Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Knocking It Out

Trigger warning: Homophobia, parental abuse, spiritual abuse

Much negative publicity has formulated around the Beat the Gay out of Your Kids pastor (all types of triggers). As well it should. This pastor, who is incidentally in the same state as the Amendment One anti-equality bill, gave his congregants a special leniency to crack and punch (to applause and laughter) their four year old sons if they started acting “limp-wristed” in order to knock that problematic homosexuality out of them. He then went on to say that "butch" girls need to "dress themselves up" to be "beautiful" and "attractive". Because we all know that lesbians are ugly, right? And that, in order to become straight, all they need is to look purty.

My fear, though, is that in pointing to him as an example of extreme homophobia, we may be doing normal homophobia a bit of a solid. Opponents of equal rights use that example as they use the example of the God Hates Fags church. “At least we’re not like those guys. Those guys are sick, amirite?

They continue:
BtGooYK Pastor is a bad man for even joking about violently disposing children of their homosexual behavior. At least we’re not like that. At least we don't purposefully beat them. Though we don't frown on bullying by their peers. If a kid wants to beat the gay out of another kid, who are we to stand in their way? We only seek to ex- their gayness by using shoddy psychiatry and shaming. We only seek to keep them from children because their gayness may catch on them – or they may practice their gayness on the kids, because that’s what the gays do. They do the gay with little kids. We only want to keep them from exercising the same rights straight folks have in openly declaring their love for another.
At least we’re not like those other guys, the say.

Soft-peddled homophobia is still homophobia. And just by getting caught, the hard-peddlers make it easier for the soft-peddlers to enforce their religious views on others. They can claim that they aren’t bigoted (and they may honestly believe that) in the same way that a racist can claim to not be racist because he’s not burning crosses or lynching, even as he’s writing newspaper articles about how Jay-Z’s basketball team should be called the Brooklyn N*****s.

What is up with the Amendment One thing, anyway? Is this the first amendment given in a state constitution that moves AWAY from and even contradicts the Bill of Rights? Can a state constitution be ruled unconstitutional on the basis that it clearly establishes a religious practice over civil practices? Because it does. Not even a good one.

So, congratulations, North Carolina! A small minority just decided that a smaller minority of you are sub-human. Like the chattel slaves of old, homosexuals are not even worthy of the dignity of getting married. And voters did this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I suppose they’re coming for adulterers next. I’m sure the amendment will be amended to exclude fornicators from marrying. And divorcees, definitely, will also be excluded from that right – unless their previous spouses cheated on them, or they remarried their original partners. I mean, it’s not that we hate these sinners. Just their sins, right?

No? Nobody ever is going to suggest these laws? Just for teh gheys and the lesbos? Oh. I see…

Puppies Chewing
Because we all need something to meditate on


  1. This right wing conservative does not support "beating the gay" out of any kid nor do i support peers bullying other kids. I am also in support of same sex marriage because i believe in equal rights of all people. And that is how i live my life. But i do have a couple of thoughts that i would like to put out there. I have been bullied, i was a loner because we moved a lot, and i tended to cry a lot. No matter how bad it got, i did not turn to the same solutions as some other kids have. What do you think it is that pushes some to that point? The other thought i had not only on homophobia, but also on racism and other "isms". Would someone still be considered a homophobe or a racist or whatever if they never act on it?

  2. I honestly think we're more cruel in some ways, Alliandrina. It's kind of a push-back, as homosexuals are more open about their sexuality in the broader culture, some elements so adamantly oppose homosexual "behavior" (but really homosexual people) that they give excuse to excessively bully gay and lesbian kids who may not see a brighter spot yet.

    As to your second question, I'm not sure I have quite an answer. I know that every person that I've ever met has some issue of prejudice and most of us have some bigotry in us (I know I do), whether or not we "act" it out. I think sometimes we can act out our bigotry without thinking about it, or partake in broader acts of bigotry that may not be linked to one or two persons specifically. And I think we need to be vigilant about such "soft" bigotry.

    But, in general, I wouldn't know or be worried about someone's bigotry if they never acted on it, of course. I just think that's something we have to wrestle with. And it helps to find a safe place to kind of probe ourselves and our questions. But it also helps to find several voices from that perspective that we tend to be prejudiced against. There's always the hope that we'll see more than just one or two dimensions in that identity and we'll be more understanding and we may even, heck, speak up with them.


Be kind. Rewind.