Feb 4, 2010

ATTENTION LGBT CITIZENS: "There has long been a profound lack of dignity and seriousness in our public presentation..."

"I think it’s time for the Gay “community” to decide what it really wants: To be seen as a radical counterculture that defines itself primarily by sexual behavior, or to be seen as fully entitled American citizens who, like the heterosexual population, are not defined primarily by sexual behavior. That decision has not been taken."

When gayAmericablog staff cite people like Dan Savage as leaders, who cheerfully refers to himself as a “faggot” when he appears on TV, I know that decision has not been taken. When San Francisco assemblyman Tom Ammiano publicly refers to himself as a “queen” and the Gay media adores it, I know that decision has not been taken. When activists cheer after a Lesbian biker club wins a copyright for the name “Dykes on Bikes”, I know that decision has not been taken.

When Pride parades thrive on frivolty, intoxication, exhibitionism and shock value, and fail to communicate the gravity of living as a Gay person in this world, I know that decision has not been taken.
Do we really think that kind of retrograde language and display works to the benefit of a Victor Fehrenbach or a Dan Choi?

Dan Choi

Victor Fehrenbach

Why Aren’t Queers Taken Seriously?

There has long been a profound lack of dignity and seriousness in our public presentation. And we wonder why it’s so easy for our enemies to get anti-Gay amendments passed.

I’ll tell you one big reason why: We make it easy for them!"


"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his marchers would not have earned the international respect they had if they'd come across in the media like Butterfly McQueen and Stepin Fetchit. With all due respect to Marc Shaiman and his Prop 8 musical on YouTube, a Civil Rights movement is not a comedy skit. If we want respect, our presentation has got to indicate as much. Even more to the point: if we want respect, it's got to start with our own self-perception.

Too many of us truly believe we are "queers", "faggots", "queens", "dykes", etc. The oppressor tells us who we are, and we fail to challenge his definition. We don't even have the ambition to challenge his terminology. We've got some work to do, and it begins by taking a hard look in the mirror." HERE

Heterosexuals freely frolic/sexually "act-out" at Mardi Gras, New Orleans with little condemnation or moral castigation or religiousdriven ridicule. "Love the Sinner" is heard throughout the land!


Religious right group push phony photo to make the case against gay adoption

"The picture above symbolize how religious right groups demonize the lgbt community. According to the Orlando Sentinel's Scott Mawell:

On the left is the picture that the Florida Family Policy Council of Orlando, used to illustrate the gay couple that was awarded custody of a relative. It appeared under the headline: "FL judge violates law, places child in homosexual adoption" (on the right) is the actual couple." HERE

Why Aren’t Queers Taken Seriously?

NEVER FORGET: Almost everyone from the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and foul mouthed Pat Robertson DEMONIZE, MARGINALIZE and TRY TO BELITTLE/DISMISS LGBT people on a regular basis. These not-so-loving spiritual/religious leaders obviously use every form of distraction from TRUTH, to continue their FALSEHOODS and fear/hate and selective-Scriptural-driven SLANDER (try "intrinsically disordered" and "against Natural Order" plus a large dose of "Satanic" on for size) directed specifically to publically DEMORALIZE and OUTCAST people like US.

Equality, Dignity, Integrity and Human Rights are no laughing matter!
Dominionist* Vultures are Circling for Prey

Dominionism describes, in several distinct ways, a tendency among some conservative politically-active Christians, especially in the United States of America, to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action—aiming either at a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. The use and application of this terminology is a matter of controversy.¨ HERE

Nobody's Queer In Big Eden

"Big Eden fairly screams tradition and shamelessly embraces mainstream values. Nobody is "queer" there. Some folks couldn't handle the juxtaposition of "liberal" same-gender desire with "conservative" community values; no doubt they found the politics of Big Eden lacking in revolutionary vision. They must have been blind! Thomas Bezucha's daring approach to screwball comedy was more revolutionary by far than anything his critics could ever hope to achieve with their "reclaimed" pejoratives and obvious preference for pessimistic, semi-pornographic Gay storylines. In fact, the premise of Big Eden is so progressive, it makes Brokeback Mountain look like a tepid remake of The Boys In The Band in comparison..."

Thanks to Alvin McEwen
Thanks to Scott Mawell, Orlando Sentinel
Thanks to Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, sidebar
Thanks to Christ the Gay Martyr, sidebar
Thanks to Big Eden, the movie
Thanks to Gay Agenda, sidebar
Thanks to Victor Fehrenbach
Thanks to Dan Choi
Thanks to Don Charles
Thanks to The Reverend Jerry Maneker
Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing
Thanks to Wikipedia
Thanks to A Christian Voice for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights, sidebar


Jarred said...

