Category Archives: Social Issues

Surviving Your First Year of College As An LGBTQ+ Student

Freedom Doesn’t Mean Force It

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should come out to the stranger next to you in Chem class that you just met fifteen minutes ago. The freedom is tempting, but don’t rush it. Come out to your new friends when you feel comfortable. Nine times out of ten we already know.

Double Rainbows are Better Than Two

Whether you are out or not, as an LGBTQ+ college student you need to find other students that think and act like you. Join an LGBTQ+ student organization. Befriend the extra queer student who inspires you to be yourself. Go to your first Pride Parade. Who or what is stopping you now? If you’re scared of coming out but still want to be included, don’t worry. You can still pull out that old Ally card.

Rainbows Get Annoying Sometimes

You’re out now. You’ve settled into your new found identity or you were already out and are living the life of the LGBTQ+ college student. You have the rainbow stickers. The pride flags. You live, breathe, sleep, and bleed social justice and are practically a walking Human Rights Campaign. Simmer down hot sauce. Simmer down. We all know you are a member of the community. Hell, we probably knew before you told anyone. No need to spend every waking moment reminding us. Remember, your sexuality/gender identity and expression are only a fraction of who you are.

Get Straight Friends

Now that you have immersed yourself in the gay culture, the fabulousness will at times become too much. Solution: the time has come to get straight friends. What? Straight friends? The heteronormative lifestyle has confined you for far too long, you say. You are not going back into the dark closet, you say. Thank me later when the problems and drama of the gay world come crashing down on you from all sides. And you will thank me later.

We Are Everywhere

Love (also known as casual sex on college campuses) is in the air. And you want in. But where are all the sexy LGBTQ+ people like the ones you admire from YouTube? That’s the great and discouraging thing about the LGBTQ+ community. We come in all varieties and not all of us immediately read as gay. It’s great. But it makes this hooking up thing difficult. Worry not. We are everywhere. Really. We are. College breeds curiosity and not only in the classroom.

All Clubs Are Not Created Equal

I’ve been to straight clubs and gay clubs. And trust me, they are not the same. Although it may not be like this in every straight club everywhere, but it seems like the aura is different. It feels stuffier and more constrained. Whereas the gay clubs I’ve visited seem to be more open, free, and fun.

Running Into the Occasional (or Frequent Homophobe)

I’ve experienced it and maybe you have too. But if you aren’t out and come out during your first year of college, you are going to run into the homophobe or anti-LGBTQ+ student. College is after all a place where people from all walks of life converge. I still remember my encounter with a student in my class who I thought was rather educated and nice enough. I am still in shock over the day I overheard her talking to her friend, bashing gays and those of my gender identity who prefer not to conform to normative feminine clothing. Her friend, seeing my utter amazement and disbelief, changed the subject. Later on in the semester, she asked me to edit a few papers for her. Moral of the story, we all have to face moments like that in life, but approaching the person with hatred and anger is never the solution to the problem.

Enjoy It

On a lighter note, just relax and enjoy it. College is a time for doing stupid things that will make for the best stories later on in. Enjoy your freedom and embrace your new friends and experiences. Reinvent yourself if you want to. There’s no time like college to get a new start and learn to love all parts of yourself, the queer ones included.

Trayvon Martin, Black Face, and Halloween

As I went through my tumblr feed, surreptitiously in one of my morning classes, an image popped up which sent me into a rage. The image was of two guys and a girl. All three were white and two were dressed in one of the most distasteful trio costumes I have ever seen. The woman was dressed as “Robin the Hood.” One of the guys was wearing a hoodie with fake gunshot wounds, and the other wore a shirt which read neighborhood watch. As if the allusion wasn’t enough, the guy dressed as Trayvon also was in Black Face.

To some, my rage may seem like an overreaction but historically, Black Face has been used as a weapon against the Black community in America. Black Face minstrelsy first appeared in the United States in the late 1820s. White male performers would use burnt cork to darken their skin and then play into racial stereotypes as a way of getting audience members to laugh. These performances were given the name Jim Crow. As more and more freed slaves began to appear in the North, the performances were used as way of enforcing the segregation of Black people. They were used to say that Black people didn’t belong in white, middle class spaces.

