Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Heterosexist Agenda: Separate and Inferior

It is so common for those opposed to LGBT equality to make paranoid accusations about a so-called Gay Agenda that the accusation itself has lost much of its meaning.

While many of these conspiracy-minded folks insist that homosexuality is a "choice" and that LGBT people therefore can and should opt for heterosexuality, they simultaneously portray us in stereotypical fashion as inherently very different from Normal People. To them, we are monsters; we are dangerous predators who like showtunes (since of course all gay people are men), deviously plotting to destroy marriage, steal children, and convert everyone to homosexuality.

LZ Granderson, senior writer and columnist at ESPN, recently recounted his own rather mundane gay agenda. It's a lifestyle that will undoubtedly be familiar to many of you, whatever your sexual identity:

"On most mornings, my better half wakes up around 5:30, throws on some sweats and heads to the gym before work.

About a half hour later, I wake up my 13-year-old son, go downstairs to the kitchen to make his breakfast and pack his lunch. Once he's out the door, I brew some coffee and get to work."

Our commonalities as humans are much more than our differences. Unfortunately, that truth gets lost in the culture wars. Those opposed to LGBT rights, especially those whose livelihoods depend on such opposition, exaggerate the differences between Normal People and LGBT people and remain fixated on what sets us apart- our sex lives.

Anti-gays have marked the sex lives of LGBT people as a difference that must be dominated at best and eradicated at worst and that is why their Gay Agenda accusation is a Weapon of Mass Projection. Through their oppose-everything-gay agenda, anti-gays desperately seek to perpetuate a social hierarchy that privileges heterosexuality under the false claim that doing so is the only True, Healthy, and Moral Way of Living. And in this process, for as much as they whine that LGBT "play" identity politics, it is anti-gays who construct homosexuality as the single most important marker of a person's entire being.

Yet, for most of us, it's not. While we may identify as LGBT, that identity is hardly the most interesting or exciting thing about us. It is endless anti-gay advocacy and it's obsessive opposition to homosexuality and gender transgressions that leads to the opposing force known as LGBT activism.

Granderson continues:

"Being gay doesn't dictate how people live their lives any more than being straight does. There are gay people who go to church every Sunday and straight people who do not believe in God. There are single gay men who believe in the sanctity of marriage and married straight men who apparently do not -- such as Gov. Mark Sanford, ex-Sen. John Edwards and Sen. John Ensign, to name a few.

The truth is the only thing all gay people have in common -- you know, besides being gay -- is that we face continuous rhetorical, social and legal attacks for simply existing, thus potentially making something as mundane as bringing a date to a work function a fight-or-flee situation."

Indeed, something as mundane as bringing a date to prom has sparked a national controversy. Earlier this year, high school student Constance McMillen in Fulton, Mississippi wanted to take her girlfriend to prom. Rather than make heterosexual couples attend prom with a same-sex couple, who in their eyes is immoral, unhealthy, and inferior, the high school canceled the prom for everyone. The ACLU sued, and a judge ruled that the school could not bar the student from bringing her girlfriend to prom. The judge didn't force the school to hold the prom, however, because parents were organizing a private prom and it was understood that the lesbian student would attend that prom.

Well, The Advocate has revealed a plot, planned and carried out by cruel and cowardly heterosexual adults and students to trick the lesbians, as well as several students with learning disabilities, into attending a "fake prom" whilst the Normal, Healthy, and Superior Kids attended a separate prom, which was held at a secret, undisclosed location. Prom, like marriage, is for good, clean All-American heterosexual couples. From the article:

"McMillen tells The Advocate that a parent-organized prom happened behind her back — she and her date were sent to a Friday night event at a country club in Fulton, Miss., that attracted only five other students. Her school principal and teachers served as chaperones, but clearly there wasn't much to keep an eye on.

'They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them,' McMillen says. 'The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to.'"

Like the distinction between marriage and civil unions, the same-sex couple (and other social outcasts) was relegated to a stigmatized dance as a way to mark their inferior status as compared to heterosexual couples. LZ Granderson noted at the end of his piece that "Being gay isn't a choice, but being a bigot certainly is." It is unfortunate that so many Normal Americans are okay with their peers making the cruel choice to enact hostile schemes- whether through ballot initiatives or tricky proms- whose most enduring result is to mark certain citizens as inferior to others.

To end, odds are that girl-on-girl-dancefloor-humping-for-male-attention-seeking-purposes was, however, invited to the Real Prom.

Related Links:

McMillen's classmates aren't bigots or anything, they're just tired of all the attention their bigotry has caused her

In 1965, a Birmingham school played a similar cruel trick on the only black student at Jones Valley High School.

No comments: