Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Average Anti-Gay Bigot

If you want to see two articles that perfectly illustrate the nature of the average, everyday anti-gay bigot, take a look at a couple of posts over at Pam’s House Blend. The first post is about a story in a Texas newspaper that took a look at an actual gay couple in Texas and their commitment ceremony. More specifically, it’s about a follow up column that the newspaper editor did on the furious and appalling responses he got from many of the paper’s readers, who buried him in vitriolic responses for daring to tell the story of what a gay couple goes through (because if you even mention the existence of gays, you’re obviously part of the ubiquitous Gay Agendatm). The response will not surprise anyone who has written on this subject:

For me, this has been an eye-opening week. Not all our callers were unreasonable. Many were thoughtful and asked good questions. However, a surprising number were blindly, nastily and profanely hateful.

In the case of a few, I saw bigotry and unreasoning hatred that would make the Ku Klux Klan blush. Then they often told me I’d offended all good Christians.

More than a few questioned my sexual orientation. Typical of these, one woman left a sneering, anonymous message on voice mail: “You must really be a queer yourself. You act like it, and you sound like it, and you’ve proved it by putting this in the paper.”


Looks awfully familiar to me. I am especially amused by the “you must be gay if you’re defending gay rights” line, which of course I hear quite often. They intend it purely as an insult without giving any thought to the fact that, to someone like me, being called gay is not an insult. Nor do they recognize, for that matter, that to someone with my beliefs on this subject the notion that I would be pretending or covering up is rather silly; if I was gay, I’d be more than happy to be so openly and proudly because I do not see anything wrong with it. But the root of all of this is that, to the anti-gay bigot, it’s simply inconceivable that any straight person could possibly support gays as people or gay rights as a principle.

The second post is about an article that said Daniel Craig, the new James Bond, suggested that Bond have a gay love scene in the new movie. More specifically, it’s about the response from the bottom feeders at Free Republic to that article, which contains quotes that reveal just how looney some of those people are. Here are a couple of the more appalling ones:

He’ll be on my list on Dec. 1st, AIDS Awareness Day, when I will be wishing AIDS upon my enemies.

Apparently, there was a problem finding an actual man to play James Bond. They settled for a girly-male. I have seen every Bond movie, I am skipping this one.

Any “straight” actor who lobbies for fag scenes isn’t even remotely straight. Memo to the closet dweller Craig: A large part of the appeal of James Bond is that he’s the ultimate ladies man. A homo (or “bi”) Bond destroys the character utterly. It’s nothing short of incredible that anyone should doubt this.

Personally, I liked the Bond days where, when a woman got out of line he’d just smack her in her face. Not a beating. Just a hard one across the chops. I mainly like it because you can’t do that in today’s PC world and I loathe political correctness.

Gotta love that last one. Yep, the only reason you can’t slap a woman around is that infernal “political correctness.” The professional anti-gay crowd, like Dobson or Bauer, are more careful about their words; they hide their bigotry behind carefully chosen words like “family values”. But a sizable portion of the crowd they’re whipping into a frenzy are folks just like this.

Comments

  1. #1 Rob Knop
    December 1, 2006

    I had a letter to the editor supporting gay marriage in the Tennessean a couple of years ago. One of my TAs at the time (who was gay) said to me, “You know this means everybody will think you’re gay?” I told him I didn’t really care; as long as Alyson realizes I’m not gay, it doesn’t matter so much what everybody else thinks.

    I did, however, receive some pretty scary letters in response. At least one in physical mail was downright offensive, sarcastically suggesting that he had enjoyed his liason with me and hoped that “Allison” didn’t find out. (A little alarming that he he used my wife’s name, but, then again, I’m all over the web, and very little google-fu is required to learn my wife’s name. Perhaps a bit more now than was the case then, but not a lot.)

    -Rob

  2. #2 steve s
    December 1, 2006

    Personally, I liked the Bond days where, when a woman got out of line he’d just smack her in her face. Not a beating. Just a hard one across the chops. I mainly like it because you can’t do that in today’s PC world and I loathe political correctness.

