So Cardinal O’Brien, while viciously and nastily attacking GBLT people and gay rights turns out to have been industriously having it away with any priest he could get his hands on – and several have complained about his sexual harassment and molestation. After trying the Catholic church’s usual tactic in these situations (cover up and intimidation), O’Brien has confessed and stepped down (uh-huh, because that’s the end of the matter? I suppose when it comes to the Catholic church this is harsh treatment of a sex offender).
Much as I pity his victims, I also have to acknowledge that this can only help reduce the power and the influence of the Catholic church and help curb the effect of its constant bigotry against us. Having the viper’s fangs blunted, even a little, is something I am always going to be happy about.
But, and I know I’ve said this before, please can we not play the whole “look, homophobes are gay!” game? It’s tiresome, it’s not helpful, it’s ignorant and it’s migraine-inducing.
Homophobia is, I say again, a product of a straight world, a straight ruled world, a straight dominated world and a world where straight people have repeatedly tried to destroy us and have succeeded in driving most of us into hiding until hiding became the norm and the act of NOT hiding became a major life event. Think about that for a second and let the enormity of it sink in.
So even with this Cardinal being gay or bisexual – just as any other homophobe so revealed – they are not representative of all homophobes or even anything more than a tiny minority of the bigots. It is not closeted gay people who have created this heterosexist and homophobic society. And, ultimately, it is straight people and straight society that forced these people not just into the closet but into the depths of self-loathing as well.
We are not responsible for our own oppression – don’t play that game and don’t let other people play it, it’s only going to come back and bite us on the arse.
And, besides, some of the commentary is outright homophobic - and positively relishing in calling someone they hate “gay”. Frankly, it’s never comfortable seeing people jumping up and down on the opportunity to use gay as an insult – and worse when you take the excuse to use slurs. No, really, no.