28 January 2014

Whatever Happened To Mary Tyler Moore? (Part Four)

Mary Tyler Moore

Naturally, these seminars would be open to the general public. Just imagine what a different impression Straight people would get of us! Instead of flamboyant revelers, they'd see serious people, concerned about their history, their future, their health, their families, their military veterans, and their access to societal institutions. They'd learn more about us than they ever could watching us flash bare nipples, pierced penises and tattooed butt cheeks! They'd discover that we're not carnival freaks or sex-obsessed anarchists. They'd come to know that we're life partners, fathers, mothers, children, grandparents, taxpayers, voters, soldiers and people of faith. They'd understand that Gay identity has depth.

After a few years of these kinds of events, I think the public would begin to view us in an entirely different light. I believe this would result in them treating us in an entirely different way. I also believe an emphasis on education would radically change the way we think about ourselves! However, I'm aware that some LGBT folk have a concept of Gay identity that's already as radical as it can get, and nothing's ever going to change their minds.

Sooner or later, there'll have to be a split in the Gay Rights movement! It's time to admit that there are some in our ranks who aren't committed to achieving equality and never will be. Just like our adversaries, they believe being Gay, Pansexual or Transsexual is all about sex, and the kinkier it is, the better! They use the movement as a vehicle for their pursuit of decadence! They scorn anything that even looks like mainstream values.

They couldn't care less about marriage equality! Big friggin' deal about open service in the US military! Who needs legal adoption and parenting protections? It isn't even important to these "activists" that we be open and honest about our status. Closetedness is a just another way to be "queer", after all, and it's only about the kind of sex you enjoy, isn't it? Therefore, hiding your gender-neutral status in the closet should be respected like any other "lifestyle choice." Never mind that it's the antithesis of pride!

In order to appear politically sophisticated, these jokers write up and sign supremely pompous documents like the "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage" Manifesto . . .

. . . radical Left-Wing screeds which absurdly pit marriage equality and other Gay Rights goals against the need to address societal problems like poverty, inadequate health care and exploitation of illegal immigrants! Self-identified "radical queers" mirror our Fundamentalist enemies by seeking to wall off LGBT folk from their citizenship rights and their faith! They tend to "combat" religious fascism by flashing the rude middle finger and shouting obscenities at Bible bigots (usually far from view and earshot).  As a group, they've got about as much maturity as a bunch of college frat boys running wild in a beer garden! The festival atmosphere of Pride parades is pretty much all they're suited for.

We'll never be able to make that "queer" contingent disappear. However, we can reject their sex-intensive concept of Gay identity, their reactionary language, and their impotent politics!  We can snatch the helm of our movement out of their fumbling hands and steer it back in the right direction! The struggle that Stonewall launched will soon be forty years old. WTF are we waiting for? It's high time those of us who are serious about Civil Rights really got down to business. The first order of business should be eradicating ignorance about LGBT people! Education-oriented celebrations would be a great way to start.

Now, I'm not so naïve as to think such a fundamental change could happen overnight. First, influential Gay people would have to agree among themselves that it's a good idea (groan . . . that alone could take a minute or two, or three)! Then, a groundswell of support for the revamping of Pride would have to develop. Then, the logistics of staging nationwide Pride seminars would need to be worked out. Next would come fund-raising to cover the costs of publicity, catering, travel expenses, etcetera. There are many potential obstacles, but with determination, they could be overcome. They must be overcome! That's the only way we can overcome.

It's unthinkable that we should stop moving forward as a people.  It's totally unacceptable! I don't want history to show that our march to equality got sidetracked onto a dead end road. I don't want us to be like poor Mary Tyler Moore, stuck flinging that damn hat in the air over and over again in a perpetuity of syndicated TV reruns. I want us to make it . . . after all.

This essay is dedicated to the memory of  
folksinger and social activist par excellence
Pete Seeger.
Originally published in June of 2007.