I never thought I’d be posting a Stupid Things People Say About Gays based upon comments made by… well… gays!!! The lack of information our own people have regarding their rights and gay stereotypes shocks me beyond measure. I will include portions of a chat transcript from gay.com between myself and a room full of gays (for the sake of my, and your sanity, I have removed several lines of commentary about Margaret Cho and public sex – NOTE: That is not about Margaret Cho having public sex):
Me: any of you doing the Marriage Freedom thing on the 12th?
travistx16000: this may sound awful
travistx16000: but the GLBT community want marriage as part of equal rights tomorrow
travistx16000: and they forget that less than 100 years ago you’d be considered mentally insane
Marksatx23: I just think we need to fix so many other key things about this country right now, gay rights are doing okay for the time being– focus should be on the much more PRESSING issues right now…
Marksatx23: Str8 people don’t get in our face about their sexuality
Me: they don’t?
travistx16000: no, because if they do, i disassociate with them
Marksatx23: but this world will never be perfect, and that 100% acceptance you dream of will not be here till after we are all gone…
Marksatx23: most fags can’t keep a relationship for a week… so MOVE ON
Marksatx23: and they will STILL be at the clubs snortin coke after the wedding!
Marksatx23: HOORAH! GAY MARRIAGE!
During the course of this chat session, I was also told that it is a waste of time to fight for equal rights. That we must change the perception that straight people have of us – I find this odd considering these commentators apparently have a very negative view of homosexuals (excluding themselves), note the last three lines. Homosexuals were also called “butt bangers” by Marksatx23 (who is 29 not 23) and many other derogatory comments were made about homosexuals – BY HOMOSEXUALS.
I also noted the conflict that exists within my community. On one hand, they blame the lack of participation on their reason for not participating:
travistx16000: this town has no true club culture
travistx16000: gay pride here was glazed over
travistx16000: but there?
travistx16000: they came out in droves
travistx16000: the beach was covered with the GLBT community and those accepting of who we are
travistx16000: you ask me to stand up for a legal document there? i will
However, others felt that their lives weren’t affected by the lack of civil equality:
SethAllen: I have been in a 20 year relationship, raised 3 boys, been to all the sporting events, school funtions and have never felt out of place.
And others still felt they were the only ones that matter in the world:
Marksatx23: I live my life for me
Marksatx23: and only me
Marksatx23: I have to go to sleep with it
Marksatx23: I have to wake up to it
And still others recognized, in some form, the importance of civil equality:
Falkore: The biggest argument about gay marriage is simple. Equal access.
Falkore: However if I was married to a woman, all I ned to do is say I’m her husband.
Falkore: No paperwork needed
I’d like to say these people (those voices of dissension) changed my mind, but selfishness, isolation and apathy have never been my strong points. Perhaps the comment that caused me the most confusion was with regard to bullying and hate crimes. When one person brought the subject up as it related to them, Travis had this to say:
travistx16000: i’ll be the one there when you’ve nowhere else to turn
Well, Travis – we need you, where are you now?
I left that room feeling very weak and sick to my stomach. I copied the entire transcript so when I could truly think through the comments, I could try to see another point of view. I’ve read it four times and now I do see something I missed that evening. I realized LGBT people are taught to hate themselves by, mostly, religion and that myopic education results in many of us sliding into a world where self-loathing is welcomed and acceptance is subject to your participation. It’s the world of the club, the drugs, the alcohol, the anonymous sex and the assumption that we are gods and no one is worthy but ourselves. It’s a world in which we may be unhappy, but we feel safe. It’s a world I’ve personally known and to which I almost lost my hope.
I also learned that many of us are playing the victim card. Statements made indicated that we are victims of the gay men at the clubs, and we are victims of the environment in which we live – never mind that we ARE the gay men at the clubs and we ARE the environment in which we live. We must take on that responsibility regardless of the weight of it. It is time that we stop being victims and start being heroes, time to be the change you expect in others.
In that chat room, I was the one to take the blame for their unhappiness with their own lives because I invaded their world and asked if they would stand beside me. I asked them to leave their comfort zone for something I believe will result in a greater good. They just are not prepared to walk out on the world they have created and still hate and into this world. I expected too much and I was regrettably wrong. They are exactly where they are supposed to be at this stage in their lives. I hope they find the happiness they seek within the walls they have built and I owe these people a great “HOORAY” for making me feel like my life’s work is meaningless, that gay rights are unimportant and that although they won’t fight with me, they will continue to reap the rewards of the fight:
Marksatx23:we will never have a perfect world, but in the area of Gay rights… we have come a LONG LONG way in a short amount of time
Yeah… I wonder how we got this far.