An Open Letter to a Slightly Over-zealous Ally

Dear Slightly Over-zealous Ally,

First of all, thank you very, very much for your support of the LGBT+ community. It means a lot to me and to everyone out there that identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or vaguely-not-straight. And it’s amazing to see someone who is not LGBT+ be so vocal and supportive of the LGBT+ community in its pursuit for equality and recognition. We would never have gotten to where we are now without you, and we will not achieve our aforementioned goals of equality without your continued help.

However, you said one thing that I’m not sure I entirely agree with. You promised yourself that you will not get married until such a time when marriage equality is recognized in all fifty states, much like Jason Mraz and his fiancee Tristan Prettyman promised the press they would do.

Here’s the thing, though — while I, once again, applaud your effort to show your solidarity with the LGBT+ community, why would you deny yourself marriage? To me, this seems like poking your eyes out to show that you support people who are blind or cutting out your tongue to show you support people who are speech┬ádeficient. If anything, you should be getting married, now more than ever! You should be seizing the opportunity to marry now, and be vocal now, not when marriage is available in at least a few states.

To me, this is the same thing as being silent on the National Day of Silence, which is meant to show solidarity with LGBT+ (and other bullied) youth who cannot speak up and defend themselves. Why would you be quiet, when you can be vocal and advocate and defend these youth, if you can? Why, instead, would you chose to be silent when you can be vocal? Why would you chose to abstain from marriage simply because the government in your state (or, currently, the federal government) does not recognize the marital union of two members of the same gender as legitimate?

In early 2010, Sarah Silverman, an American writer, singer, actress, and musician, told The View that she would refuse to get married until same-sex marriage is legalized in all fifty states because it would be akin to joining a country club during the 1950s and 1960s that refused to allow African-Americans or Jews. I ask you: why, instead of refusing to join the club, would you not join the club and try to change it from within? Why, instead, refuse yourself the ability to enjoy the benefits of a country club entirely, when you can both be a member of the club and, at the same time, work within the country club to promote tolerance and acceptance?

The same applies for marriage. Refusing to marry as a heterosexual couple will not change anything. Getting married and being vocal about your support for marriage equality will cause change, even if in the smallest of ways.

So, in conclusion, I give you my express permission and blessing to get married to your future partner when you feel the time is right, and to not wait or abstain from marrying on my account — far be it from me to keep you from enjoying the rights that you and I both deserve, and far be it from me to keep you from enjoying the rights that you currently enjoy as a straight person. So please, show your solidarity with the LGBT+ community by getting married and by remaining a vocal ally of the LGBT+ community.

Thank you,