The effect of these performances was not only segregation, but the desensitization of Northerners to the Slave experience. These performances portrayed slaves as lazy, stupid individuals who deserved bondage. Even our “American hero,” Abraham Lincoln indulged in these shows. Black Face continued as part of performance culture into the twentieth century. It was used to sell cigarettes and many of our beloved childhood songs were used in Black Face performance. One song I grew up with – Jimmy Crack Corn – is among these songs. In 1915, the film Birth of a Nation, the first film to be shown in the White House, had white actors portraying black legislators, and perpetuated the lazy stereotype while also enforcing the notion that all black men wanted to rape white women.

As for the initial outrage that sparked this article, not many people seem to truly understand the significance of the Trayvon Martin case. The verdict furthered the idea that people of color’s lives aren’t as important as white ones. People of color are systemically being told their value is less than and that our bodies are worthless. I have known so many families go through this. I’ve grown up with this. I’ve been seeing this first hand since I was six years and this kid Terrance in my neighborhood was shot.

By “dressing up” as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, these two guys reinforced the devaluing of the lives of people of color and disrespected the memory of a dead seventeen year old boy. They unknowingly continued a tradition of devaluing the lives of black people in America. They made a farce of the identity. But this is not the only case. When Julianne Hough dons Black Face to portray Crazy Eyes from Orange Is The New Black or when Italian fashion designers darken their skin for an African themed fashion party, they too are playing into this systemic oppression of people of color, particularly Black people.

Have a fun and safe Halloween but please remember: an identity, a race, a culture is not a costume to be donned once a year. It is a lived experience that comes with all sorts of oppression and privilege based upon our current societal standards.

Message in a Love Song

Music plays a huge role in our culture. It fills uncomfortable silences, speaks to our current emotions, and serves as a soundtrack to our lives. Many songs are about love; falling in love, unrequited love, being happily in love, falling out love, spurned love. I thought I’d take a look at what kinds of messages can be found about different stages of love, with Valentine’s Day having passed and White Day approaching (look it up; it’s like a Sadie Hawkins holiday with white chocolate). This may be the easiest blog to write since I can just turn to my iPod and create my own not-so-random sample. The blog is for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, though, so I will milk my Cuban heritage and Miami upbringing as it is reflected in the music I listen to.

Fool in the Rain by Led Zeppelin
“Now I will stand in the rain on the corner,
I watch the people go shuffling downtown.
Another ten minutes no longer
And then I’m turning around ’round.
And the clock on the wall’s moving slower,
Oh, my heart it sinks to the ground
And the storm that I thought would blow over
Clouds the light of the love that I found, found.”

This has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid simply because of the melody. Now I appreciate the self-doubt, insecurity, and dogged refusal to give up on love all wrapped up in a blindly hopeful Samba breakdown.

Valió Le Pena by Marc Anthony
” Valió la pena lo que era necesario para estar contigo, amor.
Tú eres una bendición.
Las horas y la vida de tu lado, nena,
Están para vivirlas pero a tu manera.
Enhorabuena,
Porque valió la pena, valió la pena…”

A rare song about appreciating the opportunity to love rather than being bitter that it ended. Translation: It was worth it, what was necessary to be with you, my love. You are a blessing. The hours and the life by your side, girl, are there to be lived but by your way. Congratulations, because it was worth it, it was worth it…

Bleed to Love Her by Fleetwood Mac
“Once again she steals away
Then she reaches out to kiss me
And how she takes my breath away
Pretending that she won’t miss me
Oohh I would bleed to love her.”

It’s quite the risk to pursue someone who engages you in a push-and-pull relationship. The challenge can make the grass seem greener on the other side (or the blood seem…redder?) but is it really love and is it really worth it?

Tres Palabras/Without You by Desi Arnaz
“Oye la confesion de mis secretos
A base de un corazon que esta desierto
Con tres palabras te dire todas mis cosas
cosas del corazon que son preciosas
Dame tus manos ven toma las mias
Que te voy a confiar las ansias mias
son tres palabras solamente, mis angustias
y esas palabras son ‘Como Me Gustas’

I’m lost without you.”

This is an old Cuban classic by Osvaldo Farrés that has been covered many times. My favorite version is by Desi. It touches on the trepidation and optimism in pursuing someone. Translation: Listen to the confession of my secrets based on this deserted heart. With three words I’d tell you everything, things of the heart that are precious. Give me your hands, come, take mine. I will trust you with my cravings. They are only three words, my anxieties, and those three words are “I like you.”

Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
“Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I’m with you.”

