09 April 2007

Why Do You Like It So Rough? (Part One)

Gay self-hatred is caused by peer pressure and wanting to fit in. I call it "same-ism"! Men especially don't (tolerate) any male (who's) different than what society dictates. Little boys are taught from an early age to be tough, and if you are not, you are (thought) weak and unworthy to be called a man. Get enough of that kind of message, (and) you start to . . . deem yourself unworthy, which causes self-hatred. Another factor that causes self-hatred among Gays (sic) is forcing yourself to become heterosexual, usually with disastrous results! When you fail, you hate yourself more . . . not accepting your sexual authenticity causes you to be deceitful and hurtful . . . you are riddled with guilt (because) of those you hurt, which causes you to hate yourself even more . . . if everyone could accept the true meaning of what diversity and respect is, people could live their lives the way they want, as long as (they're) not hurting others. But since we have this Puritan concept of sexuality in this country (dictating) that heterosexuality is the only way, we will continue to have Gay people who are riddled with guilt . . . that is why it is so very important that we teach our children . . . especially our male children, to quit making fun of (other) boys for being different . . . (they must) quit the bullying, and (parents must) punish the boys that (make) life miserable (for) boys who don't follow the macho way . . .

I think there is so much self-loathing on the part of Lesbians and Gay men because of . . . hateful rhetoric, primarily from many religious leaders and their blind followers. The (lethal) rhetoric of clergy has so infused the psyche of most people, including LGBT people, that they erroneously equate "homosexuality" with immorality . . . deep down, many LGBT people view themselves as sinners, disordered, and even evil. Even if one is not a Christian, he/she has frequently internalized the false message given by all too many clergy and their gullible followers that the Bible condemns LGBT people . . . that belief (justifies) exclusion of LGBT people, even by family and presumed friends! A lot of Gay kids have been thrown out on the streets, disowned by their parents, because they "came out" to them, thinking that they could trust them. (They) were betrayed by those who are charged by God with nurturing their children! Religious hate and intolerance has provided the major justification for those looking for a scapegoat (particularly in times of economic uncertainty and dislocation) . . . LGBT people have now become that scapegoat! (They) are not even safe in the closet, as they are (still subject to) verbal and/or physical abuse by any two-bit thug . . . it's important to remember that there are absolutely no Federal Civil Rights protections for LGBT people! However, once increasing numbers of LGBT people are no longer willing to be treated as second-class citizens . . . (once they're) willing to organize, mobilize, and fight for (their) rights, full equality will be realized in the forseeable future. People largely move from pain! The best way for LGBT people to unchain themselves from the shackles of self-hate is to understand that the Bible never condemns same-sex love and, in fact, can be seen to affirm it as in (such) cases (as) David and Jonathan . . . even a cursory reading of (their) relationship shows that David was, at the very least, Bisexual . . . God made Gay people in His own image, and to try to change a Gay person into a Straight person is nothing short of an offense against God . . . (it's) an egregious sin that bespeaks a lack of faith . . . it's impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). So, if a Gay person hates him/herself, he/she is . . . not embracing and loving the creation God has made! Being Gay is not a sin! Hating oneself, a person made in God's own image,
is a sin . . . (a) sin of which all self-hating Gay people have to repent!

These profound quotes come from my friends, Kansas City radio host Chuck Tackett and southern California-based theologian Dr. Jerry Maneker. They were offered in response to a question I posed to Chuck and Jerry: "Why do so many Gay people hate themselves"? My question was prompted by a provocative op-ed published in The Los Angeles Times on 24 March 2007. It was penned by Larry Kramer, novelist, playwright and founder of the Gay health activist group ACT-UP.

Kramer, known for his fiery condemnations of destructive behavior in both Gay and non-Gay populations, vented his outrage at the proliferation of unabashed bigotry in American culture. He pointed to heterosexist hate speech and satire spouted by the likes of columnist Ann Coulter, US Marine General Peter Pace and (of all people) Liberal radio host Garrison Keillor. He decried the taxation of Lesbian and Gay citizens whose rights are systematically being stripped away. He railed against Presidential candidates who refuse to take firm positions against sexual orientation discrimination. He indicted the Executive Branch (at that time occupied by the George W. Bush administration) for placing avowed sex and gender bigots on Federal courts and in other positions of influence and power. He socked it to Episcopalians and other Christian denominations whose teachings and actions in the public sphere whip up anti-Gay sentiment!

Kramer concluded that even those heterosexual folk who profess not to harbor anti-Gay prejudice actually do.  He argued that their actions (or lack of action) prove his point. "Don't those of you Straights (sic) who claim not to hate us have a responsibility to denounce the hate?" he demanded. "Why is it socially acceptable to joke about 'girlie men' (Arnold Schwarzenegger, take note), or to discriminate against us legally with 'Constitutional' amendments banning Gay marriage? Why do you hate us so much that you will not permit us to legally love . . . why do you feel compelled to come after us with such frightful energy?" Unlike many pundits, he allowed no quarter for Bible bigots. "Even if your objections to Gays are religious, why do you legislate them so hatefully?" he wanted to know.

Larry Kramer took no prisoners! He boiled heterosexism down to its hateful dregs and displayed the bottom of the burned pot for everyone to see:

You may say you don't hate us, but the people you vote for do, so what's the difference? Our own country's democratic process declares us to be unequal, which means, in a democracy, that our enemy is you . . . you hate us! And sadly, we let you.

It was that last sentence that seared itself into my mind. I doubt a truer statement has been made in the last decade! We LGBT folk do make peace with bigotry. We do tolerate discrimination. We absolutely do enable hatred! Why do we do this? It's because we're swimming in a sea of undiluted self-hatred, for the reasons Chuck and Jerry cited, and for others.

Deep down, we think we deserve persecution, and that attitude encourages people to persecute us all the more. I'm not saying we're to blame when others act in a reprehensible manner toward us. Each individual must answer for his own bad behavior. However, we are to blame whenever we fail to demand better treatment! We'll continue to be helpless victims as long as we see ourselves that way.

"Why Do You Like It So Rough?" continues with Part Two.