Friday, May 15, 2009

I used to think it was foolish to pander to Middle America: "We're just like anyone else, living in committed, monogamous relationships" or "We deserve the pursuit of happiness".

These arguments are intrinsically flawed because they seek the sanction of the heterosexual oppressors. I know I'm being dramatic, but did reasoning with the plantation owner emancipate the slaves? The "arc of justice"--it's now fashionable again to quote MLK--is usually steered by the courts not the electorate.

The more I think about it, I'm not sure if I like the direction of the contemporary LGBT movement.

Chasing after the double-strollered suburban dream somehow negates the long history of gay counter culture. I'm confused. Are we saying we want to be like everyone else, or we want everyone else to be like us?

When GLAAD protests the portrayals of lesbians in "Basic Instinct" or gay promiscuity in "Crusing" I want to stomp my feet and scream, "Who cares?!". When the day comes that dykes can't be sensual murderesses or fags can't be sweaty cock-fiends it's the day I get off this motherfucking train.

Supposedly, the movement dropped NAMBLA as a liability along the way. I guess distancing themselves from pedophiles served their purpose, but when will the assimilation stop?

The sad part? I would rather have gay marriage banned in all states immediately and see that mental midget with the plastic tits be the poster child of the intellectual meritocracy than have snivelling Perez Hilton be a flag bearer for the LGBT cause.

Opposite marriage indeed.


Garet said...

One snide comment deserves another, I suppose. King was himself paraphrasing Theodore Parker, so it is inaccurate to say that the "arc of the moral universe" bit is really a King quote.

And more substantively, I don't think it's shameless pandering to a heteronormative majority or somehow convincing our "oppressors" that we're just like them that is the magic charm behind our movement's recent successes. Rather, I think it is what it is prima facie, a demand for equal rights.

The distancing from counter-culture might disappoint you, but it furthers the goals of people like me, who don't want to give up their sense of belonging in, for instance, religious communities. Maybe I want to be saddled with a stroller and minivan, rather than a sling and a tube of KY. Don't assume that the preference is unexamined, or that it is a sacrifice of ideals fought-for. I believe it was inevitable that the people who want their lives to be so different from "middle America" would separate from those "Stepford fags" who want something a little more mainstream.

We aren't trying to prove we're "just like" them. We just want equality.

craiger said...

Believe it or not, I actually have to agree with Garet on this one. (SHOCKING eh Gar?) Marriage is a mainstream activity, and many gays and lesbians are waking up and saying "Hey, I'm not exactly like that." "That" could mean flaming fellacio freaks, or dirty dykey dildo-strapping degenerates. The problem is gays are just now "coming out" as a very heterogenous group--not only in the minds of mainstream America, but in the self-identities of gays themselves. (I love myself for describing homos as hetero anything)! Clearly this has not always been the case. No one sees Silence of the Lambs and thinks that all straight middle-aged males act like Hanibal Lecter. However, MANY people would watch Queer as Folk and think that all gays were sex crazed druggies. Furthermore, many gays would watch QAF and think that they were SUPPOSED to act like that. Here is where I agree with Garet: We're not pandering to a heteronormative majority, we're finally asserting ourselves as who we want to be, not who some Hollywood producer says we should be. Fear not, for some of us that is still a counter-culture persona. For others, it's a white picket fence. And that is why, dearest Edward, Perez Hilton does not speak for me either!

Garet said...

Put on your helmets. If Craig's agreed with me, everyone needs to protect him- and herself from chunks of falling sky.

Ed Grow said...

Stop the presses! Craig and Garet agreeing with each other? Have the rivers started running red with blood yet?

I categorically disagree with you that modifying our image to be more palatable to the breeders is not a sad compromise.

I may not want a wedding, but I will do all that I can to make sure that any homo that wants to join in the morally bankrupt heterosexual institution of marriage has the right. Whether they want it or there!

So stroller away, my little gay Eichmann.

As for you Craig, doesn't QAF have a wonderfully Romantic tragedy about it? Who would trade the death of Desdemona for an on-stage hug?

craiger said...

The problem as usual is one of perspective dearest Eddy. I don't think "we" are changing "our" image at all. It's just that the full image is coming out. I think it's sadly humorous when straight people think there is a "we"--as if there is a huge directory of gays, we all know each other, and we all behave the same way. It's ironic that many gays fight against stereotypes, but then clamor to protect them as they dissolve. Succinctly stated, "we" do not have an all-inclusive image to change or not, because there is no "we."

In other news, "Just Like Heaven" by the Cure is on the radio right now, and it makes me think of dancing with you at Shattered. That was one of my favorite things, and I miss it!

rach said...

hey yo,
on a more casual note.....what about all of us middle americans who want a marriage but not one ordained by the christian god.....
if you ask me...there are many of us heteros that don't buy into the white picket fence..... gender and class can be divided in a multitude of ways....

egrow said...

I started a cultural firestorm! In the media! And it went national!

But seriously: Craig, I agree with you that there is no true "us", but do you have to announce it so loudly? I mean, who is that? Oh, It's Ellen knocking on your door. She wants her toaster back.

Rachel. You are a darling, and course not part of the problem. I should have said, "present company excluded of course". It is after all, LGBTQ-ally. Love.