05 November 2008

The Finger

During my cousin's wake, my niece and nephews-- his children-- were running around aimlessly and trying to annoy me intermittently (I was the youngest adult there, apparently). The youngest, J3 (6 years old), approached me, with his sister J2 (9 years old) and older brother J1 (11 years old) huddled around.
"What is fog?" J3 asked me.
"I'm not sure, but I think it's just a low-lying cloud," I replied.
"No," J3 said knowingly.
"Oh," I said, a little surprised he was quizzing me. "What is it?"
"Fog is a gay person," he said with a twinkle in his eye.
I was shocked for a split-second before I switched from accommodating to stern. "Don't use that word, it's a bad word," I said. I would have given them more of an earful but they had the attention span of a ripe zucchini and before I knew it they were running around again. That, and it would have been bad form to lecture them in a mortuary with their grieving mother just nearby, which is really what they should have been trying to do anyway. (But in trying to avoid rudeness, did I just pave the way for more rudeness from them?) No doubt J1 (my godson, egads) taught his brother some offensive words again.

But it's more than just manners and words. The word "fag" to me has no value; it merely serves as a hurtful word to belittle gay people and make the utterer feel superior for not being "different." It pains me that my own nephews are building up their own arsenal of words with which to wound other people, and at such a young age too (though I don't believe you can ever be too old to unlearn hatred).

Although it seems I may be in a minority. Yesterday it was almost confirmed from projections (not sure exactly how this will play out in the next few days) that Proposition 8 had triumphed in California. When I was in El Segundo I'd actually spied a few of the pro-Prop 8 advertisements and I am absolutely amazed how the actors and actresses don't throw up violently for having to say the lines. Even more astounding is the fact that some people feel that gay people are not entitled to the same rights that straight people have (or gay people who get married to the opposite sex anyway) in this day and age. Another amendment that apparently passed is one that prohibits unmarried couples from adopting children, which is another slap in the face of gay couples. Not to mention slaps in the faces of orphans all around the world. Certainly having no parents and no one who cares for you at all is better than having gay parents, right? Appalling.

Look, I'm pretty much a loveless bastard (er... kidding) with no ring on his finger and no prospects. But I do believe that anyone who is lucky enough to find love should be able to celebrate it and show it to the world without shame or fear of hatred. Today I share my friend Allen's anger, and I share his finger too.

Here's another one. I would have taken a picture of myself but not only do I have no ring, I also look like shit today.

Edit: here's me. This is fo all tha haterz in the... Oh, hell, I can't pull that off.
I don't want to hate on anyone either. Just know that the world's already too much of an awful place for so many poor people around the world. Why should we infect our own neighborhoods with prejudice and bigotry?

9 comments:

Allen said...

Thank you for your support, you 'loveless bastard'. :-)

AndreAnna said...

My finger is up for him, too! And for everyone's civil rights.

Elra said...

Marc,
I am with you 100%, not because my brother in law "L" (in Amsterdam) is a gay, it just I have exactly the same opinion with you, that they are no different then us.

Darius T. Williams said...

Yup - as a gay dude myself - this is horrible man.

Duncan | syrupandtang said...

Try as I might, I can't get my head around the 'sanctity of heterosexual marriage' argument. It's simply sickening that one word can be used to perpetuate mindless discrimination.

The previous Australian government instructed its overseas missions to refuse to issue marriage-status certificates for gay men or women. Without this document, you couldn't prove you were currently unmarried, so this action was designed to prevent Aus. citizens from entering into same-sex marriages in countries where it was legal.

The Australian population is generally a little more pragmatic than in the USA, but hateful people can spoil your day wherever you live, alas.

Swistle said...

WOOT.

dp said...

I think the main problem with the debate is that it's presented to highlight love and emotion, and that's what's hard for social conservatives to get around. First and foremost, I think we should have highlighted the legal aspects more. So instead of just posing the question "why shouldn't gay couples be allowed to marry and show their love and commitment like hetero couples?" we should be emphatically asking "why shouldn't gay couples get the same legal benefits afforded to straight couples?" When you ask the latter question, there is no reasonable answer as to why gay couples shouldn't have the right to file income taxes together or have visitation rights in hospitals or any other right afforded to straight married couples. I know it hard to leave emotions out of it, but this is a debate about civil rights.

And since I think this is a legal issue at heart, we have to take God out of the debate entirely. One side uses God as a justification against gay marriage, while the other side also says that a loving God would not want us to judge each other. I don't care whether your God is hate-mongering or all-loving, there is supposed to be a separation between Church and State, so in legal, civic issues, there should be no religious consideration whatsoever.

Off my soapbox now!

jesse said...

I share your anger with you and will spend the rest of the day with my finger up as well.

rencalago said...

pretty tough huh.. i like reading your blogs.>>>