It’s possible to find a sense of belonging and a mutual love. It is apparently such a joyous feeling that you will want to rhyme “Alabama, Arkansas” with “Ma and Pa.”
And “Pumpkin pie” with “Jesus Christ”.

Llorarás by Oscar D’Leon
“Por tu mal comportamiento,
te vas a arrepentir
muy caro tendrás que pagar
todo mi sufrimiemto
Llorarás y llorarás
sin nadie que te consuele
y así te darás de cuenta
que si te engañan duele.”

This is the ultimate ‘70s salsa song about karma and retribution from a scorned lover’s perspective by Venezuelan Oscar D’Leon. Translation: For your bad behavior, you will regret it. You will pay dearly for all of my suffering. You will cry and you will cry with no one to console you and so you will realize that if you are cheated, it hurts.

Not Fire Not Ice by Ben Harper
“The true love is priceless.
For true love you pay a price.
But there’s nothing can keep me from loving you.
Not fire, no not ice.
Not fire, no not ice. “

Love is sacrifice and it’s a choice to remain in love after a certain point. The giddy infatuation stage fades somewhat and you’re left with something more stable and concrete. There aren’t many songs about this stage of love because we glorify the fleeting burst of passion in the beginning of relationships and love. This stage is also worthy of fanfare.

Ten Words by Joe Satriani
Instrumental

You don’t need words to communicate comfort, faith, or hope. Or love. Sometimes words won’t do and sometimes words screw things up. A chord and a physical embrace can touch the same part of your core that makes you want burst with ecstasy or collapse in despair.

Inked and Awesome

The art and practice of tattooing has been around for at least 5,000 years. The word “tattoo” is thought to stem from the Tahitian word “tatu”, meaning “to mark something.” Permanently marking the skin with ink has held a variety of different meaning for centuries in all parts of the world. The remains of 5,200 year old Ötzi the Iceman found in the Alps in 1991 showed evidence of over 50 tattoos, which are believed to have had connections to acupuncture and possibly treatment of arthritis. In Pazyryk culture, over 2,400 years ago, tattoos were used to represent the individual’s social status. These tattoos depicted animals that held mystical cultural significance and others appeared to be purely decorative. In Samoan cultures, men’s lower halves are thoroughly tattooed to prove they can take the pain and women were traditionally tattooed from the knees to the thighs to introduce them to womanhood.

In the American culture today, tattoos have lost much of the countercultural rebellion stigma and criminal associations they once held. While tattoos can still carry a “daring” representation, like a tear drop tattoo on the face signaling the person killed someone in prison, there are even more tatted individuals who just wanted a rose to honor a loved one, an anchor to symbolize their stability, or a quote that matches their life philosophy. There’s definitely an acceptance of tattoos as mainstream and even trendy now. Tattoos are no longer just for gang members or bikers, but for hipsters, their grandmas, and anyone in-between. Sadly, that doesn’t put an end to the never-ending “Didn’t you think about how that’s going to look when you’re 75 and wrinkly?” inquiries nor does it translate to approval of visible tattoos in the workplace. (Yet.)

I have a few tattoos myself. I thought about them carefully and what they would mean to me. A rule of thumb for some people is to carry your idea around for 6 months to a year and if you still want the tattoo after that, then you go for it. I did this with all but one of my tattoos, which I would’ve done differently if I could. But I take it as a learning experience and marker of my impulsive then-19 year old self. My favorite tattoo is an arrow running down from my shoulder blade to my ribcage, because of its meaning. Arrows look fragile in your hand but once they’ve been propelled, they are piercing. Arrows also represent drive, purpose and swiftness to me. They’re delicate yet strong. And although I recognize astrology as a pseudoscience, I appreciate the general characteristics and myth of my “sign”, the archer Sagittarius. There’s a story behind each of my tattoos; why I chose them and what was going on in my life when I had them done. And when I’m 75, my tattoos will still be for me, as they were when I was younger. I didn’t get them done for anyone else.

I think that is what creates the beauty in tattoos; the significance, the emotion, the reason. I wonder if being introverted has subconsciously influenced my decision to get tattoos. By choosing meaningful symbols to permanently sit on my skin, I’m letting an image speak about my character without having to verbally communicate with people. Whether that message conveyed is accurate or not is a different story.

