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May 13, 2009

Foul logic

I’m so over straight people.

Rather, I’m so sick of the straights who take their privilege beyond unacceptable, those who confidently make odious claims concerning the experience of being gay. The ones who think they have a place in the debate concerning the genesis of being gay; those who declare with stolen, and empty, authority that sexuality isn’t an inherent quality — that sexuality, gay or straight, is a choice. And because straight is the option they “choose,” there are no inherent rights for gay people.

Such hubris it is to think one can have expert insight and knowledge of a life and person he or she is not. One is either a monster or a god to use power in such a way that restricts the freedom of others. And I’m pretty sure both options aren’t harmonious with the teachings of Christ.

But that is not what I want to talk about.

I want to discuss logic — specifically, the logic that says because straight is always an equally valid option to gay, gay people don’t deserve rights. This argument folds quickly when you consider religion. Or guns. Belief and spirituality are choices one makes; even if Jesus chose to show up in his bat suit and save them, there is always the choice not to follow him back to the bat cave. There is always the option to Just Say No. Religion is a choice, not the only option.

I will never understand how in America there are, simultaneously, laws that protect our right to worship (or not) any gods, laws that require tolerance, criminalize discrimination regardless of the Personal Jesus, and laws that protect the right to discriminate against a person just because he or she is gay.

A law that denies a particular right to a specific group of people based on sexuality doesn’t add up. Even if being gay were a choice, what makes that choice any less important, or any more?

And don’t even get me started on guns. Or people who compare a person who is gay to a child molester, adulterer or zoophile. That’s just stupid. Lame. Birdbrained.

I’m tired of talking about gay marriage in the context in which it is being discussed. It will happen; I’m not worried. It’s 2009: Year of the queer. (Go Maine!)

Left out of the conversation about gay rights in America are those who suffer the indirect effects of a gay marriage ban: middle and high school students.

You see, one of the consequences of banning same-sex marriage is that it, in a way, criminalizes being gay. Making ludicrous public statements deeming gays inauthentic or heretical essentially gives kids permission to bully classmates suspected of being gay. Laws that categorically deny rights to a group of people become reasons why those people aren’t human. Kids aren’t stupid — they know the price of bullying a queer is less than that of a fat kid. As a sub, I constantly hear kids talk with a lisp, in the “gay voice”; I see them become a cartoon version of feminine once they drop a wrist. The same students who ask me if I’m a lesbian would never raise their hand and ask the teacher or sub their race or religion.

At a “good“ school one day, I heard some high school boys call a kid “fag” in a familiar way that made it clear they do this all the time. When I brought it to the attention of the teachers in the room next to mine, one commented about how difficult and annoying those boys were — but never came close to calling them bullies.

Statistically, fewer straight high school students commit suicide than their gay counterparts.

Most of the time messages of hate and intolerance aren’t direct; the erosion of one’s compassion for others, the increased ability to see human worth as a sliding scale dependent on agreed beliefs, is a process whose path unfolds daily.

I’ve met far too many gay people who fear their legitimacy will be compromised if they come across as “too gay.”

The level of violence a gay kid receives in high school is directly related to the value adults place on the abstract “gay people.” 

Tagged: Yep, I’m Gay |