Bottom line: I have had to work very, very hard my whole life to accept myself as a gay man, and to be able to introduce myself freely as such and be proud of my relationship. No one did that for me. But a big plus was living in this crazy, over-the-top country that has changed so much just in my lifetime – and done such an incredible about-face after eight years of an unpopular President. What other country on earth is that flexible? What other country is that trusting?
Now, however, I often feel as if I’ve been shoved right back into the closet by the very people who go around espousing diversity and equal rights and compassion – fellow gay people and “sophisticated” urban friends who in fact can’t tolerate an idea that’s not out of the playbook. When a Muslim leader in Nigeria – or even scarier, in Canada – declares that gay people should be killed and their heads cut off, I’m sorry, but that offends me. And it also worries me because we have all seen these believers act on their hate.
Meanwhile, the affluent gay community in LA never makes a peep about hate speech if it comes from non-caucasians with funny Arabic names. The buff, mostly-white queers just continue doing what they do best: identify as victims and pretend it’s 1977 – protesting the harmless Mormon church, which never fights back, and boycotting campy Mexican restaurants to put other tax-paying minorities (including some gays) out of work. Meanwhile, a threat much bigger than Prop. 8 is growing fast.
My point is: I don’t think American gays fully comprehend that in many countries, such as Iran, gay people really don’t have any rights – not even to live. Just last September, a brave, 27-year-old student and gay rights activist, who helped organize safe houses for gay men in Baghdad and coordinated the Iraqi LGBT group, was gunned down at point blank range by Islamic militants – not by Christians or US soldiers. But by literal neo-Nazis.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
A "dumb gay American's" conversion
Charles Winecoff, a gay writer & journalist writes at Big Hollywood about coming out as a conservative in a powerful article, The Awakening of a Dumb (Gay) American. An excerpt: