LGBT people – a revelation.

You know, I don’t usually do this sort of thing, but this here is a post for my straight readers. If you happen to be LGB and/or T, you can feel free to wander off to other parts of the Internet. Go on, you crazy kids! I’ll wait.

Ok, are they gone?

Right, then. I have something very important to share with you, my opposite-loving peeps, something I hesitate to say in public, but: The gays? They really are different.

I mean, I know we’re always all: “The gays! They’re just like us! Marriage, kids, hospital rights, yada yada!”, but I’ve come to the unavoidable conclusion — and I’m pretty sure that science is going to back me on this, in the fullness of time — that they really are, just: Different.

“Why, whatever can you mean?” you ask. “Different how?”

Well, I’ll tell you: They’re waaaaaay better than us, straight people. That’s how.

“But Emily!” you protest. “I am a delightful straight person, and a stand-up member of society! I protest! How came you to such conclusions?”

I’ll tell you how came I.

I’ve been thinking an awful lot about the kind of bullshit that LGBT people have to put up with on any given day in this world — from Carl “I don’t want [our children] to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option” Paladino, to U- “We will hang you if you’re gay” -ganda. From Jim “gay people shouldn’t be teaching our kids” DeMint, to Thomas S. I’m a university professor but “I decry attempts to legitimize [homosexual] addictions and compulsions” Hilton. From cruel anti-lesbian behavior in a Mississippi school system, to the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. From DOMA to DADT. Man oh man. Everywhere LGBT people turn, they are being told that they are not only worth less, but worthless. Worse than worthless: Disgusting, a danger to society, deserving of state-sanctioned murder.

And yet, in spite of all that, most LGBT folks (and I don’t have numbers to back this, but I think I’m safe in saying “most”) don’t turn into raving lunatics! Or murderous monsters!

Indeed, it has been my impression that most LGBT people (especially those who are able to be out and have the love and respect they deserve) are perfectly reasonable people! I mean, sure, some of them are asshats, but who amongst us isn’t?

The LGBT community has provided this country with Barney Frank, Dan Choi, Rachel Maddow, Ellen, and Neil Patrick Harris — and who wouldn’t want to go to dinner with any (or all! Can I pick all?) of them? Amanda Simpson, a transgender woman who used to be a test pilot for Raytheon Missile Systems, was chosen by President Obama to serve her country as a senior technical adviser to the Commerce Department, and Joel Burns, an out gay Ft. Worth City Councilman, recently gave one of the most moving political speeches I have ever seen, in memory of gay teen suicide victims, and in support of other LGBT teens who may be considering taking the same path — children, after all, who need the support of all of this country’s adults.

No, I’m sorry fellow straight people, if you can live through, and with, that level of shit and emerge a Barney, a Rachel, or an NPH? You are just made of sterner, more formidable, better stuff.

Or, I suppose it’s possible that LGBT people don’t necessarily have anything that we straights don’t have, too. I mean, we’re all just as God made us, right? Maybe it’s just that when you live through, and with, that level of shit, you find yourself having to access your courage, your grace, your good humor a little more often than most. Perhaps they’re not born better than the other 90% of us — perhaps they’re strong enough to make themselves better.

Maybe we in the straight community should start taking notes. Because frankly, a lot of us have been acting like douche-bags.

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10 Comments

  1. silentbeep

     /  November 12, 2010

    I will say one thing Emily: kyriarchy. And some of us straights don’t have to deal with the LGBTQ sides of kyriarchy but some of us have other stuff to deal with. My point is not to get into “oppression olympics” just to point some intersectionality issues out. That is all.

  2. dmf

     /  November 12, 2010

    look i’m not taking anything away from the ugliness that is inflicted on our LGBT peeps and the courage that many have shown in the face of it, but they are just like the rest of us, for better and worse. i’m very leery of the idea that in general those who suffer oppresion are somehow made better because of it, history is mixed at best on such matters, as this blog often reports on.

  3. most excellent post and thanks. i couldn’t resist and posted it on facebook. luckily, most of my friends will love your post and hopefully those who don’t will learn something from it.

  4. I loved this. I’m an opposite sex lover, and I struggle with my addiction. The same sex just seems so much saner. Maybe gay people are more evolved.

  5. debbie

     /  November 13, 2010

    This is certainly ironic:

    “And yet, in spite of all that, most LGBT folks (and I don’t have numbers to back this, but I think I’m safe in saying “most”) don’t turn into raving lunatics! Or murderous monsters!”

    LGBTs may be the targets, but it’s their detractors who end up being raving lunatics and murderous monsters (if only in their collective heart).

  6. Someone I love sent me the following in an email, saying that I could use it as an anonymous comment if I wanted to. Given that it speaks to the ways in which society forces LGBT people to hide their realities, I decided to put it up.

    anonymous sez:

    Thank you for today’s beautiful post. I am going to claim this statement for myself:

    “Maybe it’s just that when you live through, and with, that level of shit, you find yourself having to access your courage, your grace, your good humor a little more often than most. Perhaps they’re not born better than the other 90% of us — perhaps they’re strong enough to make themselves better.”

    I’ll claim it as a woman who lived as a (pretty much) out lesbian for many years, and as a woman who now lives as a (pretty much) closeted bisexual. I still have the fear that some people will “find out” about me/my past and use it to hurt me, my husband, my work. Evidence of my closetedness on this issue: I’m not going to comment on your blog.

  7. Well, I cheated and pretended I was one of you. But hey, comes with the territory.

    You’ve got a good list of gay public figures going, but let’s not forget Freddie Mercury, Ian McKellan, Derek Jacobi, Rob Halford (of Judas Priest)…

  8. Beautiful post, ee. The only thing I would add is that being LGBT (as with any other minority) presents one with the opportunity to be a better person through struggles. Not everyone takes that path, obviously (Log Cabin Republicans, anyone?), but, yeah, we do pretty much rock.

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