I was going to do a piece on evangelical histrionics concerning the “War on Christianity,” but Homer’s post yesterday about a nasty, short-sighted, self-loathing gay boy who is just sick of the old-timers perpetuating the stereotypes of the “culture of death” (yeah, the boy in question actually used the phrase “culture of death” in reference to his fellow gay males) made me change my mind.
The issue facing every minority group comes down to who gets to define the group, what standards are requisite for membership, and how far outside the out-of–the-mainstream mainstream you can venture before either pissing people off or getting your ass disowned, and what makes that disowning either a travesty or something you had coming by being stupid.
The letter-writing kid doesn’t like older gay men who insist on having random sex (I think he tossed in "shrieking" too) and keep driving that wedge between gay folk and full societal acceptance by the J. Crew crowd. Funny how it’s always the reviled minority community--pick your minority of choice--that’s expected to tone down its more demonstrative and visible members or risk being discounted by the mainstream because of them. It’s the gay community that gets defined by the leather guys and the dykes on bikes in the parade—hell, we’re defined by the parade, period. Because some members of the population find their outlet in public expression once a year, we all should be denied full membership in this society, and we’re all somehow responsible for this boy’s discomfort.
Funny how that rule doesn’t get extended back to the prime group responsible for perpetuating discrimination. Funny how quickly the Christian community disavows Pat Robertson’s more bizarre statements and insists he’s not representative of Christianity, and how quickly that palliative gets swallowed and somehow internalized by an entire nation. Because it sure would be unfair to call all evangelical Christians bigots based on the statements and actions of a few, right?
Blaming drag queens and circuit party boys for the failure of middle Red State America to accept gays and lesbians as equal citizens is beyond dishonest. It’s exactly what the bigots want us to do, because it deflects responsibility away from them—where it belongs—and back onto the people they would victimize. The guys in boas on a parade float, or the guys getting some anonymous dick in the back room of a bar don’t reflect my own reality in the specifics of their lives any more than I represent them with my mundane monogamous two-kid two-dog smoke-free go-to-the-lesbian-bar-annually-if-that household. But I will always fight for their right to live their lives by the freedoms in the Constitution rather than the narrowly defined limits of WASP America, and would hope they’d do the same for me.