In honor of Gay Pride Month- a Fight with my Mother!

So, happy gay pride month to everyone, gay or not. 

As I gear up for the Laramie Project (in rural Texas no less) this October I have to say my awareness of homosexual rights (or lack there of) has been weighing in heavily on my mind.

I tried to alleviate this with some humor and posted this video on my facebook:

 




It's silly and harmless. Or so I thought, but then again I live in Texas. I got an email from my mother:
"Oh Carol, you are so gay ridiculous."

My parents are both devout Catholics but my dad has actually gotten fairly progressive in the past few years so much in fact that he actually said he supports gay marriage. 

I guess I thought my mother had softened around the edges too, so when I called her to be the good daughter I am I laughed gently while asking her what "gay ridiculous" meant.

 

You would have thought I was pissing on a crucifix with the way she suddenly (and angrily) lashed out at me.Her arguments came fast and furious.

  • This is not my battle since I am not gay.
  • Gays rub their sexuality in our faces
  • Straights don't rub their sexuality in gays faces.
  • They should be fighting their own battles.
  • People see what I post.

Aha! The last one really sealed the deal for me. I had to tell my mom that as far as what people think of me, if they are against basic civil liberties then I don't give a damn. Straights are overt about their orientation, just see any blockbuster romantic comedy or sitcom. I also pointed out that there shouldn't BE a battle for the gays to fight, but since the straights have made it their business to oppress, I am making it mine to fight.

 

This brand of ignorance coming from the people I love makes me all the more adamant about my atheism. Sure, people may want us to shut up since we aren't in the majority, but we are right, and their small minded oppressiveness needs to stop even if that means ruining their stupid game of make-believe.

 

 

Views: 53

Comment by kris feenstra on June 5, 2011 at 1:50am

"Straights don't rub their sexuality in gays faces."

 

Not too long ago, I read an article on female tokenism in television and movies.  My fist thought was actually that it was nonsense.  There are plenty of female television and movies stars, so they must be more than token characters.  Then I started really looking at shows and realized just how wrong I was.  While the male/ female balance is getting much better, I realized that it is still pretty bad in many shows.

 

What shocked me is that the inequality should have been so apparent to me.  In retrospect, it's everywhere and in plain sight, but I grew up in a world where that was the norm.  I define normalcy based on this inequality, which is why it was so damn hard to see.

 

Your mother's claim that straights don't rub their sexuality in the faces of gays is about as wrong as a person can possibly be.  It is dangerously wrong.  We don't let children just grow up to be who they are; pretty much everyone is considered straight until proven gay in a court of law.  Well, maybe not in a court of law, but heteronormativity can be far more oppressive than many realize.  Examples in culture of straight people rubbing their sexuality in everyone's faces are so ubiquitous that they don't even register.  In much the same sense that I was blind to female tokenism, I can kind of understand how your mother could make her claim without realizing that it just doesn't match up to reality in the slightest.

Comment by kris feenstra on June 5, 2011 at 2:03am

"I had to tell my mom that as far as what people think of me, if they are against basic civil liberties then I don't give a damn. S

traights are overt about their orientation, just see any blockbuster romantic comedy or sitcom. I also pointed out that there shouldn't BE a battle for the gays to fight, but since the straights have made it their business to oppress, I am making it mine to fight."

 

Also, I think you are right on the money with this.  Equality, in itself, is a privilege worth fighting for.  I cannot be equal to any oppressed minority group until they are also equal to me.  Simple math.  Therefore, the fight of any oppressed minority seeking equality is also a fight for my own equality.  I know that sounds like a self-centred way to put it, but I think it's important for people to see that these issues are about 'us and them'; they're just about 'us' as fellow human beings.

Comment by Lindsey on June 5, 2011 at 3:20am

Gay couples doing the exact same things in public that straight couples do is in no way "flaunting" our sexuality or "rubbing it in their faces". I have every right to kiss, hug, hold hands with, etc. in public, just like heterosexual couples do every single day without a second thought.

Everytime a straight person wears a wedding ring, displays a picture of them and their spouse, holds hands with their spouse/partner (or kisses,  or hugs, or shows any kind of romantic affection towards them at all), or even just mentions what they and their spouse did over the week end, they are expressing their sexual orientation for the entire world to see. If straight people can do it whenever and wherever they want, then no one has the right to tell me that I can't do those same things with my girlfriend, whenever and wherever I want.

Comment by Lindsey on June 5, 2011 at 3:22am
This hypocritical double standard just really pisses me off. I don't throw a bitch fit everytime I see some heterosexual teen couple eating eachothers faces in public. If it offends you, then no ones forcing you to look at it. There are plenty of other things to stare at instead.
Comment by eugene on June 5, 2011 at 5:13am
So who decides the sexual orientation of others? So that if heterosexuals have the liberty to flaunt their orientation in public, who are they to pass judgment on minorities? I think it is a battle that is constantly being waged by the majority theists/heterosexuals against the minority atheists/homosexuals and other minorities. It is not the duty of an individual or a group to determine the sexual or religious orientation of others. If they do or attempt to do that would amount to oppression.
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on June 5, 2011 at 6:35am
Most would say I qualify as bisexual but I say I'm a sexual orientation agnostic; I can't imagine what it would be like to be attracted to most healthy specimens of one sex or the other, I just come to really like certain individuals.  So when I hear about 'gay cures/rehab camps' I just shudder.  Imagine if there was a summer camp that promised to 'cure' your children of atheist tendencies?  There are such camps for gay children, and their operations constitute a fucking felony - but religious freedoms allow them to continue.  blah, now my morning is sour.
Comment by Akshay Bist on June 5, 2011 at 6:37am

As long as its consensual why should anyone care?

Comment by Sarah on June 5, 2011 at 7:07am

I actually fought with my mother on this subject too.( She is an orthodox Jew ) No matter what I say she still sticks to her bigoted opinions and it's really drives me crazy and makes me sad.

This brand of ignorance coming from the people I love makes me all the more adamant about my atheism.

I feel the same! 

On a brighter note, this Friday is the gay pride parade in Tel Aviv, so that should be fun.

Comment by Robert Karp on June 5, 2011 at 8:52am
You gay atheists have chosen the double whammy of persecution and intolerance but I say more power to you!!!! I would be interested to hear from you and others, do you find you get more abuse for being gay or an atheist?
Comment by Justin Humphrey on June 5, 2011 at 10:54am

That video was great, I posted it also.

It really is a shame how ignorant people are. They don't allow slavery and fight for women rights, but they oppress gays still! How ridiculous can we be!

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