I confess as a 52 year old gay man in this country, I was quite moved by the outpouring of support for the Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriages legal in all 50 states. Person after person, and company after company, went the extra mile to say simply, "Yay! Love wins." I'm always surprised to discover that non gay people support gay people with fervency and authenticity. I'm always surprised when both non gay and gay alike come to an understanding that sexuality is free to all and should never have been politicized or polarized in the first place. The only reason gay people even exist as a coherent grouping of people is because a bunch of somebodies throughout history felt that they would be more potent at heterosexuality if they asserted their opposition to homosexuality. The ongoing hatred of women and subjugation of the feminine is what fuels this animus and is behind what we call "homophobia" as well.
If one asserts the feminine in oneself and has a male body then that male must be weak and addled like women are. If women assert their feminine aspects outside the prison walls of social and religious convention, then she must be a deviant who is trying to be a man and usurp a man's rights and power. Women should never have power if we truly buy into this principle. The feminine is NOT equal to the masculine. The masculine must be on top. The masculine must be in control. The truly masculine and worshipers of the masculine must live by this ethic whether they feel differently inside or not. We must uphold this value as a society or our society will be weak right? WRONG WRONG WRONG...
The ruling on same sex marriage has ignited once again the hatred of the feminine in this country like never before. The masculine hegemonic "traditionalists" are attempting their feeble arguments which aren't really arguments but religious proscriptions and the vicious, stentorian bleating of radicals who are ironically insecure worshipers of the masculine. Good and rational arguments cannot be made in favor of hating and fearing as being somehow necessary. As each of us seeks our own freedom, so do each of us discover in our own way that nobody is free until we're all free. Once you get there, you simply CAN'T support oppression of any kind. Why? Because you know that if you do you doom yourself to be bound by that oppression as the oppressor as much as you seek to bind the oppressed. When you mature into a true experience of freedom, "power" becomes less about the capacity to dominate or subjugate and more about the capacity to empower and create more freedom for everyone.
Having felt squashed like a bug by my own gayness for most of my life, my journey to a still evolving understanding of freedom and oppression was slow and painful, but apparently not unfamiliar to others who were on the same journey. My recognition of the others on this journey was slow and painful too. It led me to question my gender, my race, my ethnicity, and my upbringing in search of relief from the crushing weight of being hated in this society. Nobody's free until we're all free. Everyone can "get" this in their own way. You don't have to subscribe to a religion or patriotic ideal to come to this understanding. You simply have to challenge hatred of yourself and others and you'll get there. Guaranteed.
I am republishing a Facebook posting I made last year while I was visiting my hometown of McKeesport Pennsylvania. McKeesport is a tough, blue collar values kind of town. The men there are often threatening and hostile to gays as the masculine ideal must be maintained in accordance with blue collar ethics. Feeling hated and threatened by everyone was a day-in and day-out experience growing up there as it is in most places. Obviously things have changed since I left there over 20 years ago. It's not quite so horrible. They have upgraded to tolerance for the most part, but still have a ways to go. This posting is about a personal encounter I had while buying tires. It was a turning point in my heart and in my life for the seemingly innocuous events that are described... What happened in the last line really happened.
He was at least 6'4" dirty blond, receding hairline and blue eyes and maybe 40-ish. He looked an awful lot like that guy that played "Leon" the replicant from Blade Runner. I actually did a double take. I decided to get new tires at a local business (here in blue-collar McKeesport), and they had a good price. I had to call and leave a couple messages on the machine about other things I wanted done, so finally the moment arrived when I had to drop off my keys and talk face to face with the gentleman. He stood in front of me and stared at me wide-eyed and dumbstruck. I asked him a few questions about whether I could pay now and pick up the car later since I had to take my dad to the emergency room and wouldn't be back by closing time.... more dumbstruck... more staring. I could palpably feel his shock blasting me in waves, and it was coupled with some indignation and paralyzing fear. It has been quite a while since I've inspired full-on homosexual panic just going about my daily business. My learned response is to get away as quickly as you can without inspiring violence since such things are an extreme likelihood of a gay-panic situation. But something different happened. I paused mid "conversation" and looked him deeply in the eyes. I mustered a smile in my head and my heart, and I felt something inside me reach out and surround him. I gave him a psychic hug and a smallish non threatening smile. I felt genuine love for him for maybe 2 or 3 very long seconds. I broke the silence to say that I would figure something out and be back before closing. For the record, my brother ended up picking up the car for me since I couldn't get there on time. I thought, well that's probably a good thing and thought about all the times in the past when I ran into that situation and more often than naught something bad happened. When I got home my brother had left the key and receipt on the kitchen counter. I looked at it and "Jason" with all his transient dumbstruckness had really stylized and precise handwriting. He had also left me a voicemail thanking me for coming in, and though his throat seemed to close up briefly before saying it, he said, "It was nice meeting you." And with that simple gesture so many wrongs in life were righted.