Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why do straights hate gays?

My gosh, here is yet another article so good it should be read in its entirety. This one breaks my heart. The author of this piece, Larry Kramer, is a 72-year-old-gay man who has pretty much lost hope for any big strides in basic gay rights and equality in his lifetime. It’s hard to read this article and not feel heartbroken for him. It’s hard to read this article and not feel heartbroken for all gays and lesbians. And as a mother of a gay son, it’s hard to read this article and not feel just plain old heartbroken (and angry):


Why do you hate gay people so much?

Gays are hated. Prove me wrong. Your top general just called us immoral. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is in charge of an estimated 65,000 gay and lesbian troops, some fighting for our country in Iraq. A right-wing political commentator, Ann Coulter, gets away with calling a straight presidential candidate a faggot. Even Garrison Keillor, of all people, is making really tacky jokes about gay parents in his column. This, I guess, does not qualify as hate except that it is so distasteful and dumb, often a first step on the way to hate. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama tried to duck the questions that Pace's bigotry raised, confirming what gay people know: that there is not one candidate running for public office anywhere who dares to come right out, unequivocally, and say decent, supportive things about us.


President Bush will leave a legacy of hate for us that will take many decades to cleanse. He has packed virtually every court and every civil service position in the land with people who don't like us. So, even with the most tolerant of new presidents, gays will be unable to break free from this yoke of hate. Courts rule against gays with hateful regularity. And of course the Supreme Court is not going to give us our equality, and in the end, it is from the Supreme Court that such equality must come. If all of this is not hate, I do not know what hate is.


Why do you hate us so much that you will not permit us to legally love? I am almost 72, and I have been hated all my life, and I don't see much change coming.

I think your hate is evil.

What do we do to you that is so awful? Why do you feel compelled to come after us with such frightful energy? Does this somehow make you feel safer and legitimate? What possible harm comes to you if we marry, or are taxed just like you, or are protected from assault by laws that say it is morally wrong to assault people out of hatred? The reasons always offered are religious ones, but certainly they are not based on the love all religions proclaim.

And even if your objections to gays are religious, why do you have to legislate them so hatefully? Make no mistake: Forbidding gay people to love or marry is based on hate, pure and simple.

You may say you don't hate us, but the people you vote for do, so what's the difference? Our own country's democratic process declares us to be unequal. Which means, in a democracy, that our enemy is you. You treat us like crumbs. You hate us. And sadly, we let you.



Jarred said...

Does this somehow make you feel safer and legitimate?

I am firmly convinced that this question and the answer to it touches on the very foundational truth of the situation. People who are so dead set against gay people and see us as being some sort of threat need us to be a threat. Because if they can see us as a threat, they can blame all the ills in the world, in our society, and in their own lives on us. And let's face it, having a scapegoat to blame everything on is a lot more pleasant (at least superficially) than having to go through the ugly business of looking within ourselves to find real solutions to those problems.

Anonymous said...

If you're not particularly familiar with Larry Kramer...do a little digging. He's a truly inspiring man (he started ACT UP, which would essentially do all the legwork to get HIV awareness and treatment to where it is today. As he said in a speech, their people were literally better educated than the doctors for a time, until the doctors had their people work with them. THe organization also trained activists who would later spin off into the Lesbian Avengers and Queer Nation, as well as other less "militant" and more local groups). He's now suggesting a change in the way ACT UP works, and calling for "An army of lovers". Now there's an army I can join and fully support the actions of.