Wheelies in My Field
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.