Friday, November 14, 2008

Gay Lib - 4.0

[Both posters copyright Austin Cline]

The internets is atwitter with news that Gay Lib has been re-born, re-furbished, re-packaged and is hot-to-trot. It turns out that a whole generation (which one is it, Gen AA? Gen BBB?) has just "discovered" that you can take to the streets to register your dissatisfaction with things in general, including the status quo.

Well, whoop-di-friggin-do.

We boomers managed to organize anti-war demonstrations with 500,000 people using little more than telephones (anybody remember them?) and things called "Underground Newspapers" such as The Village Voice, The Great Speckled Bird and my favorite in Washington, DC, The Quicksilver Times. Granted, it took somewhat longer than 72 hours to throw these things together, given the lack of the internet, PDA's, iPhones, Crackberries and the other assorted electronic effluvia of modern life.

By my real point today is that everyone's ire seems to be pointed at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Said organization apparently ordered it's members to cough up tons of money they didn't have in order to BACK passage of Preparation H8 in California.

So, many of my young compatriots have focused all of their anger, bile and ire on... LDS.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no fan of organized religions which I personally think are just money making machines for the folks who run 'em. And they use the concept of "sin" to keep their membership in line ... and to try to keep the rest of us in line, too.

But, as my friend Jake on his blog, Nofo, says (and I'm totally paraphrasing him here), their "mythology doesn't trump my reality" or words to that effect. I couldn't agree more. This country has, for too long and way too often, allowed people's fervent beliefs in fables and fantasies to dictate public policy.

We have, over the centuries, used such fervently held beliefs to rationalize the heinous institution of slavery. We used such beliefs to try, time and time again to "regulate" sin, such as we did with Prohibition. But the truth is that we are a nation of adulterous, drunken, philandering, lying, cheating, backstabbing Puritans. We sin without remorse except for the remorse of being caught at it. And then we cry and wail and blame it on the fact that we were molested as youngsters or we blame it on the booze, or the pharmaceuticals we've been taking.

And now, I'm ashamed to say, my fellow gays blame OUR failure to bash down Prep H8 on a church whose major sin seems to have been that they were better organized than we were. God love the folks at HRC, GLAAD and a handful of other groups. They tried.


someone in the late 70's said that the Gay Rights Movement was doomed to failure because we were such a disparate group, lacking a single, unique and public "marker" indicating who and what we are. It's too easy for many of us to "pass". And many of us opt for "passing" rather than electing to do the really heavy lifting involved in being professionaly queer.

I'm sincerely glad to see the youngsters starting to exercise some political muscle. I hope they don't give up the way a lot of us did way back when. I also hope they'll remember this:

The Fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars.... but in ourselves.

Oh, and some advice for the Professional Kristians out there, too. There is nothing fragile about you. You hold all the cards and you know it. So quit playing the f*cking victim here.

Gay people ARE the victims and you ARE the bashers.

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