I am reminded of this by an offensive comment in the thread following one of the estimable Mark Harris's posts over at Praeludium. A conservative, "Allen", writes (speaking of Louie Crew)
If you want people to believe in the normalcy of the gay life then stop leaving the leadership to the loud, flashy, splashy, in-your-face and obnoxious leaders and start trotting out gay people that act a bit more...um..normal.Oh dear. I can't begin to enumerate the ways in which that is offensive. And of course the fallacy...since most gay folks "pass" pretty easily as "normal" and are still excoriated. Harvey was right, we have to come out, over and over again, to battle the insults of the Allens of the world who want to dehumanize and insult and make "us" a "them".
Other parallels abound, coming from that conversation and more. Apparently, it's all the gays' fault if someone's church community ruptures over gay inclusion. If the gays would just go away or shut up! It's their fault! They are ruining it for everyone!
The same sort of dynamic is occurring in national politics. If you aren't gay, you may not realize how much upset there has been over the last week, beginning with a Department of Justice brief that was filed supporting DOMA, the defense of marriage act. (If you're confused because the president opposes DOMA, you're not alone. I've discussed this extensively in a series of posts at Gay Married Californian). I won't review it all here, but the result has been a huge blog-storm that can boil down to "this is the wrong time! The gays are ruining it for everyone!" from much of the left.
I am constantly reminded of Dr King:
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.It's amazing how my simple desire to live a humane moral and loving life, as a fully franchised and married citizen, can apparently destroy the lives of so many people whom I've never met. Who knew I had so much power? But now I am categorized and criticized as "teh gay" and of course the GLBT community must endure the increased volume of lies, insults, hatred and even violence. I feel bruised and battered and exhausted, unwanted, unvalued, and too often now, actually hated. And that is not a good place for any human to be.