Saturday, September 10, 2005

Because We're Gay, Not Stupid

The amazement of others never fails to amaze me. There is little more useful in observing people than taking stock of what surprises them. People caught unawares are revealing what makes them tick, it uncovers hidden prejudices, it enables you to peer through a tiny keyhole into the dark, dank chambers that house their worldview.

Take, for example, this post made in response to an entry on the ever readable Malcontent.

But I quickly picked up on the fact that this guy was gay and it is always nice to see what other gay folks out there are writing and ranting about, so I read a little. I was confused that the top post was making fun of liberals. Then as I read on, it dawned on me that I had stumbled into the lair of a gay republican. Soon as I saw the posting lauding GLAAD's helm being taken by a repub and linking to a post elsewhere criticising HRC for being too liberal, I knew I was in the wrong neighborhood. (emphasis added)

Like those heterosexuals who assume everyone is straight unless informed otherwise, this gay man seems to believe all homosexuals are liberal. If they are not he becomes rapidly "confused." He may also have been distressed, gob-smacked, filled with heart-ache . . . wait, I'm mixing up the gay men who I want to throttle at random.

Still, doesn't he realize by assuming gays are liberal that he is unconsciously reinforcing the systematic social oppression of a world that pressures us to be liberal?! How insensitive and close-minded, no, how hateful to place those kinds of expectations on us. Do you know how that wounds our soul?

Our confused citizen of the city of fabulous writes on:

I still have to pick my jaw up off the floor when I hear that a gay person is republican. You just have to be a special kind of selfish and deluded to be gay and vote republican.

Selfish, yes. Are we not supposed to be selfish when casting our votes? I may be hallucinating, but is not a major talking point of the Democratic Party that economically disadvantaged Republican voters are doing so against their own self-interest? Is not a major campaign tactic of the Left to convince those citizens to vote for a liberal party who they believe has their rather selfish monetary interests at heart? And do not homosexual activists expect other homosexuals to vote for Democrats in order to get what we want for ourselves?

He's right. If I were selfish and allowed my mind to be consumed by homosexual issues, I very well might vote for the Democratic Party. Alas, I seem to have aged beyond adolescent self-identity politics to the wider world of free-thinking adults. I am free of the shrieking homosexual activism and its filthy, grime-ridden claws of insecurity and self-loathing.

Allow me to explain.

On November 2nd, 2000, I found myself staring at a television screen through bloodshot eyes, my last cigarette smoked, the economy-sized jug of sangria mostly empty and rolling around the floor at my feet. It had been a long night, and I had been so certain Gore was going to win. Then, in the small hours, George W. Bush was declared the winner. I clutched the remote, dashing from channel to channel in sheer desperation. There had to be some mistake. But, no. One by one, the network graphics flashed onto the screen with a picture of Bush and the words "43rd President of the United States."

Tears streamed over my nose as I bent double and gave a great snuffling sob. In a moment as near to Calvary as I'm ever likely to get in this life, I cried out"Why does America hate me?!"

You see, back then, I was gay. Nothing but gay. Gay as far as the eye could see. If I were Kansas, I'd have been an endless field filled with rainbow streamers. I had almost exclusively gay friends, and went to exclusively gay bars. I listened to music mostly played in gay clubs. My politics were all filtered through the prism of my homosexuality. I was not male or white or a deist or a liberal or someone who liked history or soccer or books. I was not even Robbie. I was Robbie the Homosexual. If I had thought to buy a cape, I would have.

A Republican victory was not a repudiation of politics or belief, but a rejection of me, my entire person, everything that I was. It was as if I had been kicked directly in the stomach and cast to the curb, intentionally left there to suffer. I remained inconsolable for weeks.

And then I grew up.

A few days after Sept. 11th, I found myself at the usual local gay bar. After an emotionally exhausting week, I just wanted a bit of comfort, a bit of the familiar, a piece of the consolation that comes from being around others who feel as rotten as you do. As I thought they might be, my friends were filled with righteous fury, angry, livid, full of rage.

At America.

"We had it coming," one asserted.
"It's about time someone gave us a bloody nose," another nodded in satisfaction.
"This is karma for our imperialism."
"We deserved it," a fourth said with relish.

