Saturday, May 2, 2009

My gay agenda -- Item #1

Since I am so often accused of having an agenda, I thought I might as well come up with one.

Coming up with an agenda, though, is a bit of a head-scratcher, because I really don't want to rule the world. Just my little part of it. And not rule it, exactly, but maybe influence it a little, to make it a bit more comfy. Like plumping up sofa cushions.

So here's something that would make me much more comfy.

My gay agenda item #1:

I wish I would never again hear anyone speak of the way I love as if it were something dirty.


Let's consider my experience of the past few weeks. First Amazon.com removed my books from their searches because they considered the content "adult." And then the West Bend, Wisconsin, County Council wanted to toss my books out of the public library.

The cause of both these incidents was neither a glitch nor a vast rightwing conspiracy. It was ignorance. And what is the cure for ignorance? Information. Information that we find in things like, oh, books, which we obtain from places like, oh, Amazon.com and the public library.

These ignorant people don't want anyone, especially the young, to see a book that might depict the lives of gay people in a non-negative way. Amazon did not remove from searches A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. Once the other gay books were gone, that one came up #1 in searches on homosexuality. (It still does, along with several others that are clearly anti-gay.) And I doubt the West Bend County Council would object to keeping books like You Don't Have To Be Gay in the YA section.

Being old, I am long past being upset by things like this, but being old, I tire easily, and this is one battle I'm tired of fighting.

So let me witness here that all those ignorant efforts are in vain. I grew up in the 1950s, when homosexuality was all but completely invisible, and I was still gay, even then. I grew up in a society that was overwhelmingly heterosexual, and I never knew (or knew I knew) anyone who was gay until I was well into my 20s, and I was still gay. Before I was 25, I never read a book, saw a movie or TV show, went to a play, or heard a song on the radio that suggested that maybe a girl might fall in love with a girl, but I did anyway.

Seeing ignorant people trying to make us disappear doesn't hurt my feelings anymore, but it does make me feel their disrespect--disrespect for who I am, for what I've accomplished in my life, and for the one thing that makes our lives worth living: love.

To anyone who would say to me, You will go to hell for sins against nature, my reply will always be, If you believe in hell, which I do not, you may find yourself there one day for sins against love.

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