I’ll end this with two of my favorite quotes about tattoos:

“The ‘tattoo’ is the mark of the soul. It can act as a window through which we can see inside, or it can be a shield to protect us from those who cannot see past the surface.”
-David Bolt

“[A] genuine tattoo…. tells a story. I like stories and tattoos, no matter how well done, and if they don’t tell a story that involves you emotionally, then they’re just there for decoration, then they’re not a valid tattoo. There has to be some emotional appeal or they’re not, to my way of thinking, a real tattoo. It tells people what you are and what you believe in, so there’s no mistakes.”
— Leo, tattooist, 1993, quoted in Margo DeMello, Bodies of Inscription, 2000

Good as Gold

Recently I’ve been pondering the Japanese art of Kintsugi, or the practice of mending broken pottery by filling the cracks with gold resin. There was an image of such a piece circulating around Facebook, and the metaphorical implications were quite profound.

I know no more about Kintsugi than that which was revealed via a quick Google search, but here is the main idea. The goal is to honor the history of the pottery. It makes no attempt to hide its cracks and imperfections, but rather incorporates them into its design and restoration, thus repairing its wholeness and making it even more intricate than before in the process. It’s a very honest way of dealing with something, one that respects the scars that life has thrown at it and even sees beauty in its rough history.

An interesting comparison is how ancient Romans would repair their pottery. They would use wax that can seamlessly blend into the work and be painted over. It’s somewhat of a folktale that this was a way for dishonest potters to cover the flaws of their work, and so a piece that was made without wax (sine cera) or sincerely, was more valuable and honest. However, there is probably little truth to this story, but like Kintsugi, its metaphorical implications resonate with people, which is probably why it’s a popular explanation. Whereas Kintsugi highlights the imperfections of a piece, using wax would hide them, giving the guise of perfection when in fact a pot repaired with wax would be just as cracked as one repaired with gold.

When we relate to people, it seems to me that we have the option to be the mythological unscrupulous Roman potter or the honest Kintsugi artist. We can either try to cover imperfections or embrace and respect them. No one is perfect, and in fact accepting our imperfection can be a great relief with the gift of permission to live authentically. Everyone goes through hard times, some more than others, but that just means that they need more gold to put the pieces back together.

So, why would people use wax instead of gold when interacting? Well, wax is inexpensive. It does not take as much effort to plaster over something. Wax can blend in, helping uphold the impossible image of perfection. However, wax is also a cheap substitute compared to ceramics. Gold on the other hand is a highly valuable heavy metal that stands out. Similarly, interacting sincerely –without wax as the story goes- is valuable, substantial, and beautiful. The cracks will still be clearly visible, but that has become part of the charm rather than something to stress about covering up.

Perhaps even worse than using wax is throwing something away completely. Just look at our society’s collective junk that is bloating landfills, polluting the oceans, and getting shipped to poorer countries. Those could  be valuable resources if we would go through the effort of sorting things out, or, even better, built things that were designed to be reused and recycled in an ecologically respectful manner. However, we keep seeking more and more pristine resources. At some point someone needs to say enough, and many people are because they have had enough.

Saying enough means taking a stand, asserting yourself and your boundaries and reaffirming your individuality. There’s this annoying aether of not-enoughness or scarcity in our culture. Just fill in the blank: I’m not ________ enough. There’s plenty of things I could put in that blank. That same craving for more that is manifest large in how we interact with the environment as a society also exists more or less in each of us. Depending on your circumstances, you may really need more, but if not, it’s time to say no.

Since wax is blends in like make-up, it can create a false image that appears more complete and pristine than reality. If we judge ourselves to this illusion, then that will support the feeling of not-enoughness. So, use gold instead and use it well, because in addition to being valuable, it’s also rare.

And as nice as it would be for the gold in our lives to look like this

Odds are good that it will look like this, where it ought to be, reconstructing beauty out of life’s challenges.

Comeback Dating

“If you love someone set them free. If they come back, set them on fire.”
-George Carlin.

This semester, I’ve become aware of just how many friends are involved in on-again off-again relationships or at the very least unstable relationships. Some break up a couple of times a week. Others alternate between breaking up and making up every few months. A few decide to give it another go after large gaps of time apart. This isn’t a surprise since college is not the time for stability, even if we are in love. From a psychological standpoint, we’re in this emerging adulthood stage where we are focused on ourselves, on exploring our identities, and facing endless possibilities and paths. It’s normal to remain untethered. But as a co-president of a feminist organization (Voices for Women) and a sex-positive discussion group (The Birds and The Bees) on campus, encouraging healthy relationships and boundary establishment is sort of implicit in day-to-day life. So it’s ironic that I’m just now realizing how common breaking up and making up (and breaking up and making up) is in my immediate social circle, including in my own experiences. Why is it so common? Is this flip-flopping in relationships harmful or is it a learning experience?

