Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Can they stop shoving the GAY THING down my throat?"

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I’ve observed an interesting trend lately. I’m not sure if it’s the Olympics, the fact that we are making worldwide progress towards gay rights (and falling backwards in some cases) or that the internet has single-handedly made the activism tactics of prior human rights movements redundant—and largely ineffective—but I am seeing a growing trend of frustration sweeping over the (unsolicited) inner monologues that diarrhea across social networking sites and comment sections of the enough with the GAY agenda persuasion.

Not sure what I mean? Let me give you an example. Yesterday I was reading this article on PolicyMic about the “46 Most Iconic LGBT Moments of 2013” (we’ve also gotten to the point where reading an entire article is too tedious; therefore we need lists and videos to captivate our over-stimulated attention-span). Some of the points—particularly when it comes to the Pope being one of the most influential figures in the gay movement; hello? Advocate’s person of the year!?!—seem a bit of stretch. But, there were a lot of great things on the list too. It was nice to see trans identities given more attention, major political change at the federal level and all of the US states that struck down bans in the last year (which when listed state by state seem like a ton, but juxtaposed against the countries that have legalized gay marriage, not just struck down a ban, it pales in comparison).

But then I got to my favorite part of any article—my guilty pleasure—the comment section. If you are like me and you grew up in the 90s then you might remember trolls as those magical wrinkly dolls with the fluorescent hair. When I was a little person I totally loved trolls. Once when I was four or five my mother sent me to the restaurant counter to pay the breakfast bill and I spent the entire twenty on trolls and my parents were accused of a dine and a dash. How sorry I feel for kids growing up today who have had the possibility of what a troll could be tarnished by the reality of assholes who go from article to article and write rude or insensitive comments to piss off the people on board with the message.

But for the contemporary troll, an article about gay rights is Christmahanakwanzika come early.

On this article alone, there were comments comparing gay marriage to bestiality (seriously, this argument doesn’t even make me angry anymore, it just makes me want to shout change the record!), incest, rape, probably the destruction of the rainforest if I continued to read on…etc. Then, there were comments that I’m not totally sure I’d class as “trollments” because they seemed less incendiary and purposefully placed to incite a riot. These were of the “I’m never going to read this website again—it’s clear they’re pushing a platform for the gays. I’m deleting you from my internet life” sort of thing.

Earlier in the day I came across this blog article that I almost hate myself for re-posting now, but I’m going to risk giving this woman an audience for the sake of general argument. On the blog “A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman” (what does that even mean?), the author posted an article on the Disney film Frozen and argues that Disney is indoctrinating the children who watch the film with the gay agenda. And for parents who might be a bit too stupid to catch on to the subliminal messaging—you know, being swept up in the catchy music and the pageantry of it all—she spells it out for you. Basically, because the little girl in the film has “a secret power” she can’t hide and sings songs about being true to herself, every little boy and girl who comes out of the theater will go home and buy George Michael/Melissa Etheridge albums.

Puh-leez. Surely, a film that promotes equality and loving everyone can only be a good thing. What’s the fear? That as the older generations’ defense weakens, the kids are going to grow up to be tolerant and decent human beings?

But here’s the thing, baby dolls: free expression means you can have whatever opinion you want; even if it’s backwards, obtuse and mean-spirited. But it doesn’t entitle you to your facts and at the end of the day the LGBTQ community is being treated like a second-class citizen and anyone who cares about human rights should be angry. And more than that they should be LOUD about it. It’s not about a wedding—it’s not about your church or the white dress or tuxedo, the overpriced flowers or a dinner where the embarrassing aunts drink too much grappa and threaten a striptease.  On the surface, it’s about simply having that right if one wants it. But the bigger picture is about the aftermath.

The “Gay Agenda” as it is so lovingly referred, incorporates a good deal more than infected churches with gay oxygen. It’s about immigration, employment, healthcare benefits, spousal benefits, adoption, who signs the report card—all of the boring shit that makes up our day to day existence. What a comical thought that people who pay taxes and contribute to communities should want full and total equality!

I’m sorry. I’m not sorry if the inclusion of a gay character on television offends you, or makes you feel squirmy, or really is something you would rather keep behind closed doors. When individuals have their employability and workplace capability questioned because of what is behind closed doors then it’s not a closed door matter anymore, is it? You can argue about whether the NBA has reached the bottom of the barrel of respectability when a player comes out; whether the hip-hop and rap industries have been desecrated by white dudes winning Grammy awards for a song that promotes equality. But at the end of the day there are serious repercussions to this kind of insidious homophobia. When people in Russia, India and (dare I say) America fear for their lives because of their identity, wouldn’t the rational and compassionate response be: what are we doing to fix it? When kids are afraid to go to school because someone calls them a fag or a dyke or any of the other magical words they have learned from their esteemed role models, shouldn’t we be asking: what are we putting into action to make them feel safer?

Not, as seems to be the current trend: Can they stop shoving the gay thing down my throat?



  1. Amanda I love your articles! Please keep inspiring others to do what is right! I hope all is well with you!

  2. Thank you Jordan!!! And thank you for reading!