Thursday, December 6, 2007

CALL IT KARMA

I know some of you may well be angry at me for saying that many LGBT people brought this debacle about.

When there is no overwhelming, uniform, consistent expression of revulsion when Transgenders are removed from ENDA by politicos hung up on expediency rather than justice, foolishly thinking that the passage of such a bill would be an advance which, after fracturing the LGBT community, would certainly be vetoed by Bush; when hedonism and frivolity are confused by so many LGBT people with "liberation"; when self-absorption has replaced an esprit de corps, a sense of community, in much of the LGBT community, save for social affairs; when there is a studied apathy to any type of meaningful social and political activism among LGBT people and their "allies"; when "liberation" is considered certified by participation in Pride Parades, rather than in holding assorted clergy and politicians' feet to the fire in demanding the dignity and civil rights that accrue to all citizens in the U.S.; when it is considered "progressive" to refer to oneself and to other LGBT people by derogatory labels that serve to both further reinforce and express the internalized homophobia, not yet sufficiently overcome, due to the hateful messages spewed from pulpits and other assorted venues throughout the world, why should Democrats, or anyone else for that matter, particularly care what LGBT people think in the first place?

Indeed, why should any non-Gay person take Gay people seriously, when so many Gay people don't appear to take themselves seriously, or even care enough about their second-class citizenship and status, and the denial of their dignity, to stridently demand full and equal civil rights?

As I wrote in my comment to Don Charles in the previous post, who asked me, "Do you think LGBT folk will ever gain the courage to face their internalized shame?":

"Delighting in being 'the other,' in being perceived as 'sexual outlaws,' (In part due to internalized homophobia.) and as reinforcing the stereotype that being Gay equals being solely sexual, and equating hedonism with 'liberation,' is playing right into the hands of the strident homophobes, justifying in the minds of many in the middle that those homophobes are correct in their negative assessment of Gay people, and that Gay people are 'not like us,' and don't deserve the same consideration, the same civil rights, as do "people like us.'"

It may have to come to the point where more insults such as removing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime bill from defense authorization legislation, from the funding for the immoral and deceitful war in Iraq showing that, in the minds of most politicians, including "liberals," supporting an immoral war trumps the interests and safety of LGBT people) by those who are viewed as "liberal," and who are naively counted on to "deliver the goods" when LGBT people and allies have not presented a united, aggressive, front in demanding those "goods," that will finally motivate all LGBT people and allies to have a fire in the belly to organize and coordinate efforts to demand full and equal civil rights that will not be gained in any way save through consistent and continuous grassroots and organizational demands and coordinated activism.

We have a lot to learn from the activists of the 1950's, 60's, 70's, and early 80's, such as Barbara Gittings, Franklin Kameny, Troy Perry, Harry Hay, and Harvey Milk, and those lessons won't be learned at circuit parties or Pride Parades.

I just hope that they don't have to be learned by the further erosion of the dignity, and the commensurate humiliation, of LGBT people, as seen at this latest of many salvos directed against LGBT people, and against all those who believe in full equality for all citizens.
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2 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

We're on the same page, Jerry. I think we are not only seeing what happens when a Civil Rights movement is undertaken by a people engulfed in internalized shame, but also what happens when a Civil Rights movement chooses to divorce itself from morality and spirituality. What LGBT folk need right now is faith: Faith in themselves as normal human beings deserving of equality, and faith in their Creator, the almighty God, the One who can deliver them from persecution. That's what the integration activists of the '50s and '60s had, and it took them far. Hedonism, secularism and separatism do not make a firm foundation for a Civil Rights crusade!

leland61 said...

Unfortunately too many people, gay, lesbian etc., have lost the sense of solidarity with all oppressed and marginalized people here in America and around the world. Those of us who are sexual minorities must understand that our final destination of freedom under fair and just law depends on our willingness to insist that this is true for all people everywhere. It is not easy to engage in solidarity with other oppressed people because we must first open our own hearts and minds to the prejudices, racism and sexism that still linger there. As long as we are unwilling to see any of God’s children as unequal in value to ourselves, we will never be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with all of God’s children and honestly insist on our own rights and the recognition of our own dignity.

The g/l/b/t communities (there has never been one community) are rampant with sexism, racism and ageism. The free and unearned grace of God may get one alright with God but it does not get one alright with your fellow human beings if you do not treat them as less than oneself. As a matter of fact it is pretty clear that if you cannot extend your own love and grace and equal treatment to others, your own love of God is in serious doubt. “The children of God and the children of the devil are revealed in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those WHO DO NOT LOVE THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.” 1John 3:10

Unfortunately there are many of both the heterosexual communities and in the g/l/b/t communities who do not understand that love is meaningless twaddle unless it is backed up by acts. “Little children, lets us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” 1 John 3:18 Unfortunately many of our g/l/b/t brothers and sisters have been so abused and the objects of such vile hatred posing as the Gospel of Jesus, that they are unlikely to every hear these words. Yet solidarity with those who suffer rejection discrimination, marginalization and oppression at home and around the world are all in the same collective boat and all must row, paddle or move the sails to catch the wind of freedom together.

Believe me; Christ exists that we might be free. As St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians, verse 1, “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” But to not submit to the yoke of slavery means to destroy the yoke of slavery, oppression, discrimination and misery so that it may be imposed on no one, ever, anywhere. It is indeed ‘for freedom Christ has set us free”, and the banner of the cross proclaims that in the face of the haters of the world, God triumphs and JESUS IS LORD.