    -signed, Eric Cartman

  3. #3 Melody
    December 1, 2006

    Rob — Our fellow Tennesseans can be really scary. I was lead counsel in ACLU v. Darnell (procedural challenge to the “marriage protection amendment”) and some people were so very hateful to me that my husband was worried for our safety. On the up-side, other people were great — even inspiring.

    The level of hatred and cruelty that this subject incites is astounding. Also, the rhetoric on the other side is so crazy — I recently debated Professor Lynn Wardle at a Federalist Society gig. Our positions were published in the Nashville Bar Journal. His essay actually attempts to argue that “protecting” marriage is a matter of basic human rights. Really… check it out.
    http://www.nashbar.org/NBJ%20Webpage%20Main.htm

  4. #4 The Ridger
    December 1, 2006

    I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that a great many of the radical fringe right (not that I think, sadly, that they’re really all the “fringe”) need somebody that they can consider subhuman, somebody to hate and somebody to be the target of violent fantasies. About all that’s left to them is gays.

  5. #5 llDayo
    December 1, 2006

    Then they often told me I’d offended all good Christians.

    Pam should put up a new post asking for all good Christians to chime in since she obviously got no replies from any. Jesus didn’t preach hate.

  6. #6 Ed Brayton
    December 1, 2006

    Melody-

    Wardle is nuts. I’ve read many of his writings on the subject and they just leave your mouth agape in bewilderment that any sentient mammal could say things that stupid.

  7. #7 AndyS
    December 1, 2006

    No reason to condemn all rituals. I’d like to have a ritual, say on every Wednesday at 3pm, where everyone stopped talking, reading, and writing for 10 minutes; all computer monitors, TV’s and radios were turned off; and people just sat or walked in silence. It would be a time were everyone could just experience being alive without excess input. 10 minutes too scary? Okay, just give me 5.

  8. #8 AndyS
    December 1, 2006

    oops, sorry, wrong post

  9. #9 Garrett
    December 1, 2006

    I still think Daniel Craig deserves some sort of ridicule for not being able to drive a manual transmission. That’s just sad.

  10. #10 Leni
    December 1, 2006

    That whole “you must really be a queer yourself” bit is just so. fucking. stupid.

    It’s the kind of thing a third grader would say. It would be like calling a white person who supported civil rights for blacks black. And then actually being satisfied with yourself that you landed a really good one.

    It makes me want to hang my head in shame for all of humanity. It never ceases to amaze me that we- the same species that produced Mozart, space flight and sliced bread- are also respnsible for producing the mindless, vindictive pond scum who left that message.

    It’s not just offensive, base, cruel, and idiotic; it’s deeply embarassing.

  11. #11 m3
    December 1, 2006

    Ooh – a Daniel Craig gay sex scene? That’s hot.

  12. #12 Melody
    December 1, 2006

    That whole “you must really be a queer yourself” bit is just so. fucking. stupid.

    Yeah, but let’s not pretend that we have never said “They must be way closeted” about the crazy bigots. I admit thinking stuff like that myself.

  13. #13 Turcano
    December 1, 2006

    “It would be like calling a white person who supported civil rights for blacks black. And then actually being satisfied with yourself that you landed a really good one.”

    I think they actually did that; it usually took the form of calling white civil rights activists “white ******s.”

  14. #14 jba
    December 1, 2006

    Melody:

    True, but I, at least, have found it much more common that someone who tries to peg everyone they dont like as gay and acts very homophobic is much more likely to be gay than people who simply defend gay people as people and just want equality. Its a case of people attacking in others what they see in themselves.

  15. #15 Roman Werpachowski
    December 2, 2006

    (Re: gay love scene in James Bond)

    With all my support for gay rights (marriages and adoptions), I too think this would be a bad idea. Bond has a certain image of winning women’s hearts easily. It would be idiotic to change this image just to prove that “we’re not against gays” (I do not see any other reason for such scene).

  16. #16 Jurjen S.
    December 2, 2006

    Quoth Melody: Yeah, but let’s not pretend that we have never said “They must be way closeted” about the crazy bigots. I admit thinking stuff like that myself.

