by Sean Kosofsky
All Politics is Loco
Even mild exposure to the right wing’s panic and fear-laced rhetoric about gay people would give the average person the impression that we are really bad people. They say we are unapologetic sinners who live decadent lifestyles filled with sin, nudity, debauchery and promiscuity.
They call us degenerates who have turned our back on God and our families by giving in to temptation. They say we engage in disgusting acts of kink and torture and that there isn’t a thread of decency in our moral fabric. We have been fed garbage science that says LGBT people are more likely to be depressed, beat our partners, commit suicide, die early, spread disease and molest children.
If you listen to these zealots you would think we were dreadful people – horrific monsters marauding through communities with our torches and clubs, intent on destroying the innocent heterosexuality of Boy Scouts and suburban moms and dads. In fact, when you weave the whole string of our supposed misdeeds together, it sounds like we should be rounded up, quarantined and shot.
That is the narrative that has been created about our community for over sixty years.
But if we are really that bad, why aren’t the religious extremists trying to stop us from taking part in other basic freedoms? If we are such a threat to public health, why is there no legislation requiring us to wear face masks when we go out in public, or wear rubber gloves if we work in restaurants? Since we seem to be a bigger threat than the avian flu and the emerald ash borer combined, why is there no legislation banning us from attending public festivals and fairs like Motor City Pride or the Renaissance Festival? If there is such violence and depression in our homes and we are such selfish, irresponsible people who can’t take care of ourselves or anyone or thing else, where are the acts of Congress trying to take away our pets, or even our plants?
I am not kidding. Why is Gary Glenn and the American Family Association so focused on boycotting Ford Motor Company and not waging a holy way to rescue every fern, ficus and foxhound from the Guantanamo-style conditions forced upon them by gay evildoers? If we can’t be trusted to serve our country in the military and we can’t be trusted to raise our own children, why doesn’t James Dobson come and finish the job? It is purely hypocritical for them to say we’re the scum of the earth, but still entrust us with any level of responsibility at all. Dog sitting, even landscaping, should be forbidden us!
Far-right political leaders know there is no logic here. The key is that they have a political agenda that can only embrace a certain number of evil deeds at a time. They know that if they try to stop us from going to the Zoo, opening a checking account or subscribing to wireless internet they would simply become too exhausted. There aren’t enough of them in the vast right wing army to get the job done.
But in reality the reason extremists don’t go that far is because fear doesn’t work there. Fear works when it comes to children and sexual values. Fear does not work when you try to convince sixty-somethings in the pews at church that gays people must be stopped from going to the IMAX theater. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
I run the risk of seeming preachy, but the only way to end the ridiculous fear is to come out. If a fire and brimstone minister in West Michigan realizes that the surgeon that performed his triple-bypass is a lesbian, that will cause him to reflect. And if a conservative candidate for office discovers that his son (and campaign manager) is gay, it might just change his platform.
If you want to keep your Rottweiler, your rosebush or any of your rights, you should be out to everyone you know. Or Fluffy might just have to join us at the next demonstration.