There is so much work to be done for LGBT equality beyond just fighting for marriage equality. Marriage equality is incredibly important to the emotional, financial, familial, and political equality for so many LGBT couples and it is something I've written about here often over the years. But it's not the only LGBT equality issue out there.
One way to mentally divide up the struggles the LGBT community faces is into those that actively ban gay people from participating, those protections that are missing under the law, and then just the hearts and minds battle to have truly lived equality.
Active bans are things like the laws saying gays shall not be allowed to marry or serve as scout leadership or adopt, or the now repealed gays shall not serve openly in the military. We still have work to do on that front with the transgender community. Missing protections are things like the lack of employment or housing non-discrimination policies at various levels of government. Queer youth make up a disproportionately high number of the homeless youth at 40% when LGBT folks make up no more than 10% of the total population.
And hearts and minds ranges from not being called a faggot and threatened with violence while walking down the street all the way to hotels assuming your bookings are a mistake because surely two men wouldn't be sharing a bed so they try to fix it for you. Or being called an exhibitionist by a complete stranger for being witnessed to hold hands in public or kiss on a date. Or being protested whenever your community gathers to try to do something about these issues. Or to always be assumed to be straight thus forcing you to come out over and over again throughout your life whenever coming into a new environment. Hardly a week goes by that I don't read about an LGBT person who has been assaulted.
It's not limited to the LGBT community. A lot of folks who have experienced subtle discrimination because of their identity or background know exactly what it feels like to be hyper-sexualized or under-represented, to have subtle looks of disapproval, and to stand in a lot of moments and just not being able to be sure if the treatment you're receiving is because of who you are or not. In some ways I've got it easy as a white man with citizenship who gets assumed to be straight unless I choose to dispel that notion. It's why I have a rainbow bumper sticker and t-shirt because society makes us invisible otherwise through being assumed to be straight and cisgender.
The assumed closet is both a blessing and a curse. But these various levels of discrimination faced are also opportunities for coalition building across and at the intersection of race, class, gender, immigration status, etc because these issues aren't faced by the LGBT community alone. For example, the issue of vouchers has been in the news in North Carolina a lot lately as something that divides us by race and class, but public funds going to private and religious schools that can "no gay students allowed" is an opportunity for coalition building in opposition to this discrimination.
One step to making this happen is reaching beyond marriage equality in the media and social media. And a part of that starts with asking questions like did you our government doesn't allow gay and bi men to donate blood?