawsuit is a motion to become a party to a lawsuit in Kansas City Federal Court and regards the definition of marriage.
Phil Unruh, an attorney from Harper said,
“I’m asking to become a party to the lawsuit in the Kansas City federal district court case between the plaintiffs that’s filed against the state of Kansas. They are requesting that the court determine that the Kansas constitution defining marriage be found unconstitutional. My wife and I are asking to intervene.
The state will be arguing of support of the laws that the state of Kansas has. The plaintiffs will be looking at their rights.
And we feel married people have rights too and we want to speak up for our rights as married people. And we are concerned that a decision will be made and if a decision is going to be made we want to have our day in court as well.”
A federal judge was scheduled to hear arguments for and against Kansas’ gay marriage ban on Friday but was postponed by the court
ACLU attorney Doug Bonney said U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree is considering whether to reschedule the oral arguments or decide the case based on the parties’ written arguments.
Bonney said he told Crabtree during a 30-minute conference Thursday that the ACLU did not have time to review the state’s written response to the lawsuit because it had just been filed.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit for two lesbian couples denied marriage licenses in Douglas and Sedgwick counties.
The couples sought the licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five other states seeking to preserve gay-marriage bans.

Click to view the lawsuit
Click to view the lawsuit filed by the Unruhs

The ALCU argues that gay couples should not be prevented from marrying, while government officials try to defend the state’s constitutional prohibition against gay marriages. They also contend that a federal ruling specific to Kansas law would aid the State Supreme Court in a separate case.
“The ACLU of Kansas understands that the freedom to marry is an important right. Marriage equality is the law in more than 25 states now,” said Susan Estes, Board President of the ACLU of Kansas in the lawsuit filed October 10. “And it’s time for marriage equality in Kansas. All loving and committed couples – without restrictions of state lines or sexual orientation – should have access to the protections that marriage provides.”
Other quotes from the court filing by Unruh included:
“The extension of marriage to same sex relationships inflict profound harm on the Unruhs.”
“A ruling extending marriage to same sex relationships would violate the Unruh’s right to equal protection under the law by the Court’s failure to protect marriage and support the right of Kansas citizens to codify its implicit meaning.”I
In a phone interview with Unruh Thursday, he said he felt like this was an action he felt he had to take.
“We feel married people have rights to and we want to speak up for our rights as married people. And we are concerned that a decision will be made and if a decision is going to be made we want to have our day in court as well,” said Unruh.
Part of Unruh’s concern is regarding the definition of marriage.
“We’re not sure what marriage means at this point and time. It meant what our constitution says it meant, since the beginning of civilization, now we don’t have a definition at all…If the Kansas City District Court finds our constitution amendment defining marriage is unconstitutional, I think, a decision that changes the word from meaning something to meaning nothing affects my rights, I think I have the right for it to stay the same.”
“We don’t want to have our word extended to include their relationship. We don’t want to share the word that we use for our relationship with theirs that’s deeply disturbing to me and my wife, said Unruh. “And I’m not speaking for the rest of the married people in the state of Kansas, but apparently 70 percent of the people who voted for the constitutional amendment felt the way.”
Governor Sam Brownback has been one of the strong supporters of the 2005 vote that created the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The state already banned gay marriage before the vote, but the constitutional amendment was meant to shore up the law against legal challenges.
Asked whether same-sex marriage would personally affect Unruh’s marriage with his wife he responded:  “No, but it would affect the joy and celebration that we think of a when we think of marriage, because we would also have to have in mind on a daily basis that its now shared with people, that, who have the same sex relationships. The word would be a disturbing emotion for us on a daily basis, know that the word is being shared with people who are in a same sex relationship.”

October 25, 2013

AS a Man I’M Attracted to TransWomen

I'm attracted to trans women

  •  As a man, I never thought I would have to come out about being attracted to women.  It is simultaneously funny and sad to me that I have to come out about being heterosexual.  I do not see anything different about my sexual orientation, but most people do.  About four years ago, I was an exchange student in Thailand, a country known for its large, open transgender population.  While most men seemed to treat trans-women as if they were people to avoid, I saw no difference between them and cisgender women (women that were born biologically female; see glossary). After realizing that I was attracted to people that identify as women, whether they are trans or cisgender, the next three years of my life were full of confusion and shame.

