A co-worker who has been out in the field for the better part of the past month was back in the office this morning, catching up on the past few weeks' worth of low-grade work drama and the outrages of the greater world. Again, the latest blows raining down from various quarters shock and sting her, while my sense of them is older, less acute. Punch the same spot on my shoulder over and over and eventually it begins to numb, successive hits blurring into a dull ache. She feels them only indirectly, but because of that sympathetically feels each one in the distinct sharpness of the slapping sound it makes.
My co-worker is straight, and stunned to have heard, in the last fourteen days or so, Ann Coulter smugly and publicly call John Edwards a faggot and Joint Chiefs Chair General Peter Pace piously and publicly call homosexuals immoral. Have these things become more prevalent in the last few years, she wonders, or are we just more sensitized to them by the paradoxical evolution of our societal sense that kneejerk attacks on gays aren't that acceptable any more?
In either case, she's appalled and angry.
Me? I think I spend far too much time online, so I find out not only about the high-profile salvos from Hardaway and Coulter and Pace but also the ones that go to more specific, second-tier audiences (such as Michael Savage) or the ones that only hit the local news and then are picked up by the gay blogs (such as the 72-year-old gay man in Detroit beaten into paralysis and, two weeks later, death). When the world is aggressively sought out in this fashion, the barrage is unrelenting.
It makes me tired more than anything. Tired of consequence-free bigoted approbation coming from "legitimate" sources who would be pilloried if they made the same broad, sweeping, blatant distortions and lies about a religious or ethnic group. Tired of public figures and private individuals getting a free pass for the ugliness they spew and the oppression and violence they sow because "it's the way I was brought up" or "it's what my religion teaches."
Tired of wondering what fresh crap my son will have to put up with tomorrow or next week because his mom's a dyke. Tired of wondering how many kids are going to find themselves kicked out of the house tomorrow because they gravely miscalculated how safe they were in coming out to their parents. Tired of hearing other people reduce my entire existence, and the lives of people like me, to a single sex act they find repulsive.
Tired of the sting not being sharp and fresh any more.