Friday, June 28, 2013

Signs , Symbols and Prideful Assumptions....

Well now... It's been a pretty exciting  couple days.

The two recent United States Supreme Court rulings on the issue of Marriage Equality have prompted intense reaction  from all parts of the  political and social spectrum.    For proponents of equal rights, Wednesday's court victories  marked a historic  turning point in the LGBT civil rights struggle.   The two rulings which  stuck down Section 3 of the so-called  "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), and upheld a lower court ruling in California , striking down CA Proposition 8 were greeted with joy and celebration in many quarters.  The reaction in my old stomping grounds of San Francisco was jubilant.

Over on the  far right wing  of American social-politics,  there was considerably less joy.... The favorite talking point over the past  24 hours has been how granting equal rights to  Gay and Lesbian Americans is going somehow cause Straight "Christians" to be  "bashed" or taken to court for their beliefs.     Our favorite American Taliban spokesnut, and dementia patient,  Pat Robertson  drives the  Waaaambulance full speed to crazy town...

We will set  aside  for a moment,  the  ridiculous notion at  any straight person has ever been bashed by gay people  for their sexual orientation or beliefs. The death toll  of  LGBT Americans who have been killed in the name of Robertson's  twisted and sick  abuse of religion could fill hundreds of blog entries.   Rather it is  the  idea  that  people who opposed  marriage equality are  now somehow victims of some sort of "judicial attack" that I find interesting,

In response to this, a popular  graphic/meme has sprung up on the internet  making the point that opponents of equality were never able to prove how ending  discrimination against Gays and Lesbians hurts them.

One side aspect of this whole recent  Supreme Court saga has been how various sides have expressed themselves through social media platforms, most notably on Facebook and Twitter.  The Human Rights Campaign started an online trend where their familiar Blue and Yellow  equal sign logo was turned red and white (red for valentines/love and white for marriage)  and urged people to adopt the modified logo as their social media profile picture.   Hundreds of thousands of people, including Eric and I,  did.

While scrolling through facebook today  I  happened upon the profile of an old friend of mine.  He is the younger brother of an old of friend of mine, with whom I am no longer in touch.  The elder of the two, lives and  works in a fairly conservative world and promptly ended our more than twenty-five year  friendship when he found out I was Gay.   As many others  who have gone through the coming out process can attest,  there are friends who you lose as a result of being honest,  I don't fault them,  it's just part of life.

His younger brother, however  while fairly conservative  on some issues,  like the  2nd Amendment and Gun Rights,  had always seemed  more progressive  on  other social issues.  So I was somewhat surprised to see this graphic on his Facebook Profile, with the caption; "I'll see your red equality sign & raise you a blue one.  :) "

The argument being that  where showing support for LGBT rights is okay, to express the same sentiment about heterosexuals  is considered to be bigotry.   Sigh...  Every June, during  LGBT Pride Month, at some point this ridiculous argument  always pops up, and I always amazed to see it put forward by otherwise  rational  people.

It is the idea that  an overwhelming majority point of view is somehow under attack if any other point of view is given any credence.   It is the insane notion that  somehow my marriage  is an attack on his.   That by my having  equal rights,  his rights are diminished.    I have news for my friend.   EVERY month is  "Straight Pride Month".   My friend has never  been  discriminated against because of his sexuality,  he has never been denied any of the rights  and privileges of being an American because he is Straight,   His Marriage ( not his first I would add..)  has never been subjected to public vote.    He  has never faced  having to leave the United States simply to be with person he is married to.     No one has ever said  he should be ashamed of being straight,  or  that  God hates him for loving who he loves.

Yet my friend, and others who have posted the aforementioned graphic,  somehow can't see, how given the reality  of their lives, how the idea of "Straight Pride"  seems as redundant, as ridiculous and as offensive  as  "White Pride" does to many people of color.  

I have blinding flash of the obvious for my friend;  When the entire world is geared to affirm who and what you are, when most every movie, book,  TV Show,  song on the radio and cultural "norm" supports  your sexual orientation;  saying that others who are different from  you are okay too,  is NOT a viscous attack on you.  You are not being discriminated against,  you are not being attacked   you are not  a victim of "reverse bigotry".  

To claim that you are,  just makes you look remarkably stupid.

So we will go to  London's LGBT Pride celebration this weekend.  Because in a world where a straight kid  growing up doesn't need  to be told  that it's okay to like yourself for who you are,  a logo, or rainbow flag  carried in a parade celebrating  these historic court rulings, can send the  simple  message to LGBT people of all ages,  that  you are just fine the way  you are.   

Happy Pride Everyone...


Anonymous said...

My Sons, You are more than "just fine" the way you are, your are a true gift that brings love and joy to all who know you. <3

Anonymous said...

Indeed you are just fine! ( more than fine, Wonderful! I would say.)