I sense a backlash brewing within the gay community against those who claim to be our mouthpiece. These tolerance cops are nothing but PC bullies, wasting time and paper with predictable, indignant press releases that exact little change. While homosexuals are being persecuted worldwide, they fret over what some retired NBA player has to say. Their insistence on being liked and respected makes me neither like nor respect them.
I won’t bore you with another of my screeds against GLAAD or the HRC (too late?); instead, I’ll let Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan have the floor:
Savage — Personally, I’m not interested in being liked by the likes of Hardaway. And I sincerely believe that the gay rights movement’s Sally Field complex—“You like me, you really like me!”—is holding us back. We should be out there make this case to bigots like Hardaway and Washington and Dobson and Falwell and Musgrave: No one wants to change your mind about homosexuality. You can think we’re naughty, you can think we’re sinful. And you know what? You can sign off on granting us our full civil rights, tolerate our living openly, marrying, having families—and go right on hating us! Heck, you can go right on trying to talk us out of being gay.
And good luck with that.
But so long as we conflate liking us—or believing that Jeebus loves us too—with granting us our fundamental civil rights, we make winning those civil rights that much more difficult.
Sullivan — I don’t give a damn if someone hates me for being gay. I’m fine with it. If you’re not, I’m fine with that too. Just leave me alone, and we’ll get along just fine. Now, when the government officially discriminates against gays, it’s another thing entirely. The government should treat its citizens equally, period. But the rest of you? As you please. I’d much rather live in a free country where people are free to be bigots than a p.c. country where everyone is legally required to be nice. Hate is a permanent human condition. Trying to ban it is folly. What the gay rights movement should be about is simple public civil equality. Period. Let us marry, serve in the military and then spew whatever bile you want. Deal?
And what is the P.Q.E. have to say about the Hardaway incident? You’ll never guess.
“Tim Hardaway is a hero to thousands of young people, particularly in Miami-Dade, and that’s what makes his comments so troubling. Sadly, his words simply put the pervasive homophobia in the NBA on the table. There’s a reason why not a single active NBA player has ever come out in the history of the league, and this is it. We don’t need punitive words or hollow apologies. We need the NBA and the Miami Heat to embrace gay fans and players in visible ways throughout the year.”—Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“Hardaway’s comments are vile, repulsive, and indicative of the climate of ignorance, hostility and prejudice that continues to pervade sports culture. And by apologizing not for his bigotry but rather for giving voice to it, he’s reminding us that this ugly display is only the tip of a very large iceberg. It would be a mistake to assume that since such prejudice is rarely aired so blatantly and so publicly that it is in fact rare. It is not. And the media that are now doing a commendable job holding Hardaway accountable for his intolerance also need to turn their attention to the deeply ingrained homophobia that continues to thrive within our sports culture at all levels.”—Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
The names may change, but the indignation remains the same. Glad to see I’m not the only tired of hearing it.