Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy Heterosexual Pride, I Guess

Imagine being the kind of person who says this, two weeks after the worst mass shooting in US history, which occurred at a gay nightclub:
"In my experience, there is nothing like the hatred that comes from the LGBT movement and its allies, even straights."
Sadly, this kind of ongoing rhetoric, uttered by none other than conservative Christian Rod Dreher (and proponent of Christian segregation from the rest of depraved, secular society) is to be expected after various LGBT victories (and mass shootings, I guess).

People of this sort seem to so misunderstand, indeed they don't even try to understand, what it is to grow up transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, or queer and thus what it is to be on the receiving end of multiple hatreds, that they trivialize our pain as whining or political correctness while their pain - their having to endure living in a society that treats us equally- they categorize as a human rights violation of the first order.

The message, consistently, is: our pain matters, yours doesn't.

And, I suppose most (all?) groups of people have this attitude to a degree.  Oppression Olympics and all that.

At this juncture, I could list some of the historical pain and grief of the LGBT movement in the US: our government's inaction with respect to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, the religious right's approval of LGBT oppression under law, historic sodomy laws, the categorization of homosexuality as a mental illness, the disrespect of trans individuals' bodily autonomy and mental integrity, "love the sinner hate the sin" rhetoric, laws that disrespect the dignity of LGBT families.

I could analyze how all of what I list above is the result of various hatreds, and hell I suppose that's much of what I've done here over the course of years (plus femslash, obvs, because you have to have fun too).

And I really don't know what to say anymore about anti-LGBT Christians who have both large platforms to rail against "the LGBT movement" and yet who seem to so profoundly not understand our pain at all.

At a certain point, as I've quoted Karen Armstrong before, we have to ask ourselves (no matter how victimized we feel):
"'How much do I really know about [the other side's] history of pain, achievement, oppression, disappointment, fear, idealism, and aspiration ~ all of which, on both sides, have contributed to this violence?'"
Many days, I don't have the capacity for this, to be honest - and I don't blame others who feel the same. I suspect most people don't, and that's why... the world is what it is (ugh, worst sage philosophical saying ever: "it is what it is").

My startling revelation here is that I'm not sure what the best solution ever is in such situations - call people out? (which the Drehers of the world perceive as us oppressing them with charges of bigotry), dialogue (which can be incredibly draining: "Yes, please tell me how you're being oppressed, Straight Christian Anti-Gay Person"), blogging about it (somewhat cathartic, I guess)?

Dreher wrote a lot of words in his post from which I've pulled his quote. So, when I started the post by asking us to imagine being the kind of person who says what he says, well, I think it takes a strong LGBT person to get past (to want to get past) being called the Biggest Hater On Earth by an anti-LGBT individual.

And, simply put, because I read his blog on the regular, I do understand his position. I understand it far better than he has appeared to ever understand ours (ours being the LGBT movement) - which he often mocks relentlessly. I understand he has books to sell, too.

I also understand that when one is both interested in and adept at "mixed-company" conversations, they also understand that understanding itself furthers civil discourse and distances us from hatred. 

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