I’m trying to work up some semblance of outrage but…nothing. Sigh.
I have been living as an openly gay man since the early 80’s. As you can imagine, when it comes to anti-gay hate, there is nothing I haven’t heard before. Many, many times before. Every slur, every lie, every argument about morality, every dire warning of the homosexual doom that will descent upon the world…Hate the sin love the sinner, Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve, Leviticus 20:10, the Gay Rights Agenda, gay conversion therapy, blah blah blah.
But trust me, for years I fought the good fight. I came out. I marched. I Acted-up. I voted and lobbied and supported the right candidates. I raised funds for pro-LGBT charities and gave as much money as I could. I challenged homophobic language when I heard it, I debated and argued and sometimes shouted.
And the HIV crisis. Really bad. I lost more friends to AIDS than I care to think about. I have a very clear memory of looking across a hospital bed and watching a mother watching her son die and a very clear memory of the association between HIV and immorality that was the cornerstone of rightwing bigotry. In my mind those two things are tightly linked and it still upsets me. Eight years of Ronald Reagan and not once did he mention AIDS. The Moral Majority. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said the most hateful, vile and evil things imaginable publicly and proudly. It permeated into all areas of public discourse and was incredibly toxic. They were followed by Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and many other organizations who are part religious group, part multi-media company, and part political lobbying organization. These guys produce mountains of anti-gay propaganda including their own “scientific, medical, psychological, and sociological research” all of which “proves” LGBT people commit more crimes, molest more children, commit more suicide, take more drugs, and pretty much do more of everything else that is evil including check fraud and dog f*cking. And again all this nonsense found it’s way into the public arena. From their own tv and radio stations, web sites, and publishing it began popping up on right wing tv and radio broadcasts, countless web sites, blogs and podcasts, and in the political speeches of rightwing Christian conservatives. When they lost the same-sex marriage debate, and the much larger culture war, they looked for a new boogeyman and chose the easiest target they could find, transgender men and women. Soon it was all about public restrooms and calling him her and her him and bathroom bills and men dressing as women to infiltrate locker rooms so they could sexually assault little girls. When Trump tweeted, out of the blue, that trans-men and women could no longer serve in the armed forces I remember thinking “And so it begins again.”
Of course there was the good stuff as well. Over those thirty years I experienced first hand the phenomenal shift in society’s attitude regarding LGBT issues. And this past decade? Shocking. Same-sex marriage legalized. Over 60% of Americans support LGBT community. LGBT actors and singers and talk show hosts and TV talking heads and writers and politicians. People discussing and understanding issues regarding sexual orientation and gender and gender identity. Compared to the 70’s and 80’s even the anti-gay politicians are better, just a mere shadow of the powerful, loud-mouthed, hate-spewing bigots they once were. Today they go through all manner of mental and verbal gymnastics in an attempt not to seem homophobic and bigoted, even though that’s exactly what they are. Consider the “attack on Christianity” narrative, which was invented to shield anti-gay bigotry and it’s proponents from criticism. The new victims are bakers forced to bake gay cakes. Falwell had no problem calling people faggots and dykes and homos and lesbos and murdering, black-hearted, immoral, satanic, child-molesting psychos for daring to suggest homosexuals should be treated fairly and not discriminated against. Robertson insisted HIV and hurricanes were signs of God’s wrath because the US tolerated homosexuals. Today only the Westboro Baptist Church has the balls to shout “God Hates Fags”. The rest are neutered pussies who whine about the unfairness of being labeled homophobic and hateful for their personal religious beliefs, which are homophobic and hateful. And on and on it goes…
Which is why, after thirty years of all this, I have no outrage left for Graham and his nonsense. I am frigging exhausted of this shit. Maybe I can get motivated to hate Graham tomorrow. We’ll see.