When You’re A Gay American, Little Injustices Can Sting A Lot!
A recent visit to the doctor’s office turned out to be yet another eye opening experience to me that when you’re a gay American, little injustices can sting a lot! – Don’t Get Me Started!
I had not been to the doctor in months as I’m a generally healthy person (stop the comments about my mental health, I’m talking physically for the moment) but I decided to go in and just get things checked out. The first thing they do is throw that form at you. You know the one I’m talking about, the one that is going to ask you to list the same information about five times on the same form; your name, date of birth, age (because I suppose they can’t do the math to figure out your age from your birth date) and of course all of your insurance information. After all, the insurance information is the most important part, without that they can’t keep the diseased hamster that is American healthcare on the wheel running if they don’t have the info to triple bill the insurance company so that the insurance will pay what the procedure really costs and then bill part of it back to you as “not covered” or part of your deductible so that they can get a piece of the action too. Run, healthcare hamster, run! However this entry is not about the insurance companies and how their pre-existing condition of overcharging and denying coverage may or may not be solved by the recent health care legislation.
In filling out the form I found it interesting that they allow you to sort of “opt” out when it comes to questions about your race but when it comes to whether or not you’re single or married they want that information. What makes it even more interesting for someone of my shall we say “persuasion” is that they ask you your marital status on one question and then the next question asks if you live alone, with your spouse or with roommates. While most would say that I’m blowing things out of proportion I want to be very clear that I had no problem answering the first question as “single” due to the fact that in the eyes of the law I cannot be married in my state nor is same sex marriage legal according to the current Federal laws. I am however the legal Domestic Partner of my partner in the state of Nevada and therefore on the second question, I answered that I lived with my “spouse” because according to the documents I signed and the $75 we sent in to be registered with the state, my partner is now my “spouse” according to the law. The thing is that I hesitated before I checked the “spouse” box. Why?
Why did I hesitate? Because until my government’s laws state that I have complete equal rights, I will always have this hesitation when filling out a form like this one. I have lived for forty-five years and at the end of August I will have been with the same and only man for the past twenty-two years and yet I still have to check the “single” box on all forms. I have had to go along with the untruth that American society has forced me to propagate on everything from my tax forms to my Facebook page. I’m “single” to the Federal government and on Facebook I’m “In A Relationship” but in my heart I’m as married as my parents and their parents before them. I’m not asking the church going folk who insist that two men can’t be married in the eyes of their supposed God to understand or condone my relationship. In fact, I don’t want or need them to understand it or condone it. I do however need my government to understand and condone it because just like the government doesn’t oversee first communion, they should not concern themselves with marriage, only civil unions for the sake of the civilization and tax purposes along with the other thousand or so rights and privileges that heterosexuals currently receive with their marriage certificate.
To those of you who will tell me that I should be thankful I don’t live in a country where they jail or kill me for my “lifestyle” I can only wish you one day of feeling what I feel as a law abiding, taxpaying American who when filling out forms, not being able to serve my country or even afraid for my own safety due to the fact I am a man that has a man in my bed is told and shown by his government every day that he is a second class citizen. If you did live one day in my shoes I don’t think it would be long until you found yourself feeling as I do, like the Mayor of Who-ville from the classic Dr. Seuss book, shouting as loud as you can, “We are here! We are here!” When you’re a gay American, little injustices can sting a lot! – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com