Saturday, August 18, 2007.
I am watching parts of the “event” on Logo in which some “representatives” for the gay/lesbian community asked questions of some Democratic presidential candidates.
I was frustrated in 2007 as much as I was in the 1960s when the founders of our movement started to seek equal/civil rights. That is a sad thought, that after all these years there is as much ignorance in the community as there is out of it. Such ignorance is as bad for pro-gay people as it is for anti-gay people.But such ignorance can be deadly to some candidate hoping to win an election with the votes of homosexual citizens when the people that were “representing” us on that panel were as ignorant and unrepresentative of our community as apparently the politicians are. The obvious question is, what criteria do politicians use in deciding who they decide speaks for the homosexual community. That community may differ from the left-wing “gay” community and from the views of a select few “leaders” who are paid lots of money to claim to know how all homosexual people think and vote.
You believe them at your peril. While Republicans just ignore all in our community, this question of “who do you believe” in the homosexual community may turn out to get them the White House again if the Democratic candidates trust the wrong people.
Only one example shows how ignorant and arrogant the people on that panel were. Once again, after many days of time to check and be sure they are right, again Governor Richardson was attacked for using a word on the Imus show that these “experts” claim was a negative word for homosexuals: maricon. I personally sent out an email to the media pointing out that while meanings vary not only in part of America but within the Hispanic community on some words, no one is allowed to force their belief on everyone else. Specifically, Richardson does not have to apologize or “explain” his use of the term maricon as meaning effeminate. He is right for some Hispanics. The evidence is in a place that certainly has not reason to have an agenda on this issue. It is in a 1964 issue of ONE magazine, at that time the first homosexual public publication in the nation and the primary one. In an article on homosexuality in Latin America we reported, rightly or wrongly, that in Venezuela the term maricon meant effeminate. The term used for gay/homosexual was puto—duck, and it was thought the reason was that we “walk like a duck.”
Now that does not prove that all Hispanics use the word that way, but some did and or do. And a thinking person would thus not make an issue of the “correct” meaning of the word from now on. A similar example in the early homosexual movement was with the research of Dr. Evelyn Hooker. She set out to test the idea that all homosexuals are mentally ill, and her research proved that professional people could not determine who among two sets of people were or were not homosexual or mentally ill. As I recall she said, “well, if someone tells you that all cows are brown, and you discover cows that are black, you have proven that not all cows are brown.”
The question is why well-paid gay experts from HRC, GLAAD, etc., decide that they alone can say what term everyone in the community should use. What research exists to “prove” that homosexuality does not have an element of choice? Does this mean that queers go around asking for sympathy because they “can’t help it because they are this way,” or “that their mommy made them this way? ” That sure doesn’t sound “gay” to me. So who gave anyone the right to say the media can only use the word gay, or orientation — as opposed to proclivity or preference? Who would tell left-handed people how they must talk or feel or vote?
And who says that ALL homosexuals are in favor of marriage — I would urge the HRC and other “experts” to seek the information available to us since the ’50s and know that some are not interested, and that included some of the founders, such as Don Slater, and today there exist organizations giving other views on marriage — have the ever even seen a copy of Gayellow Pages, much less ONE magazine? And some founders, again including Don Slater, opposed hate crime laws. Don Slater was homosexual before it was cool. He took risks and didn’t make money being “gay.” And he didn’t even use the word gay as a noun, much less “gays.”
The fact is that from the time in America when politicians and the media refused to “hear” the voice of homosexuals when Mattachine and ONE started in 1950/52, and many “gays” were deep in the closet and even opposed starting an effort to change views on the subject and the laws against us, we slowly gained more people coming out and more and more politicians and family members who saw the discrimination against us and each decade has seen more and more such people.
But there still exist today closeted homosexuals who oppose reality and seek to find terms and excuses to hide their discomfort with being homosexual — a sad fact the bigoted ex-gay people and rightwing religious people exploit.
No president can change this situation one way or the other. But I warn you that from the ’60s on, most homosexuals have tried to learn about sexuality, stopped believing that they are criminals, sick, or sinful, and they are not going to follow celebrity “gays” no matter how much publicity the media gives them, and they will vote as do most citizens. That means that they do not seek special rights or laws, only equal/civil rights. And any person listening to professional gays and left-wing nuts will not be hearing the voice of the 10% of this nation that is homosexual and our families and friends and will lose more votes than they gain by going to extremes, right or left.
We are not a “one issue” people, and you are able to honestly say you oppose same sex marriage, or as Don Slater says, look at it as a gender issue, or quote the Ninth Amendment saying the government was not given the right to control our private lives. And this not not make you anti-gay if you support our efforts in other areas, such as: that no matter what your view on the war in Iraq is, homosexual Americans have the right to serve their nation in the military equally, as President Truman said about black Americans in 1948. A good American, politician or average citizen has only to practice the fairness the nation’s founders envisioned, even while making temporary compromises such as slavery, limiting who could vote, etc.
We need to arrive at a time when no employer has to be forced by law to treat all employees fairly/equally. And why is not a crime a crime, no matter who the victim is? Your actions and life should be such that, as many religions say, you have thus told us what you believe. If some “gays” are still so ignorant that they don’t understand this, I am sure that most homosexual voters, like the majority of American voters, do.