In an attempt to support the LGBTQ community gone horribly, horribly wrong, Australian journalist Mia Freedman posted a story Tuesday titled, Straight, married women want marriage equality too."
She argues in the story that as a straight and married woman with three kids, she supports marriage equality (which still isn't legal in Australia) because, who knows, one of her kids might identify as gay one day. That's all fantastic. The LGBTQ community needs allies who actually stand up and fight for us, but her message takes a wrong turn when Freedman writes this line, "Do not be so foolish, arrogant or reckless as to dismiss this as a 'gay' issue."
Because the thing is, it is a gay issue. Marriage laws limiting marriage between one man and one woman don't directly affect straight people. They affect queer people. So, really, the argument shouldn't be that politicians can't dismiss marriage equality as a "gay issue," but that they shouldn't dismiss it at all.
Things got even worse when Freedman placed a call to action at the bottom of her article (though it seems to have been changed since), asking straight and married people to tweet their support for the LGBTQ community using the hashtag #Married4MarriageEquality.
As many were quick to point out, #Married4MarriageEquality doesn't do anything for LGBTQ rights. Instead, it allows straight people who can legally marry in Australia to rub their marriages in the faces of queer people.
As well-intentioned as Freedman seems to have been, her article and the resulting hashtag are just another example of a privileged group of people co-opting the struggle of the oppressed. Yes, queer people need straight allies, but we need allies who listen and learn and lift our voices up. Not people who take our struggle and make it all about them.
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