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Posts Tagged ‘discrimination’

Edith Windsor and her wife, Thea Spyer, were together for more than 40 years, and married for their final two years together–until Thea died from multiple-sclerosis in 2009.

Now, Edith is heading the fight to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which unfairly defines marriage as being between a man and a woman under federal law.

Because of DOMA, Edith was forced to pay more than $360,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance from her late wife.  As of November 2010, she is filing a lawsuit against the United States of America for a refund of the tax.

This week, the Republicans in the House of Representatives decided to fund the defense of DOMA using taxpayers’ dollars, despite the fact that President Obama and his administration have already stated that they will no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA.

MY GOAL, in the next few weeks is to somehow manage to interview Edith Windsor on her case.  I was able to speak to her on the phone, but was told that she couldn’t do an interview without her lawyers or PR people present. . . so now I’m trying to sift through all the legal mumbo-jumbo and secretaries at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP to see if I can get my interview!

Wish me luck!  =P

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Ever heard one of these:

  • “He’s gay, right?”
  • “She looks like a dyke!”

Or my personal favorite. . .

  • “Is that a guy or a girl?”

Or. . .

  • “You can’t be a lesbian!  You don’t play softball!”

Maybe that last one sounds a little strange, but it’s the first thing my mom said when I told her I was batting for the other team.

My grandmother was struck by the fear that I would suddenly become a totally different person.  She was quite sure I would buzz my long hair, burn all of my bras, and trade my high-heels  and miniskirts in for work boots and flannel.

Now, it’s almost five years later, and I’m more girly than ever– “except for that whole liking girls thing,” as my mom would say.

Even now, I find that people just assume I’m straight.  People I’ve gone to college with for four years still go wide-eyed and say, “I didn’t know you were gay!”

People have preconceived notions of what they think it means to be gay, straight, lesbian, or transgendered.  The list of stereotypes goes on and on, but the fact is, most people just can’t be categorized like that.  Liking musical theatre doesn’t make a man gay, anymore than being black makes a man a thug–although I guess my one lonely pair of big baggy jeans does make me a little dykey.

What are some of your “favorite” stereotypes?  Funny ones or offensive ones?  Ones that just plain don’t make sense?  I wanna hear about it!  Please comment or subscribe!

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