I respectfully disagree. While I agree that we need to be serious at times, I also think there is room for frivolity and many other such qualities. After all, I don't know of many people who quit taking heterosexuals seriously due to the shenanigans at Mardis gras parades.

In the case of pride parades, I think part of the issue is that there are competing opinions on the purpose of such events. Some believe their purpose is to educate others. Others believe that their purpose is to cut loose and be proudly and visibly ourselves. And yes, sometimes being ourselves involves being frivolous and wild. And again, I think there needs to be room for that.

Dementored said...

Leonardo, I hear your point but I also respectfully disagree. This fracture goes back at least to the differing viewpoints of the homophile movement vs. the gay liberationists. In my own life I have found room for both those who seek to blend into "normal" society as well as those who seek to stand apart.

There are cases where assimilationists were still rejected despite their seeming "normalcy" and cases where the most outrageous counter cultural denizens have found complete acceptance and even endearment.

Certainly from a Christian/church standpoint, assimilation is a prerogative. No one that I am aware of has taken a stand supporting acceptance or welcome of non-comformist LGBT persons who aren't particularly interested in monogamy or marriage. That's a whole 'nother level of discrimination and rejection, at least from their viewpoint, isn't it?

I agree that the more outrageous and childlike members of our community are used as weapons against us but I seriously doubt that causing them to somehow conform would stop the hatred and discrimination.

As always I appreciate your passion and willingness to tackle difficult subjects!

Leonard said...

EXPOSING all sides of our human nature would be remarkable...let's hope to do exactly that! The world around us, and those in it, will better know us as the AUTHENTIC LGBT people who we really are...I by no means want US TO PRETEND WE ARE DIFFERENT THAN WE REALLY ARE! Afterall, we're everyones family members, best friends, coworkers, schoolmates etc.

BTW: Mardi Gras comes once a year before Lent (in many countries and LGBT people most often participate fully in the hedonistic gala celebration that include popular practices like wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions (our specialty), dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc). It's a Christian tradition before the penitential (not a favorite) season of Lent.

Brian R said...

I agree it is a problem. I nearly commented on Grandmere Mimi's post about a boy in 8th grade who died his hair and wore eyeliner to school that while we all agree he should not have been harrassed, he certainly was not helping matters. If I had been his teacher I would have suggested he tone it down even though we all know he should not have had to do so. Many many years ago I attended my first gay rights meeting (in those days homosexuality was completely illegal) The chairperson kept referring to the all male audience as girls. I was very uncomfortable.
Since then I have participated in Mardi Gras parades and enjoyed them but when working as a teacher or just moving around the community I do not feel it necessary to advertise my sexuality. However I do not hide it if the subject comes up either. Close friends had their son come out to them and while completely supportive they only knew of gays from Mardi Gras parades which concerned them greatly. Obviously at that time I had not come out to them.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I agree entirely. And always have... Nothing wrong with a bit of fun, but Human Rights are a serious matter.

The Werewolf Prophet said...

Oppression is complete when the oppressor gets the oppressed to do their dirty work for them.

It's the homophobes who define GLBTI Americans solely by our more colorful members and we should NOT be carrying that water for them.

Two core traits of the religious right are fear of "Other" and the self-absorbed notion that they should never be discomfited by seeing / hearing / reading ANYTHING counter to their simplistic, binary ideas of what's "proper." It is, quite simply, yet another form of internalized homophobia to demand that all GLBTI folk conform to the right's rigid concepts of appropriate behavior.

Dementored said...

Imagine if no young woman had ever dared to wear slacks in public for the first time. Ridicule? I'm certain of it. The boy with the dyed hair and eyeliner is what used to be thought of as a pioneer, a brave explorer of boundaries, and an unafraid advocate of his own self-worth to be who and what he is.

I won't encourage him to "tone it down". I will stand behind him and defend his bravery so the next boy or girl who choose to express themselves a little bit differently has it a bit easier.

That's why I, and many, many others, took risks 30 years ago that helped pave the way for the possibility of outrageous Pride parades today.

I have noticed recently that many communities are arguing over who should be allowed to march and what they are representing to the public at large. Sad but also indicative of the larger arguments.

Leonardo, thanks for the thought-provoking article. What disturbs me most (in the update from Orlando, FL) is that many seem perfectly OK with judging/criticizing/demonizing/othering the couple in the first picture.