    Ow, touché. I remember my mother years ago showing me a photo of the first thirty-odd members of the SS which she’d come across in a history book, and remarking that they looked like a bunch of queens in major denial. She added that that would explain a lot about the organizational culture of the SS (and indeed the Nazi party in general), especially the forced machismo with offshoots into misogyny and homophobia (and the obsession with sharp-looking uniforms). It sounded plausible to me then, and it still does.

    The thing is, though, that it makes sense that a homophobe might in fact be a self-hating closet queen (or at least bi-curious) projecting his self-hatred onto others. It does not make sense that someone who openly supports gay rights would fake being straight, because to such a person, there is no stigma to avoid.

  17. #17 Greg
    December 4, 2006

    “Bond has a certain image of winning women’s hearts easily. It would be idiotic to change this image just to prove that “we’re not against gays” (I do not see any other reason for such scene).”

    Somehow I don’t think rationale people would lose a lot of sleep if they thought James Bond was occasionally bi-sexual, to be honest. I had a friend who did undercover work and he once assured me that the best agents would sleep with whomever they had to in order to get the information or contacts they needed.

  18. #18 William K. Wolfrum
    December 4, 2006

    Ed,

    I’ve written gay friendly blogs and been hit by those that somehow believe that accusing me of being gay myself would somehow be a way to hurt my feelings. Odd people. It is for those like them that I wrote the Hetero Manifesto not long ago.

    –WKW

  19. #19 Eric
    December 4, 2006

    Greg,

    Your post brings up something that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else. My guess is that if Bond does sleep with another man in the next film, it will all be in the line of duty. How many times has he slept with women for the express purpose of furthering the mission? It seems to me that he gets off more on the power to seduce another person to suit his own purposes than on actual feelings of affection or even possibly attraction. Also, why am I spending so much time worrying about the sexual preferences of a fictional character?

  20. #20 Troy
    December 5, 2006

    Ed,
    I go out on a limb here, as this is my first time reading your work, but this line caught my eye:

    “if I was gay, I’d be more than happy to be so openly and proudly because I do not see anything wrong with it”

    Respectfully, if you were gay, you probably would have been raised in an environment with few and poor, if any gay role models surrounded by disdain for gays, denied the validity of your feelings to yourself for at least a bit and if you got lucky, would only have lived in fear of being discovered for a handful of years by everyone you loved in the world and all of your friends and peers and then spent many more uncovering bits of homophobia that you had internalized, had you actually come out to yourself in the first place.

    Perhaps your experience is broader than I imagine and if so, I apologize. But while I, as a gay man, appreciate the sentiment, find it a difficult claim to make.

    Thanks for standing up as an ally, nonetheless.

  21. #21 Ed Brayton
    December 5, 2006

    Troy-

    You make a good point. We can’t go back and relive things with an entirely different reality and know how we would feel. I certainly didn’t mean to downplay the difficulties of growing up gay and how this can effect one’s willingness to be open in this manner. I’d like to think that I would be strong enough to overcome those things, but I can’t really know that from my current vantage point. Ironically, it may actually be easier to for a straight person to accept that being gay is okay than it is for many gay people, since we aren’t as likely to internalize all of the anti-gay messages we hear.

  22. #22 Troy
    December 6, 2006

    Cheers, Ed. I’m sure you meant and mean well.
    It is precisely the internalized homophobia through anti-gay (heterosexist) messages we get all our growing up years which make people, even gay people, anti-gay.
    Expunging it, now that’s the tricky part.
    I think for gay people it also involves having to learn to trust people that they are just as respectful of them as they are of others. Additionally, a dose of mindfulness that the world for gay people really is different (in part because of that) also helps.
    By way of example, my dad commented to my partner, who is Japanese (my email predates all this, btw), that he should come to the States to visit. My partner mentioned that though he’d like to, getting a visa is hard. Dad then looked at me and said that surely I could help with that but caught himself midway through, realizing that, no, I can’t.
    He didn’t mean anything by it, it’s just that he has never had to consider the different set of conditions we live under.

    And I agree, there probably IS an irony at work there.
    Funny how these things play out.