The Gay Agenda, Part 4
Welcome back, students, to another year of high school or, as I like to call it, the living hell that all must face except those who drop out and become burdens to society. But that title tends not to fit easily on resumes, so let’s stick with the former.
“Well, hasn’t it been an exciting and amazing few months since last we met? The Supreme Court ruled that sodomy is not a crime unless it’s done poorly and without enough lubrication, Ellen started her own talk show and made a successful return to TV except it’s only daytime TV and everyone with any sense is still asleep, Bravo went way-gay with Queer Eye for the Socially Inept and Boy Meets Lying Sack of Shit, and the anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder saw a plethora of articles about how much better Wyoming is for gay people, assuming you’re not gay.
“On the down side, our President signed a proclamation declaring this week National Marriage Protection Week, Arnold Schwarzenegger was voted in as the Governor of Lalaland and the latest polls from CNN and USA Today and other mockeries of journalism show that most Americans are completely gayed-out and would like us, please, to shut the hell up and pack up our hair products and fake tanning solutions and go home, as long as we go home alone and don’t touch ourselves or anyone else.
“So I’m thinking perhaps some of you are feeling a trifle confused about all this. Is America more accepting of homosexuals, or are they thinking we’re like door-to-door manicurists who will give them better shoes and zseuszh their shirtsleeves and paint their kitchens in lovely shades of Benjamin Moore™?
“First, though, I’d like to ask any of you who’ve had some interesting experiences, positive or negative or just plain fabulous, to please stand up and tell us about them. Anyone? No one? No one has anything… or are you telling me you’ve forgotten Rule 11 of the Gay Guidelines: The Spotlight was Invented for You! Okay, yes, over here?”
“So, I told my mom and dad about my choice and…”
“Okay, please people, I don’t like repeating myself endlessly except when I’m practicing my Oscar® acceptance speech in the shower. Before we begin, what do we do? All together: Happy “Hi!” and state your Gay Name.”
“Hi! My name’s Barry. I told my parents that I’ve chosen to be gay and the reaction was less than I’d hoped for. My mother broke down and asked if I could come back here and change my major, and my father said ‘No son of mine is going to become a pillow-biting flower-arranging, poodle-walking Nancy Boy!’ and then they said they’d throw me out of the house because… because…”
“Could someone hand Barry a tissue? Ah, thank you Jeremy. Is that a Paul Smith hanky? The one with the camera on it? Kudos! While Barry collapses into a wet wonderland of emotional excess, and I’d like everyone to take notes because this shows Barry’s commitment to his lifestyle of choice—do forgive the air quotes, but whenever I say ‘lifestyle’ I just can not help myself—after all, a good breakdown every two or three days is absolutely necessary during this stage of your education.
“All right, I think it goes without saying that our parents will have somewhat dramatic reactions to our choice unless, on the off chance, you were lucky enough to have gay parents yourself. Remember that heterosexuals, due, I suppose, to their vast numbers, act a bit like ants. Have you observed how ants within the same colony all get along and then if another ant straggles in, lost, forlorn, not looking for anything but a nice time and maybe a cup of coffee and a Twin Peaks rerun, they all gang up on it and rip its little legs off? Yes? It’s a bit like that. Difference, you see, not well tolerated.
“On the other hand, perhaps for opposite reasons, homosexuals act a bit like—and if I may borrow from Barry’s father’s illustrative and rather detailed vituperation—a flower arrangement. You have a beautiful bunch of irises and then you add some lovely sunflowers, the little ones? Very happy, very bright. Throw in some lemon tree leaves, maybe some sexy tulips, whatever you like, and you suddenly have this colorful collection that accents any fine dining experience and dresses up an otherwise dull kitchen table! And do the irises become resentful? Angry? Do they threaten to throw the sunflowers out of the pale blue and ever-so-darling vase and ripping their velvety leaves off? Of course not. Flowers can’t act independently. What were you thinking, Lance? What a dreadful metaphor.
“At any rate, that explains the situation but not how you, as a ‘Mo, should handle it. Firstly, this is not your problem, this is their problem. They knew all along that you were free to make this choice, even if they’d prefer there was no choice involved, as if we had nothing to do with being gay, as if it just is like hair color or left-handedness. Come to think of it, we can change hair color. Do you like this? It’s called Cherry Cola Snap! I think it’s luscious.