That's so wrong on so many levels and smacks of elitism and other ugly traits. Of course marketing is king and the picture was chosen to invoke a certain response in the evangelical audience it was intended for but I am dismayed at the almost identical reaction it brought forth from our community as well.

Solidarity? Not if we don't like you haircut! Sob.

June Butler said...

Leo, your post made me think, and that is always a good thing. I wonder if I should even speak here because I am straight.

I'm from New Orleans, and I've seen every kind of outrageous behavior and dress. I've seen sights that made me turn away from both gays and straights who I believe go too far. I'm no prude, but certain dress and exhibitionist behavior are definitely de trop for me.

Having said that, can any of us accept that it's right for those outside of any group to define those inside the group by its worse-behaved members? Who will be the arbiters of what is "too much"? I'm only asking the question. I'm not claiming to have the answer.

To Brian: had I been Jacob's teacher, there was a time that I would have suggested that the dyed hair and eyeliner were a bad idea, but today, I would not.

My 2 cents, for what it's worth.

Murdoch Matthew said...

Drag queens made the Mattachine
Society seem moderate and acceptable. Conservatives are now embracing Civil Unions to ward off the threat of same-sex marriage. Booker T. Washington counseled his people to be super-respectable in order to win acceptance (which never came), but Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., moved the cause along by making trouble.

Gay Liberation began by challenging social phobias about skin and sex. Those are still with us. They are being used to persecute and harm. Now that the gay community is respectable, shall we abandon those whose excesses make us seem so? Liberation is not finished, it seems.

Leonard said...

I think it´s all working fine again...thanks Google Support!

Leonardo Ricardo

Leonard said...

In a World filled with the POSSIBILITIES of prejudice, preferences, personal favorites (or not), relgious beliefs, skin color favorites/mutual attraction and vast opportunities for respecting differences (albeit NOT EVER accepting being abused, exploited/violated or oppressed) we are still in the listening, learning and acceptance of those ¨different from us¨ mode...I have strong reactions to difference, that is, when I dislike the messenger.

When I saw the picture in Orlando (I was in Orlando part of last week) of the meanspirited (obviously) picture produced as the Lesbian couple adopting ¨a family member¨ my heart sank...first because NOBODY could know the REAL TRUE character of either ¨couple¨ and it was clearly an attempt to cause ill-will and divide fellow citizens by ¨appearances¨ instead of human wholesomeness
and parental worthiness...it was a attempt to humiliate and castigate our lesbian sisters without any other explanation (later, I understand the religious ¨hatemongers¨ apologized after being exposed widely for their vile propaganda caper).

However, OFTEN a picture of Scott Lively, Pat Robertson, James Nasba Buturo or Martin Ssempa and Bahati (author of Ugandas ¨kill Homosexuals¨ bill) cause the same revolting feelings/reactions inside of me (one only need to read my blog entries)...the Pope (especially sinister and unattractive to me) and the Archbishop of Canterbury generate sickly feels by their physical ¨being¨ as well as the spiritual harm pontificated against tens of millions of people...statements of negative, ¨disordered people¨ like me Worldwide. Those WORDS KILL! Those WORDS are the WORDS used by convicted MURDERERS of LGBT people to justify their actions...the murderers ALWAYS say ¨God told them to do it¨...yet, spiritual leaders show bad judgment and become accessories to crimes of hate and in many cases like Bishop Akinola of Nigeria and Bishop Henry Orombi of Uganda instigate thieving, demonizing (¨Hooligan Children of LGBT people) and outcasting AT CHURCH!

For me I grew out of being a faggot years ago...I grew into being the authentic Gay person that God created me to be...end of my story accept I will NOT be tolerant of injustice nor careless accross-the-board slandering/abominating directed against LGBT people from the pulpit or anywhere else...there is plenty of room for everyone in this World but abusers, exploiters, common thugs and killers are still not O.K. with me regardless of their sexual orientation.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

The difference to the 1950ies is still the visibility.

That 50 years hence the 2 photos, the political and the real, of the Orlando adoptive parents is around to be seen by all - and will be.

Which makes the hatred in itself visible, in a way it wasn't when blessed Rosa Parks refused to rise from her seat in the bus.

Leonard said...

It looks like I´m all set to comment again after having troubles...let´s see what happens...this is a test.


Leonard said...

BTW...I LOVED BIG EDEN (the movie)...my next all-time favorite is MAURICE..you´ll see why.