I quietly sipped my beer as my mind dully flickered back to the scenes of people leaping from the towers, to the reports of firefighters and police disappearing in a billowing cloud of death. That was their karma? That was what they deserved?

From that day forward, the spell of Leftism and partisanship had been broken. No longer could I blindly or willfully share in any ideology that could be filled with such hatred for one's own country, that could believe - on any level - that what happened that day was deserved in any form. After seeing the kind of people my friends were, with a little start, I began the slow realization that I was not like these people. I was different. No shared sexual orientation could ever bind me to their twisted beliefs. They hated too much and too easily. They hated Christians and conservatives and the rich and white men and corporations and the media. They hated everything about this country, and it seemed nothing and no one would ever come in the way of it. No true evil in this world could ever compare to the disdain they felt whenever they looked down at their own passports.

Free of the ideology, I began to see the world not as I believed it to be, but how it is. As I drifted away from my homosexual friends, I became free to concentrate on every other aspect of my life.

I attended union meetings with my father. These gruff, hard-working, dependable Democratic voters were as bigoted and hateful as any stereotypical evangelical Christian or southerner. Gathering after gathering full of beer, and politics, and "those niggers," and "them fucking faggots." No political party maintains a monopoly on racism and homophobia.

I began to work in earnest, spending sixty or more hours a week in the office. Every Friday, I'd receive my check and begin calculating the percentage of taxes. I rapidly learned I would be penalized if I worked too hard and too long. No political party should punish me for being productive.

I met a boy and moved overseas. When I became sick, I had to wait for treatment from Britain's NHS. Friends and family there warned me against seeing an NHS dentist. When I tried to find a private one, I learned they weren't taking any more patients: their appointments were booked up for the next year. When my boyfriend's grandmother became ill, she shrieked and sobbed and wailed. This four foot, nine inch, 90 pound Scottish woman would not be moved from her living room by two burly paramedics. She said NHS hospitals are where people go to die. No political party should be bringing such a system to my home country.

Abortion . . . Ok, as a gay man, I have no truck in the abortion debate. I have my own beliefs, but I admit to being entirely apathetic. Lesbians sometimes try to tell me I should have solidarity with my sisters. I'll make them a deal. You show me a bunch of butch lesbians at a father's rights rally, and I will take a gander at your NARAL pamphlet. Fair trade, no?

I just sat through an election where the Republican vice-presidential candidate said gay marriage issues should be left to the states while the Democrat claimed marriage is between a man and a woman.

Finally, for the last four years, I have seen leftist after baby-boomer leftist parade around this country in a pathetic attempt to recapture their Vietnam protesting youth. It would be almost adorable if it weren't so depressing. I watched these people apologize and excuse terrorists, fascists, tyrants, and the most sinister forms of government evil.

I saw the vapidity of multiculture equivalence silence liberal voices that should have been howling to the sky for the rights of women, gays, and minorities in every part of the world, especially the Middle East.

I looked on in sheer disbelief as the Director of LGBT Relations at the Human Rights Watch apologized for and excused the beating of a homosexual couple in the city of Amsterdam by a gang of fascistic, fundamentalist Muslim youths.

There are serious issues facing the Republic and Western Civilization, and someone is going to have the gall and base ignorance to tell anyone else that these things need be decided by something as inconsequential as who they have sex with?

Now that is a mindset I find confusing and jaw-dropping.

People are shocked by gay Republicans and conservatives? I am shocked as hell by gay liberals and Democrats. They are the ones being selfish by putting their delicate sexual sensibilities before the vital questions of government, country, and civilization.

There is more to this world than me and who I date. Perhaps someday I'll get married. Perhaps not. That is my choice, and I will make it whether the government approves or not. I will continue to be a homosexual. To this day, I still go to the clubs, and have gay friends, and probably live up to the promiscuous stereotype a little more than I ought to. But I also work hard and want to keep my money. I want better health care, not a shittier national system. I want freedom for everyone, no matter where they are in the world. I want the boot of the American military to smash the faces of the Islamofascists over and over and over again. I want the bigots and the racists in both political parties exposed and shamed.

If someone finds all this horrifically confusing, well kiddo, have a popper and nap. It's on me.