“The problem that is yours is if they carry through on their threat and toss you out of the house. Number one, what horrible people you’ve found yourself among! This is family? This is unconditional love? Naturally, one expects to have the occasional tiff when one accidentally burns down the garage or runs the car into the odd tree now and again, but this is your life, is it not? This is not sticking the cat in dryer, this is you, Barry! But let’s not come from a place of hate, let’s come from a place of bitter, bitter resentment.
“I’d love to tell you that gets better as you mature, but I have to admit that some things take a very, very, very, very, very, very long time to change. Opinions are like assholes, kids. Everyone has one, and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks. And occasionally you’re going to run into real life assholes. You won’t recognize them at first, and an important lesson right off the bat is never to judge a book by its cover. Don’t think that just because that guy at the end of the bar in the greasy jeans and the plaid shirt and the unkempt hair is leering at you is because he hates you. Chances are just as good that he wants to invite you out for tea and crumpets because, hey, everyone likes a little play acting once in a while.
“Barry, you look like you’ve got your shit back together and you look so sensitive and vulnerable right now that I’d love to take you home and show you my emotional scars in the shower, but we have to move right along. Before I completely abandon you like some fat-headed, scared, ignorant parent figure, I’ll add here that you’ll find it easier in life, overall, if you find your self-worth inside instead of relying on other people to provide it for you. By and large, whether you’re gay or otherwise, your life will be a misery wrapped inside a depression when you want other people to be responsible for your ultimate happiness. They can certainly help you along that path, but there’s no way they’ll lay the bricks.
“While we’re on the subject of small-minded dickheads, let’s get to today’s subject and open up the floor for discussion, meaning of course that I want you all to listen to me and nod. Okay? Okay!
“Marriage. Long story short, there’s a contingent of loud-mouthed cretins who are simply falling apart over the thought that allowing me to marry, say, Jeremy over there—my God, you look fetching in that wifebeater, young man, and I can’t help thinking that you’re wearing white—will cause the whole thing to collapse into a heap of soggy diapers. Apparently they believe that marriage, as an institution, is so fucked up, pardon my German, that if even two of us manage to somehow circumvent the carefully laid plans of the church of George W. Bush and actually, legally join each other in holy matrimony, it signals the end of civilization as we know, and I think I speak for all of us when I say ‘good riddance!'”
“Hi! I’m Jason. And I think putting tulips with sunflowers is just wrong-wrong. But anyway, why are we being treated as second-class citizens?”
“You have apparently not been on a flight for a while, young man, or you would know that there are scads of second class citizens. Hundreds upon hundreds of them, but only a handful of first-class. That would be us. The first-class. The ones with the champaign and the Italian clothing and the latest good-for-nothing, horribly overprices technology gadgets.
“There are far fewer of us, true, but everyone wants to be us. Jealousy, you see? So this is not a case of receiving second-class service, this is a case of the people who have to sit by the lavatories standing up and demanding their own real china servings and real cuts of prime beef. Unfortunately, they decided long ago that they didn’t want the beef, so now the beef is all ours. Mmm, beef.
“And now I must come to the point, and yes I do have one, sad to say. I wish I could rail on endlessly about inane issues to deflect attention from trivial little problems like failing wars and rampant drug use and racism in the courts and, well, Florida. But instead I am forced to come here this afternoon and explain why we absolutely must be allowed to marry our beloved boyfriend or girlfriend or facsimile thereof. And, before anyone asks, no, you may not marry your dildo. Dildos are for dating. Say it with me; Dildos Are For Dating. Lovely.
“First, in the interests of equal time, I’ll explain the reasons being cited by the scared little Christian Far Far Absurdly Far Right coalition for why we should not be allowed to marry, and in a word, it’s children.
“Believe it or don’t, they think that there’s only one reason to get married, and that’s to pump out a few more screaming babies on a world already suffering from overpopulation and a lack of taste. Babies, my friends. Not love for one another, not the tax breaks and the hospital visits and the horrid in-laws with their ideas of how to arrange furniture and what car to drive, but babies. And since I and Jeremy have the wrong equipment—and let’s not go to the whole ‘two chicks can have a baby now because sperm is irrelevant what with genetic splicing and whatnot’ because I never, ever want to hear anyone use ‘sperm’ and ‘irrelevant’ in the same breath—they figure that gee-oh-dee meant marriage to be reserved for man and woman alone. One man and one woman.
