We've Won A Battle, Not The War!

June 27, 2015



Yesterday, as I was sitting at home experiencing a bit of a writer's block, trying to write precisely this - my pride blog post where I wanted to defend my selfless decision to march in this year's NYC pride parade for Transgender Equality - when I received a text from my brother alerting me to the US Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage. Overwhelmed with emotion over the 5 to 4 vote in favor of gay marriage nationwide, I forgot about the blank word document staring at me and did something I have not done in over 13 years since I was kicked out of my house for coming out; I CRIED!  All these years I thought I had no more tears to cry and I had cried all my tears when I left home, but I weeped out of extreme joy and pain, and in a wake up call to my BFF revealing the news I recall telling her: "Finally we are no longer the pariahs that we have been regarded as for so long." In that moment, I realized that winning this victory symbolized more than just marriage equality; it was a giant leap into being recognized as a human being.

After sobbing and crying for quite a bit, still incredulous to the decision, I collected myself and began to read The Washington Post's article online by David Barnes which began like this: “A deeply divided Supreme Court on Friday delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live.”


While I am overjoyed with the decision of the Supreme Court, two things stand out in my mind from this opening article statement: deeply divided and 5 to 4, reminding me that while we have won a battle, we won it by the skin of our gay teeth; and it all came down to one person, and just as easily as it ruled in our favor, it could have gone the other way. This reminder brought another article to mind or rather MetroSource Publisher's letter, where Rob Davis alerts his readers to the diversity within our community, clearly inferring that while marriage equality has been on the forefront of The Gay Rights Movement, it is not our only legal battle and winning this battle is "...not a finish line but the start of another journey" (Rob Davis).


Truth be told, I experienced some opposition, when I decided to take on this cause back in January 2015, from a few transgender members who questioned my motivations (given that I had no ties or affiliations or desire to transgender myself), and also from some of my own personal gay male friends who bluntly asked me, “Why do you want to help those people?”  So today, as I prepare to march in this year’s parade for Transgender Equality, I now wholeheartedly stand by my decision and embrace Rob Davis’ philosophy embarking on our next legal journey: TRANSGENDER EQUALITY!


To those who have questioned my motivation for standing up for Transgender Equality, I ask, "If an individual turned up at St. Judes Children's Research Hospital with a $100K donation, would you ask them 'Why?'"

I am doing what I am doing because it does not take a mile in a transgender's shoes to know that it Is the right thing to do. Equal rights mean equal rights for all LGBT members!


Happy Pride 2015!



Leo Donato








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