Friday, November 6, 2009

Down With Down East

My blog update record has been pretty pathetic since returning from Saba. I’ve been reluctant to post anything that’s not “event-related” i.e. a balloon flight, a wedding of two dear friends, a tentative foray into Loveland. But as my life has been somewhat uneventful of late (other than that last example) this blog has been lying pretty fallow. And after I went to all the trouble of designing that fabulous new header!

So, I’m going to try to get back to my roots as a novice blogger, way back when I first started and would write about whatever trivial inanity crosses my mind. I seem to recall that strategy did result in the occasional interesting entry. (That blog was also laced with an x-rated photo now and then. That, uh, won’t be happening here.) My goal is to post three entries per week. They may be very short but at least they’ll exist. I make no promises and you certainly shouldn’t check out this page for any thrice-weekly pearls of wisdom. But at least you’ll know I’m alive.

So, what’s on my mind?

This Maine thing. Tsk tsk tsk. I’ve been saying it for years: we homos are the last minority it’s acceptable to hate, and the vote to repeal our civil right to marriage (please note how terrifying is that phrase: to repeal our civil right) confirmed it. Once inside the voting booth people are free to unleash their bigotry with impunity. And here’s the thing: of course they are. This is still a free country, right? I don’t care if you hate me and what I am. Chances are I hate you right back. But as long as you stay on your side of the fence I will not get in your hateful way. But you don’t stay on your side. You come barging through the garden gate with your morals and your God and your 50% divorce rate and try to tell me I’m going to Hell. I find it so difficult to argue this point once religion enters into it because I think people who believe in God and are members of organized religion are deluded idiots who shouldn’t have the right to vote in the first place if they’re going to bring all that malarkey into the voting booth with them.

Y’know, I’m really pretty tired of this whole argument. Its so painfully obvious to me that it’s rooted in the hatred of homosexuals. And often by some supposedly enlightened individuals. And just as often by the homosexuals themselves. I’m not going to get started about how I believe that the closeted gays are to blame for the lack of and/or slow progress in LGBT rights over the past 10 years. I’ve already been on that soapbox. But I would like to mention that a lot of our straight allies (including our families) could be doing more, but don’t because we homos are the last minority it’s acceptable to hate. If someone utters a homophobic (or any kind of bigoted) remark and it is not rebutted, it is implicitly endorsed. If you let your kid be in the cub scouts in spite of their official anti-gay policy, well, I guess you think that policy is sound. There’s a pretty terrific restaurant in my area run by some religious community. I used to be a regular patron until I found out they, too, are officially anti-gay. I suppose I wasn’t surprised to learn that information, but once I did you’d better believe I stopped going there. But dang it if most of my friends don’t continue to eat there. Even some of my gay friends. They’re actually giving money to people who think their friend (me) is, by his very existence, an affront to nature. Thanks, friends.

I wish I had answers but I don’t. I do wish people would do the substitution thing, though, and see how they come down on different issues. Let’s try: “The official Boy Scout policy is that people who are black runs counter to the values promoted by the Boy Scouts. Therefore we don’t allow black boys to join the scouts or black men to be scoutmasters.” Sign me up! Or: “We believe the Jewish 'lifestyle' is incompatible with a moral and just life.” What’s on the menu?! I think people would be surprised at their own buried prejudices if they tried that tack.

Blah blah blah. This is what you get with a rambling blog entry, I’m afraid. Lots of carping and no suggestions for improvement.

Oh, and did I mention I’m completely disillusioned with Barack Obama?


  1. Buuuuut....what about the loveland thing?? Us long-partnered people need to hear about this kind of thing!

  2. I called my senator... you are correct in saying that Gays are the final frontier of easy hate targets... I'd like to see it change in my lifetime.

  3. I posted this over on Pam's House Blend a few days ago, but it's just as applicable here (emphasis in the original):

    TODAY, BLACKS ARE NO LONGER THE LITMUS PAPER or the barometer of social change. Blacks are in every segment of society and there are laws that help to protect them from racial discrimination. The new "niggers" are gays. No person who hopes to get politically elected, even in the deep South, not even Governor Wallace, would dare to stand and publicly argue that blacks should not have the right to use public accommodations. Nobody would dare to say any number of things about blacks that they are perfectly prepared to say about gay people. It is in the since that gay people are the new barometer for social change.

    Indeed if you want to know whether today people believe in democracy, if you want to know whether they are human rights activists, the question to ask is, "what about gay people?" Because that is now the litmus paper by which the democracy is to be judged. The barometer of social change is measured by selecting the group which is most mistreated. To determine where society is with respect to change, one does not ask, "What do you think about the education of children?" Nor does one ask, "Do you believe the aged should have Social Security?" The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people.

    -- from 'The New "Niggers" Are Gays', a speech by Bayard Rustin, March 1986, (taken from Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin)

    For those unfamiliar with the name, Bayard Rustin was one of the key figures of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s and later, both in teaching MLK nonviolence strategies and organising the 1963 March on Washington.

  4. I want to hear more about your disillusioned view of Obama, please.

  5. "I think people who believe in God and are members of organized religion are deluded idiots who shouldn’t have the right to vote in the first place"

    Well Tom, I believe in God and am a member of an organized religion, yet I would wager that I vote in support of the same things you do. And I have a friend who is a minister, and she and her husband are outraged at the continued persecution of gays in America and speak out to that affect. Another straight friend is a lay worker at a church in Indiana who is working to educate the members on LGBT issues. IMHO, blanket statements of any kind are just another form of bigotry. I'm just sayin'.

    Keep fighting the good fight, but choose your enemies carefully.

  6. Here in Europe we have been thinking for more than half a century that the USA were the leaders in the world as far as civil, human, social ...or any rights are concerned. It's rather unbelievable - and shameful - to hear that only now (21st century) the Us Government "starts" considering social security for every US citizen. In the Benelux-countries e.g. this system of social security already exists since World War II.
    As for gay rights I guess these same countries may claim the leadership: The Netherlands and Belgium started even legalizing gay marriages - which according to me personally is not a necessity, but who am I to judge other gays choices? It's a pity though to hear that religious extremists from "allochtonous" origin (more particularly in The Netherlands)are trying to "re-demonize" homosexuality:-((
    Greetz Tom!...Looking forward to your interesting topics!