Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More about Marriage

(Originally posted on MySpace on Sunday, June 01, 2008)

Let me revisit last week's blog column for a comment or two.

I seem to have struck a nerve this time as this column got more hits than any other blog I've written. I usually get twice the hits as usual when I do a Thin White Rope blog, but this one got about three times the usual hits. I also got several more subscribers who aren't Thin White Rope fans, and that makes me very happy. Perhaps I should talk about issues that affect me personally more often.

Many of you probably have seen my back-and-forth with Don. I've known Don since the early 70s, when he was just a young lad who wore striped t-shirts and played in a pop music band called the Rage. Don grew up to side with the conservative, Republican (or maybe he would describe himself as Libertarian) side of things. We disagree a lot and have argued in this forum before. But I really do like the guy; despite the fact that I believe he's wrong about so much. And remember, he isn't against same-sex marriage. He just thinks I should be more reasonable in my criticism of people who are against it. I understand his point, but I'm still going to call them bigots because that's what they are despite their religious beliefs.

That leads to another thing I wanted to say last week while we were arguing and kept forgetting until I got another MySpace message from someone I don't know telling me that I shouldn't be so angry about things.

First of all, telling someone they shouldn't be angry is a real easy thing to say when you're a white, heterosexual male. Try living with being told there's something wrong with you your whole life and then tell me not to be angry. I do realize that these days things aren't as bad as when I was growing up, but it's still inexcusable to me that bigotry towards races and gender still exist in any form. And the fact that I was forced to live a good portion of my life in a shadow-world pisses me off to no end, even if it is now over and done with.

I also wonder if people who tell me to be less angry and more diplomatic about this issue would voice the same thoughts if I was ranting about people who claim that people of another race shouldn't be afforded the same rights as others. After all, that was the norm at one time and those people also used the Bible to justify their bigotry. It also took "activist judges" to go against the will of the people before those antiquated "traditional" views finally were forgotten on the wayside by most people. (The fact that here are still people who hold these views, although a minority, means we all can never stop be vigilant though.)

Personally, I want to remain angry as long as I perceive there's any injustice going on, not just that that directly affects me. I think there's a place for calm and diplomacy, but not always. I truly believe that it takes some shaking-up to get people in the place where diplomacy can work. I think that more has been done via gay rights by groups like "Act Up" then has been achieved by any of the "peaceful" organizations like "Human Rights Campaign". Keep in mind that the Mattachine Society was formed in 1950 and tried to change anti-gay laws through peaceful means, but it wasn't until angry queens at the Stonewall Bar rioted in 1969 that any change really began to happen. (And I don't think that civil rights for blacks and other races would have progressed as far or as fast without groups like the Black Panthers shoving it in the faces of the white majority.)

So, even at 54 years old, I'll remain angry that I'm treated like a second class citizen in a country that supposedly believes that all should be equal. I'll continue to be angry as long as I believe that anger and confrontation are the prime motivations to get people to wake up and notice the injustice going on in front of them. If you don't believe I'm right, then you're more than welcome to take the calm, diplomatic route. Your attitude is needed as well. But I don't think either can work without the other.

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