First, it’s important to think about why you are reconciling with this person, be it for the first time or the fifth time. Frustration love does exist; it’s this phenomenon where after getting your happy butt dumped, your brand new ex seems a whole more ideal than they ever did before. It really wasn’t that annoying then they left empty candy wrappers under your bed. You can live with them showing up late for everything. Their petulant temper tantrums at inopportune times were actually kind of cute. Now you suddenly realize that you want them, you need them, you love them. Whether these feelings are valid or not, Joni Mitchell sums it up best; “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. If the opportunity to get back together arises, make sure it’s because you sincerely are interested in attempting to make things work.

Entering a comeback relationship, as I like to call it, can also be tempting because of the familiarity and comfort level the other person brings to the wobbly table. It’s difficult to turn down the comfort of a love that once existed or may still exist. This temptation seems to be at the root of various make-up for a few months/break up for a few months comeback relationships. During a rough patch or period of general uncertainty going back to a familiar and available partner is appealing. But no one deserves to be treated as a crutch. Same goes for those reuniting just because they haven’t found a better catch (yet) and are ambivalent toward their ex rather than acrimonious. Do you really want to settle for a partner who you look at and think “Meh, could be worse”? Or use them as a filler partner until someone better comes along? Both people involved deserve more than that.

For those who split up and reunite more times in a week than I make my bed, think about why you engage in this instability. Do you instigate the breaking up out of insecurity or for a power trip? Do you prompt the making up because of a fear of being alone? What are your true feelings toward your partner? These comeback relationships look like a game to outsiders but there is usually a deeper reason for the high frequency of splits and reunions.

How you go about re-establishing the relationship is crucial to whether it is a healthy reunion or whether it will even last this time around. It ended for a reason. Reuniting without discussing why your relationship faltered in the first place is like trying to fix the same old cracks in the wall by throwing a Beatles poster over them. Love is not all you need. Acknowledge your mistakes. Talk about what went wrong the first time and how it can be different this time around. If you put on those rose-tinted glasses or try to avoid these messy conversations for fear of rocking the boat, comeback relationships will become repetitive and painful.

Also, if you avoid telling friends and family that you’re back together with this person because you’re sure they’ll flip out, you might want to acknowledge why. If a lot of people close to you are vehemently against the pairing, they may have good reasons that are worth considering. These are the people who know you well and want what is best for you.

However, sometimes a comeback relationship can work. Or at least not end in disaster. Maybe the timing wasn’t right the first time around. Circumstances changed but the feelings didn’t. Or maybe nothing changed except the time apart made someone realize they made a mistake in leaving. Hopefully if enough time went by between the break up and the make up, someone learned more about themselves and is bringing a more enlightened individual into the equation.

In a comeback relationship, yeah, you’ve been hurt. The wounds are still there. But I believe it is impossible to be in a relationship and never hurt the other person. You will hurt each other, hopefully unintentionally. Decide if the person is worth the pain. Forgiveness and willing to acknowledge the past and put it behind you will be key in making a comeback relationship work. If you both agree the other is worth the energy, the risk and the need to be vulnerable, then a comeback relationship can be stronger and more intimate than before.

In Defense of Thin People

As an avid Tumblr-enthusiast/homework-procrastinator, I find all sorts of time-absorbing blogs that I identify with. One that I found recently is geared toward “skinny girl problems.” Spending 2 hours perusing all the problems and reader remarks reinforced the notion that naturally thin people are not without their problems. As a thin person myself, I’m cognizant that we do face a certain kind of discrimination but it’s not acceptable to complain about them. I’d like to list some problems slender people face:

According to the haute couture would, clothes should fit slender people better because their bodies show off the clothes best. Somehow, off the runway and in the real world, that’s not always the case unless you have clothes tailored to you. Some shirts are boxy on thin people. Pants that fit well around the legs are baggy around the waist. Sometimes the smallest size isn’t small enough and you end up looking like a five year old playing dress-up.

This may just be me but sometimes bones stick out and it’s a part of your natural build. My ribs, wrists, hip bones and spine stick out. On a traumatic anecdotal note, I have a particular hang up about my spine after someone rubbed my back and pointed out that being able to feel my vertebrae is “weird” and “gross.” It’s not something I can pop back into place. But thanks for scarring me from ever accepting a back rub again.

