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Friday, 19 November 2010

Back into the snake pit

Against all better instincts, I am driven to comment again. I keep jumping back into this snake pit though I know it is only making things worse. But, again, once I know about these things and think about them I can’t make them leave my head until I’ve spoken – and not even then. My anger’s driving, not my common sense.

“Not only gay people get bullied”

“Not only gays have a high suicide rate”

“Not only gay…”

“We’re all talking about the gays but…”

Shut up. Seriously. I have had it up to here with all of these supposed “allies” who are so HORRIFIED that the lens is on gay people. I am sick to the back teeth of these people who are so damn eager to declare how supportive they are, but just can’t resist lashing out at us in passing.

If you want to talk about the suicide rate in another community or how bullying hurt you or how bullying is horrendous for another marginalised body or for all kids or anyone – DO IT. By all means – run with it, leap with it – scream it from the mountains and sing it out. But why the hell do you have to lash out at us?

It’s not even remotely necessary, it’s sickening to watch and it makes me violently ill to be reminded that so many self-proclaimed allies have so little tolerance or patience if the topic is not about them for 5 damn minutes. It sickens me that these so-called allies just cannot stand the lens on us for any length of time – that it gets too much for them to stand and they simply have to react and lash out.

Are you seriously screaming that a marginalised body that is so often ignored and demonised in the media is getting too much attention?

Are you seriously saying that an issue that has been so ignored for so long – or did you miss the innumerable rants around that no, there isn’t a suicide epidemic, there’s just people finally freaking notice – is now getting too much attention?

Or how about the other track we’re getting now?

Because yeah, there’s a sequel to the “how dare you spend so much time looking at all these dead gays!” Keep up, denying the homophobia in homophobic bullying is the new attack!

“Just because the kid was beaten and bullied by people screaming homophobic slurs doesn’t mean it was homophobic!!!”

“When kids call their victim a ‘fag’ it’s not homophobic!”

“Anti-gay slurs aren’t anti-gay slurs!”

Thank you again oh straightness for telling us what is and isn’t homophobic. Thank you for yet again revealing how utterly desperate the het-lead world is to bury us as much as humanly possible. Thank you AGAIN for showing how outrageous it is to point out homophobic hate.

Seriously – someone is attacked and driven to suicide by people using homophobic slurs, mocking their sexuality or assumed sexuality et al – but no, it’s not homophobia. Oh no.

Talk about bullying. Talk about other marginalised bodies. Talk about suicide. Raise attention, yell from the roof tops, but stop getting your poor straight focus all ruffled because ZOMG THE GAYS are getting attention.

Because, y’know what? This is necessary

And I say that as someone who is going to have to leave the country or go into the back end of beyond to avoid the internet, the news and all media in a desperate attempt to preserve my own mental health before the attention on it breaks me.

It is NECESSARY. Because it is a vast problem for us that also have issues that are unique to us or more apparently to us or more closely linked to us than other communities – not that they don’t have their own issues and specific issues as well – but that is why when we discuss ANY issue we need to also discuss how it affects marginalised bodies.

Because, y’know what? We’re still considered unclean for consumption. Because when debating gay characters in children’s shows not only highlights there complete absence – but brings out no end of haters yelling about Ernie from Sesame street and some damn Teletubby, for crying out loud. Where we’re actually seeing that eternally annoying song “Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree” censored because it includes the word “gay.”

We actually sang that song in our primary school. I had a an evil demon of a teacher who despised all things childish (gods alone know why she became a teacher) and had a truly ridiculous obsession with making kids sing songs in parts – and we sang that damn Kookaburra song for hours. And whenever the ignorant and silly children – as children are wont to be – giggled because ZOMG it said GAY! – I remember that teacher stopping everything to treat us to a long lecture about how “gay” used to mean “happy and carefree” and that the words has been “debased” and “corrupted” by associating it with other “disgusting” and “unseemly” things. Every damn time we sang that song we’d get the “gay is nasty” lecture along with it. And we’re STILL censoring it today.

Because our presence is so offensive and BEING offended by our presence is so acceptable that the damned Advertising Standards Agency has banned an advert depicting gay men dressed as priests. It’s UPHOLDING Catholic homophobia as moral and good – and SUPPORTING the idea that our depiction is just too awful to be allowed. Because homophobia is again and again raised up as RIGHT and GOOD and moral and if you ever try to combat that you get defenders of religions screaming from all corners, stomping on our corpses to mouth the weakest defences and derails (gods forbid it ever be ADDRESSED! Oh no, that would be so hard to the poor religions while they stomp on us).

Or how about the SCHOOL BOARD member who wants “fags” dead in terms that are so virulent and repellent I simply cannot repeat them, who WANTS us to commit suicide And of course it’s religious based – so of course it’s MORAL and defensible, right? And this is a member of a school board. Gods protect those GBLTQ kids he may have influence and power over – because the schools aren’t going to – and they’ve sent an amazing message as to how much their damn lives are worth. How about reinforcing that by PUNISHING teachers who try to combat homophobia in the classroom

How about the repeated claims now from the hate brigade that the reason we’re dying is because we’re gay! That’s right – it’s only natural that we would kill ourselves because we’re so disgusting – and yet these orgs are funded and powerful and supported and respected!

Or how about the epic shit our kids go through in the foster system At a time when they’re at their most vulnerable, heteronormative society comes in to dish out an extra kicking. But there’s too much attention right? We’re talking too much about it! We’re focusing too much on the gay issues! (Hey, you know what’s extra fun? Most of these complainers are American and in the US it was GBLT history month when much of the attention happened – so they’re outraged that so much attention has been given to anti-gay bullying during the history month).

We need this to be acknowledged. We need this to be watched. We need this to CHANGE. So put away all your damn silencing techniques, stop trying to shame the gays to silence. I’m sorry if your straight patience has been exhausted, but this is needed.

I thought the reports of suicides would be what broke me along with the seemingly endless familial pressure. I skittered around the ever growing numbers. I even avoided the hate attacks, the killings, the arsons (yes there’s been some of all which I have skittered around. I don’t have links to them, I can’t read them at the moment. I can’t risk them, but there have been hate attacks and arsons in Canada, New Jersey, London – and these are just the ones I got from skimming headlines before deleting them) but what may push over the edge it seems are straight “progressives” getting so pissed at the attempts to do something to save out lives.

And yes, I’ve jumped into the snake pit again. And yes I shouldn’t have done. And yes, I’ve had to call Beloved to come rescue me because I can’t trust myself to drive

And yes, I’m a fool. My anger rules my good sense.