Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wheelies in My Field

People are assholes. I mean, not you. I'm sure you're perfectly lovely. (Actually, I'm not sure of that at all, but I bet most of you are pretty decent.) But there are a lot of assholes out there. I was confronted with this fact today when I took Bug to the park and found our favorite field had been run through with some kind of truck, destroying what had once been a perfectly beautiful spot to run and jump and lay on your back and smile at a hawk that's flying overhead. Now it's a mess with ruts and muddy puddles and holes and ugly scars. I looked at it and looked at Bug and just had one of those moments when I thought, "god, I hate people."

Truly, our destroyed lovely field is just one more straw on a broken back today. I realize I'm supposed to be celebratory on account of the Democratic victories, and that is nice and all. I really am happy about that. But I live in a state that passed an anti-civil unions measure, and I'm beyond tired of being the Religious Right's whipping girl. I'd really like to type up some insightful analysis of what this institutionalized homophobia and election year hate-mongering means in our culture. (Much like Tom Bozzo at Marginal Utility did not long ago.) I'm a cultural historian with a focus on sexuality, for crying out loud. I should be able to do that. But I can't right now. Because I've had more than I can take of hearing my life and my desire disparaged and derided and used as a political pawn. I just don't have it in me tonight to do anything but shake my head and just feel disgusted with my fellow human beings. I feel like people have just been given further electoral permission to take something lovely and tear it up and leave it bleeding and broken on national TV.

In the local newspaper, one of the women leading the charge against civil unions said that she was proud that they had passed the amendment without resorting to "hatred." Well, let me tell you, lady, if this isn't hatred, I don't know what is. You've given every gay-basher, every parent who has thrown a gay child on the streets, every employer who has fired a gay employee, every judge who has taken a child from a gay parent permission to continue acting on hatred. You've given them a bit of legal legitimacy, a constitutional cornerstone to lean on when they need rationalization for their own immorality.

The rhetoric is just rhetoric, but it still hits hard. I once counseled a girl who had tried to kill herself when she was nine years old because she knew she was gay. She was nine. She wasn't suicidal because of all the horrible effects of a corrupt lifestyle. She was suicidal because she just kept hearing about how evil she was. I've been very out as queer for approaching 15 years, and one day about five years ago I found myself sitting in my car at a gas station and sobbing because the pope had just announced again (must have been a slow news day) that the gay lifestyle was an abomination. I remembering thinking, "This? This lifestyle? I woke up by 7 and had yogurt and now I'm taking my dog to the park with a stop for gas on the way. I haven't even had sex for a very long time. This is an abomination?" And then I cried. Because you can only take it for so long. You can only let them tear at things you love for so long, in so many voices, in so many ways before you can't take it any more. And then your defenses crumble and you take it like a punch to the gut and it's damn hard to get up off the mat.


Blogger New Kid on the Hallway said...

Oh, I'm sorry. This is a great post, even though I wish you had no reason to post it. I'm in a state like yours, and while I thought the measure would pass, I was sickened by the degree of support it got. And I have the luxury of choosing to feel that way, because the hatred isn't directed at me. Sometimes people suck.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Acre said...

Thanks, New Kid. And yep to the degree of support comment. It's one thing to imagine the measure will pass, it's another to realize how many individuals, one at a time, made the choice. It very much contributes to a me vs. the whole world feeling, so it does actually help to hear other people are disgusted by the whole thing.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Tom Bozzo said...

What New Kid said.

It may be small consolation at this point, but the promoters of the ban pretty clearly have a far broader agneda that seems much likelier to end in a positive backlash than more 'purification of the culture.'

Also in the small comfort category, looking at the age structure of attitudes on the subject, it's clear that this is being done now in part because soon enough there will only be so many living fossils to support it. Unfortunately, it'll take time to redress the injustice.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Acre said...

I agree that the long term looks much brighter than the right now. I've got a couple of days on the election now, and feel less bruised by the whole thing. It is infuriating that, as you say, Tom, it will take so long counter this week's outcome. But in the last few days I've heard serious proposals for doing so, and just the ability to think creatively about the situation is a good sign.

12:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home