“To take that argument one step further, they also want us to believe that if a man is allowed to marry another man because they love each other, then suddenly the gloves come off and uncles can marry nephews, mothers can marry daughters, lawn mowers can marry squirrels. Frankly, it’s pandemonium. When there are no rules, there are no boundaries and marriage means nothing at all anymore.”
“But, isn’t that, sort of, really dumb?”
“Sorry, honey, didn’t catch your name.”
“Love the Mary Janes, kudos on pulling those off in 2003. Okay, yes, I think ‘dumb’ is apropos. But you can’t argue on that basis, because it’s all dumb anyway, all the arguments they use to try to tell us we’re wrong and bad and horrible for society are dumb and untrue, but all of that is beside the point. I know that seems unfair, and welcome to America. Schwarzenegger, much?
“So let’s accept that logic is not going to help you and you can’t debate someone who’s using the Bible as their ammo since it also says things like don’t eat pork—including bacon, so you know that’s just evil—and kill people who sleep together under burlap or some such nonsense.
“So where does that leave us? I have one word for you: Canada. It leaves us in Canada. The Canadians, for whatever reason, maybe it’s boredom, they abruptly said ‘what the fuck difference does it make?’ A very fair and open-minded attitude I appreciate like a new tube of Astroglide. But giving props where props is due, The Netherlands was the first country in the world to allow legal gay marriages, so yay The Dutch!
“So you may be asking yourselves, ‘Why now? Why all the fuss?’ Well, I think there are two reasons. First, the current White House occupant is watching his approval rating decline and he needs something to deflect criticism away from his oil war, and opposition to gay marriage is a convenient and somewhat popular target.
“Secondly, it’s the younger population that supports gay marriage and you tend not to vote, while the older population, who do vote and who do answer polls and who do think the world is already going to hell in a hand basket, oppose it. And when one looks at the actual figures, opposition to gay marriage is dropping among all populations except two; white evangelicals and African-Americans.
“Protestants, Catholics, Hispanics, Mainliners and Secular populations still oppose it in the majority, don’t get me wrong, but the numbers are swinging in favor of it. Since 1996, opposition has dropped from 65% opposing to 53%. More telling, the number who ‘strongly oppose’ it dropped 11 points, from 41% to just 30%. The number who don’t know what the hell we’re talking about is roughly 9% of the population, and that leaves the rest who think two guys kissing at the alter is just fine.
“So, those numbers spell trouble for the Religious Right. They need to turn the tide, and how does one do that? Hands? Yes, the girl with the stars on her arms?”
“Exactly. You stir up old tales of child molestation and the end of the human race so the TV-watching baby-boomers approaching retirement will get off their Big Mac-padded asses and vote. You make the issue seem to be a lynch pin, something on which the whole of society’s ills can be pinned. It’s not poverty, kids, it’s the gays. It isn’t racism, it isn’t ignorance and it sure isn’t a school system so screwed up that illiterate football players graduate to become illiterate rapists. No, it’s the gays. Everyone hates the gays. We’re the new, best target for blame.
“And that’s all there is to it. Yes?”
“So what are we supposed to do? What’s the answer? What happens when we fall in love?”
“Ah, love. Love, love, love. What happens is you go crazy for a bit and walk around in a daze with a loopy grin on your face and all you want to do is be with that person always and forever and immediately, except if you’re gay you can’t display the way you feel in public and sometimes not in private and you’re told to be ashamed of it and reject it and, of course, you’ll never be able to come together with that person in front of all your friends to pledge your life’s devotion and proclaim in front of your family and your church and all the people you know and care about that this is the person you want to be with for the rest of your life. No, guys and dolls, when you fall in love and you live in the United States and you’re gay, according to the majority opinion of the Democracy, you need to be alone or ‘live in sin’ or try to find someone else you’re not actually attracted to and marry them.”
“And that’s it?”
“Or move to Canada.”
“It’s cold in Canada.”
“But at least you’ll have someone you love to keep you warm.”
October 14, 2003