Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Which are the Red Letters?

H8TRED, LOVE, which are the red letters? embroideredshirt
H8TRED, LOVE, which are the red letters? by webcarve

I'm a white, male person married to a white, female person - and neither of us are "really" what we appear.

Frankly, we are both queer as hell. People think we are heterosexual; but in fact we are "passing." What our sexuality actually is should not matter. But if these people really comprehended how it differed, despite appearances, it would matter a lot - to them.

And so to a degree, we must keep parts of our essential selves "in the closet."

My great great grandmother, the "octaroon" was also able to "pass" as a "real white person," even though she was one eighth black, and under Jim Crow, committing a crime by allowing "Real Christian Americans" to assume she was a human being.

So, among other oddities in my life, I'm an homeopathic Afro-Canadian. Some would be outraged at this statement, considering it bizarre, silly and presumptuous.

I would agree that it's a bizarre and silly thing to consider at all - save for having heard from my Saskatchewan-born racist father that "I'd have never married her if I'd known she was a nigger."

This is when I came to the understanding that the people who consider such distinctions important are certainly stupid and most probably evil.

Certainly they are more than willing to do evil things to impose their preferences on others; morality, ethics and Christian values be damned. I'm no longer willing to even pretend their views should be respected - certainly not at the expense of the legitimate rights of people who in my experience are far more likely to be good friends and neighbors.

When a distinction that makes no difference to you in any visible or even in any invisible way allows you to justify hateful distinctions enforced by law upon others, it doesn't matter a damn to me what your supposed excuses are.

So, when The Advocate put up the cover stating "Gay is the New Black," they were emotionally and, practically speaking correct, even though many people with visible African ancestry are quite understandably taken aback.

You see, under the Jim Crow assertions that "one drop of black blood makes you black," I'm surely black. No REASONABLE person would think I'm black; hell, I damn near burn in moonlight.

I'm gay by that same test - I've had same sex encounters. Some were fun, some were not; but overall, I found I much prefer women. More importantly I far prefer my wife. But some would say that, despite my current choices, I will burn in hell for my "sins." My stock response to that is "we shall see, won't we?"

But let's get straight to the particular; I love being married. I can't even imagine telling people they can't "really" be married when they clearly are!

Rituals do not create a marriage. They observe, they celebrate. We hope; we trust they are in celebration of something real. But no law, not custom, no piece of paper will create that reality. That is up to those involved.

Anyone thinks they have a right to argue with me about what is real in my life based on their superstitious presumptions of what they think Scripture I may or may not ascribe to does not deserve respect, not for their religion, not for their opinion, not for any "higher cause." Such presumptuous stupidity deserves only contempt.

It's not that being gay is the same as being black. It's that the people who think that blacks are subhuman "mud people" are the same sort of people that think it's perfectly reasonable to lynch queer folk.

This isn't about us. It's about them.

People who cannot recognize love, people who would forbid the public expression of love cannot possibly be reading the scriptures I have read. Since they clearly have not, and since those scriptures are the ones that ARE definitive of Christianity - I question their right to the term. God is Love, or so I was told in Sunday School. I'm quite done with apologizing for the roots of my faith due to the words and actions of people who's faith skips from Leviticus to St. Paul with no attention paid to Anyone in between.

The people who oppose same sex marriage - for fear that their children will be tempted by forbidden fruit are the same people who would also forbid interracial marriage to their children.

What these people object to is the very idea that anyone who differs from them in any way deserves the same, basic human rights they enjoy. Their xenophobia is quite democratic, they are equal opportunity offenders against those of different races, religions, political beliefs, sexual preference, any deviation from perceived "normalcy" that they share with people they know. And they refer to judges who enforce the civil rights recognized by the Constitution as "activists," as if it were a political choice to frustrate The Holy Will Of The Moral Majority.

Chromefishtian Sticker stickerWhat they wish is the right to impose litmus tests for participation in society, to belong to family groups - indeed, to even have family.

I say no. I say it's evil. I'm saying it in as many ways as I can. Since I'm an artist and graphic designer, I think that is the best way for me to make a difference. In that spirit, I'd like to invite you to help me spread my visceral reactions to the extent you can, and if you have more talent than money - sadly, that's my situation - help the cause by creating your own visceral visions.

I want to see an overwhelming tidal wave of money coming from an equally overwhelming public display of revulsion for the idea behind Prop 8.

Brick by brick, dollar for dollar; I want to build a stone wall - around them. I cannot think of a better cause, nor could I hope for more deserving friends - or foes.

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