People feel compelled to physically pick you up when you’re thin. It is quite unnerving to know that about half the population, excluding (most) small children and elderly individuals with brittle bones, can pick you up at any moment and move you against your will.

It is socially acceptable to say “Eat a cookie/sandwich/burger” but it’s definitely not okay to say “put down the cookie/sandwich/burger.” In my opinion, it’s okay to offer someone a cookie if you’ve just baked some. It’s not okay to say “Eat a cookie” if someone looks too skinny for your standards. Similarly, it’s perfectly acceptable to say “Put down the cookie” if you see a spider crawling on it. It’s not okay to say “Put down the cookie” if you think someone weighs too much. Neither remark should be made in relation to someone’s weight.

Anorexia accusations are another hot button for thin people. It’s become socially acceptable to label someone as anorexic with no proof other than their appearance. It’s not right to flippantly diagnose a disorder like that by sight, especially sans a medical degree. If someone is suffering from an eating disorder, hearing whispers on the street about looking terrible, so they must be anorexic or hearing “(s)he must be bulimic,” isn’t going to help any.

My biggest grievance concerning thinness, perceptions and body image in general lies with a recent media turnaround. In an attempt to be more inclusive to different body types, there’s been a media trend promoting “Real women have curves.” So a skinny woman without curves is not a legitimate woman? While making it clear that the thin body type does not come naturally to all people, these ads have also fostered the sense that attacking the rare “ideal” type body is acceptable. Facebook is littered with images comparing the likes of small modern day actresses to Marilyn Monroe type women with the title “When did this (Kate Bosworth) become sexier than this (Marilyn Monroe)?” My issue is that it approaches beauty/sexiness in a divergent manner. It’s creating a war between body types. Let’s quit knocking one body type in favor of another; embrace whatever your given body type is. The best way to combat media, culture and social pressure to fit the current mold of beauty is to define beauty for yourself.

Evolving Marriage

A few days ago, the President of the United States said, “It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think that same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

“It’s about time,” I first thought to myself. The fact that this is still even an issue is rather disappointing to me, but at least there’s progress.

Same-sex marriage has been in the public sphere for a while now, and there are several positions taken against it that are just not convincing.

Such as:

It’s too radical.
Since when is joining the military, getting married, and starting a family radical?

It’s unnatural.
So is plastic, and plastic’s everywhere. Plus, being heterosexual is not a magic bullet to a happy relationship; trust me on this one.

It’s against God, the Bible, or certain religious beliefs.
We don’t live in a theocracy (thank God), and while you’re entitled to your religious beliefs, they’re irrelevant to the  secular aspects of marriage. The movement in support of same-sex marriages has not really been trying to convince the church that it’s a good idea, rather it has been working to secure the same secular rights for same-sex couples that traditional couples enjoy.

It’s a slippery slope to people marrying turtles or something.
This one has its logical fallacy stated explicitly, and let me know when turtles can sign legal documents.

Children need a mother and a father.
If that’s the case, then I think the children who need the most help are those with a single parent or none at all.

It’s an issue of State’s rights.
No it isn’t.
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
So, States do not have the right to discriminate.

It will destroy the sanctity of marriage.
Like how interracial marriages did in America before 1967?

In 1958, two residents of Virginia got married in Washington D.C. to avoid the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited the marriage between a white person and any non-white person. Upon returning to Virginia, police invaded their home in the middle of the night and arrested them from their bed, their crime being a white/non-white couple that had married out of state and returned to Virginia. The resulting Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia (1967) declared that discriminating couples on the basis of race was unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Interracial marriages used to be illegal and even justified under God. Now they are hardly a controversy and can happen relatively freely under the law, and so I think it will one day be with same-sex marriages.

Having said all that, even though the arguments against same-sex marriages are not that interesting, the fact that some people take them seriously is. The world is a messy, diverse, and complicated place, whereas people for whatever reason are often trying to straighten things out and impose order on the world to make it easier to understand. The framing that marriage, which is deeply personal, is something special between a man and a woman can be a fundamental building block that gives meaning to people’s lives.

However, America is not really about protecting people’s fundamental assumptions. The America we are striving to be is about supporting freedom and equal rights, and discriminating a minority of people based on their sexual orientation is inconsistent with that goal.

Also, if people never learned to think outside the box, there would be no progress, as uncomfortable and vulnerable as coming out may be.