"Lots done, lots to do": Blog Entry

"Lot's done. Lot's to do" - Ruth Hunt, Executive at Stonewall UK

Earlier this Morning: I felt the same as ever before. I made the bed, knocked out a couple of blogs and drank an entire cafetiere full of coffee. No change to any other Saturday morning, except, overnight a huge change had occurred in my life. A blanket ban's been lifted: I can now marry whoever I choose.

Humans are laughable. Lovable (sometimes), but laughable. Not all of us, but as a race we continually destroy our planet and fight and rage and try to dominate others. Perhaps more notably, we set up systems and then don’t really know how to use them, or handle them very well. We’re all knowledge, with no wisdom. We know how to fly hundreds of people through the sky in a glorified tin can, and we can split the atom, I mean, we discovered the atom: something so small we can’t even see it. We can send women and men in to space (and dogs and monkeys if we want to), we can cure ferocious diseases and bake ice cream inside a cake in an oven without it melting. Yet when it comes to equality, we lag massively behind, and it sometimes feels that too little is being done.

Last night I sat in bed, under the duvet, phone lighting my face as I scrolled through a Twitter-feed full of positivity and support, Twitter can be a cruel place, but last night (or at least on my Twitter feed) It was brimming with hopes for a better future. I see this, and can’t understand how we’ve been so slow to pass this law. Tonight I’ll celebrate quietly with a friend, I’m planning on a glass of bubbly. Tomorrow, the work continues. As Ruth Hunt tweeted “Lots done, lots to do.”

As writer Shelley Silas said yesterday “Please can we just say we can all get married? Leave the equal and gay bit out - we're done with that…” And this is it, because passing a law fixes much, but by no means all. A lot of the work still to be done is addressing the language we use, for as long as two separate sets of words exist between two groups of people (eg. equal marriage and marriage), we’re not equal, because we’re essentially saying that they’re two separate things. And sometimes, even when our intentions are good, we don’t see the rifts being caused by our words. Only last week I had to pull one of my adult theatre students up on her use of “That’s a bit gay though, isn’t it?” As someone suggested an idea for their movement piece. ‘Define your use of the word gay there? Because to me it seems neither gay or straight. It maybe seems like it’s not what you’re trying to achieve for your theatre piece, but gay is not what it is.’ And of course, she was mortified. Because there’s a huge difference between homophobia and the use of homophobic language that slips in to everyday conversation, unchecked. It’s up to all of us to question the language we use and hear.

So today, I’m grateful for the selfless hard work those have done before me, those that fought so that I can marry whoever I choose. And I will continue in pursuit of a better world. I have a niece, she was born on Christmas day, and can’t explain the joy I feel in thinking she will grow up in a world where everyone can marry the person they fall in love with, and are not restricted by their sexuality: this will be normal for her, not a privilege. How marvelous.

I look forward to the day when future generations look back on how foolish we were in creating our divides and inequalities between races, religions, gender and sexuality. In truth, I may not be here to see it, but let’s use our lifetimes to make the world a better place for those coming to borrow it after we’ve gone.

(C) Amie Taylor 2014

Photo of Amie by Jennifer Toksvig

Amie by Jennifer Toksvig