    The heteronormative world in which we live had successfully convinced me that being attracted to transgender women meant I had a fetish.  I began questioning my sexuality and even my masculinity.  For three years I did not even know what to call my sexual orientation.  Finally, one day after hours of searching I came across two terms that could describe what I was feeling.  Neither one is official or widely used, but their use is growing due to the increasing demand for a way a categorize people that are attracted to transgender people.  Trans-attraction and trans-orientation were the words that I discovered.  As I discovered these words, a feeling of relief washed over me when I realized that this meant I was not alone.  I don’t always describe myself as trans-attracted, but the label helped me feel like I had a place in the queer community and it helps others understand my sexuality.

    After spending my junior year of high school in Thailand, it became a second home for me.  I eagerly returned last spring for a study abroad semester and was able to see my host family and friends for the first time in three and a half years.  During this second trip to Thailand, I was re-exposed to the very open transgender community there.  Again, I started thinking about my sexuality almost every day and this inner-conflict re-arose.  That was when I started reading queer theory.  Julia Serano, a transgender activist and writer, pointed out that it is not acceptable to consider attraction to trans-women a fetish, because that reduces them to fetish objects.  Trans-women are treated as if they are not worthy of love.  In her speech titled “The Beauty in Us”, she said, “Because our culture deems us undesirable, our lovers and partners are often expected to explain why they choose to be with us.”  After reading that powerful speech as well as many other queer theorists, heteronormaitivity, transphobia, and the shaming of trans-attraction began to look backwards and ridiculous instead of my sexual orientation.

    However, I was not ready to be open because I was not yet aware of the desperate societal need for me to do so.  I did not realize just how damaging my shame could be to trans-women.  It was not until I fell for a transgender girl in Thailand that the prison bars of my own silence finally melted away.  When we met I thought that she might be transgender, but I was not sure.  Regardless of what might be between her legs, I found her confidence, independence, and grace inspiring.  We started seeing each other.

    We met three times before she told me she was transgender.  It breaks my heart when I remember how nervous she was.  She was afraid to tell me for two reasons.  One was fear of rejection.  It must be so painful to be turned away and shunned by someone you like because he does not see you as a “real” woman, whatever that means.  The other devastatingly sad fear that she had to deal with was fear for her safety.  I could have exploded into a violent, transphobic rage and responded with my fists, or even a weapon.  This happens to transgender women all the time, often when all they are doing is searching for love.  According to Trans Murder Monitoring, there were 265 trans people murdered in 2012 alone.  Somehow, facing those fears, she mustered the amazing strength and courage to tell me. 

    I watched relief pour over her face when I told her that I didn’t care.  It’s a strange world that we live in when two people that are attracted to each other have to come out to each other.  Later that evening, she turned to me and said, “I feel free.”  Finally being open about my sexuality was liberating for me too.

    So why bother coming out?  I could easily hide this since I am attracted to cisgender women too.  I decided to be open about this because of how few openly trans-attracted people there are in the world and how this silence contributes to stigma about trans-people and sexuality.  Although trans-attraction is hardly a rare phenomenon, it remains hidden because almost all trans-attracted men are in the closet.  As a result, the common assumption is that men who date trans-women are desperate and simply put up with the fact that the woman is trans.  Yet, we are not just OK with it; we are just as attracted to trans-women as we are to cis-women, regardless of their biological sex.

    A few weeks ago, in September, DJ Mister Cee, a prominent figure in the hip-hop community, was “caught” with a transgender woman.  After being outed and admitting to being attracted to trans-women, he was so ashamed that he resigned from his job at the radio station Hot 97.  His trans-attraction was turned into a scandal.  The only thing that should be considered scandalous is the fact that he had to hide his attraction in the first place.  I want to be open about my sexuality because I have had enough of this shaming of trans-attracted men and the damage this does to trans-women.  It has created a disgusting culture of trans-attracted men using trans-women for sex, but never forming a committed relationship with them.  Most trans-attracted men are only trans-attracted at night.  Then during the day they run back to their heteronormative relationships with cis-women of whom they are not ashamed.  Even men that are in committed relationships with trans-women will often tell those women that they could never introduce them to their friends or family.  Imagine a woman that has been to hell and back trying to transition into who she really is only to be told by her lover that he is ashamed to be with her.  The hardship that trans-attracted men go through (and believe me, it is hard), does not even come close to what trans-women have to go through in their day-to-day lives.  That is why it is so important for trans-attracted men to start coming out of the closet.  Personally, I am proud to be attracted to women that are so strong.

    Many men are not attracted to transgender women, and that is OK.  But some men are attracted to trans-women, and that is also OK.  I am attracted to women, period.  
  • Queer Unspoken
  • Thomas Matt     

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