Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Oh For God's Sake, People

CBS News | Alabama Bill Targets Gay Authors | April 28, 2005�19:30:27

I'm shocked. I just am. I cannot believe that the land of my birth (the US, not Alabama) is heading down this path. I cannot believe the Land of the Free can promote such things with a straight face (pun not intended, but "pun not intended" notice intended).

I grew up in the South on the northern rim of the Bible Belt. I distrusted black people and goofed on kids for being "gay" when they were just different. I'm not the only one. I'm not particularly proud of this.

When a friend of mine from college came out, not long after I moved away to San Francisco (there's some irony there), I wasn't sure what to think. I'm ashamed sometimes that I had to say, repeatedly, "He's still my same friend" to myself to make it all fit. I eventually settled on, "Well, of course! He's too smart, too talented, and too good a dancer to be straight!" He moved out to SF soon thereafter and came out to me in person, but up until then I shamefully held out that maybe what I heard was wrong. It was fucking HARD to accept for some reason. Sure, I had known gay people in college, but they were always over there, not here with me watching TV and talking shit about George Lucas. It occurred to me, eventually, how much harder it msut have been for my friend to accept his own realization and come out with it; he had to come out to a house full of guys who had spent most of their college careers hanging out and being pals. The realization of that courage smoothed it all out for me, somehow.

So I'd like to say something to anyone left in the world who feels like they need to act against homosexuality:


Seriously. There's no effect a gay person will have on your life that is as great as the one their being gay has had on theirs.

Gay people will not turn you gay; if you become curious, then that curiosity was always there. Gay people are not evil, nor are they poisonous. Gay people are smart, funny, talented, and interesting people in general, and the average straight American's life would be better for knowing some gay people. The most interesting thing about gay people is that they're not even really queer, in the original sense of the word. They're people. When they hang out with other gay people, antennae don't spring from their heads. They don't reproduce by budding. They don't communicate via a series of sequential changes in pheromones. They don't take your children to Faerieland where they are raised to become evil monster fae children. At least, not as far as I know. They love and feel pain and seek comfort just like straight people. The only difference is whether or not the person they seek comfort from has a penis.

There are so many things in this world that should be a higher priority than banning media that contain gay people. That should be on the list just below legislation that guarantees oxygen the right to vote. Instead, we get our beloved President seeking legislation to "prevent liberal libarians and trendy teachers from 're-engineering society's fabric in the minds of our children.'" I'm sorry assholes, but you're banning Tennesee Williams, much AIDS literature, etc., not to mention the damage done to gay children who will never find out that living the way they are wired is, at the very least, not damning them to Hell.

I'm not asking people to go whole-hog and start being pro-gay and all that. I know it's harder than that. But I will say that my life is far richer knowing the friends I know who just happen to be gay, and to think that continuing my ignorant attitude toward gay people would have robbed me of so many people who have enriched my life....

Just grow up, people.