Melinda Gwin !

So good to see you here.

Yes, your comments are so on point. I write what I write with a deliberate focus that I didn’t even realize you fully understood until I saw some things you wrote after I got banned.

Insisting on full equality is radical. It doesn’t sound radical on its face, of course. On its face, it’s a simpering little platitude that reverberates with people raised in liberal democracies.

But to really and actually insist on full equality is actually radical, and it pisses a lot of people off.

The details make a lot of people wince.

It’s like the 1960s and 1970s in the United States with respect to race.

I bring that up because I can personally recall the cognitive dissonance of that era, when progressive people thought they were on board with racial equality when in fact it made them profoundly uncomfortable.

You’d hear the same kinds of complaints then. People shouldn’t be so aggressive. We shouldn’t condemn those with sincere beliefs against interracial marriage. We shouldn’t try to move so fast; it’s destabilizing for society. Think of the children.

To me now, as a man in my middle fifties, the arguments in favor of tolerating homophobic bigotry sound almost exactly the same as the ones in favor of tolerating racist bigotry that I heard all the time when I was a boy.

It’s like we’ve forgotten our own history.

I’ll think of the children, all right.

I’ll think of the LGBTQ youth who still have to grow up internalizing homophobic bigotry.

It’s shameful. It’s harmful. It’s wrong.

The point was driven home very clearly to me last year at this time when Fred Shirley was struggling to come out.

Fred Shirley who lives in England for heaven’s sake and attends a famously progressive university and who was raised in a progressive family.

And he was unable to summon the courage to talk about being gay.

He had every reason to be confident that his family wound be accepting and supporting, but still his levels of internalized homophobia were such that he felt shameful just talking about it.

Fred’s not an exception. Fred’s the rule.

That’s ridiculous.

People shouldn’t have to feel ashamed of being who they are. It shouldn’t be a big deal.

That it still is a big deal is a result of all the people with “sincerely held beliefs” about how there’s something wrong with us.

That’s not something we can tolerate.

People who are sincere homophobes are sincerely harming us.

They’re doing evil and they’re doing it on an irrational basis.

It has to stop.

I feel utterly confounded when people insist that we must tolerate evil.

Fucking hell.

They need to wake up.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store