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March 31st, 2022

The Monsters Are Due On LGBT Street

It’s a tale as old as time…

SNAPSHOT…  In 1977 Anita Bryant goes on a rampage against a newly enacted local ordinance that gave gay people protection from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accomodation. She calls her new movement Save Our Children…as though letting gay people have jobs and housing and access to public places endangers children.

During a news conference she stands with Jerry Falwell who tells the gathered reporters, “A homosexual will kill you as soon as look at you.”

 

SNAPSHOT… In November 2008, voters in California passed Proposition 8, effectively taking away the right of same sex couples to marry they had won in the state Supreme court the previous May. Funded and promoted in secrecy almost entirely by the Mormon church, the campaign against same sex marriage focused like a laser beam on fears of child molestation by homosexuals. Ads using images of children being helplessly subjected to homosexual indoctrination, or being raised by homosexuals, were used throughout the campaign.

 

SNAPSHOT…  in 2017, Ringling College of Art and Design students Esteban Bravo and Beth David released a short animated film for their senior thesis. The storyline involves a closeted gay boy named Sherwin who has a crush on another boy named Jonathan. The story takes place in the middle school they both attend. Sherwin’s heart begins beating rapidly at the sight of his crush and then (it’s a cartoon) leaps out of his chest and begins pursuing Johnathan, dragging Sherwin along with it as he desperately tries to stop it before it reaches Johnathan. Hilarity ensues. 

It’s the sort of sweet puppy love story that reliably gets awws and oh how cutes oh how sweets from audiences were it about a boy-girl couple, and it did in fact get a lot of those from most of its reviewers, gay and straight alike. But after a week or so there also came a torrent of complaints that the film was pushing sex onto children. Of course, there was no sex anywhere in the film.

 

Gay activist and film historian Vito Russo once said, “It is an old stereotype, that homosexuality has to do only with sex while heterosexuality is multifaceted and embraces love and romance.” But this is how bigots think. The hated other is stripped of all their essential humanity, and reduced to the status of animals at best. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.

But notice how In A Heartbeat did get awwwws and how sweets from a largely heterosexual audience. It also won a multitude of awards. Through the telling of our stories, in our own words, our heterosexual neighbors have come, over time, to realize that we are just as human as they. This poses a problem for bigots. They have to work harder now at painting us as monsters to the rest of the world. They have to work harder to excuse tormenting us.  Defeat doesn’t make them go away, it makes them shiftier.

In Florida they passed a law regarding the teaching of gender and sexual orientation in the public schools, that people are calling the Don’t Say Gay law. Now, any casual review of the debate leading up to the votes on this law makes it abundantly clear the target is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender school kids, and its purpose is to terrorize them and their adult supporters into silence. And if that strikes you as an extremist take on the matter, recall that the author of the bill submitted an amendment to it after the controversy broke out, striking a part of it that allowed school staff to withhold information about a student’s sexual orientation from parents if they could reasonably assume telling the kid’s parents would lead to violence against the kid and ejection from their home. He later withdrew it, but there it is, the bottomless pit of hatred that was the motivation for the law.

Silencing LGBT kids effectively denies them the mutual support of their peers and the support of their non-homophobic classmates and staff. A good homosexual, is a self hating homosexual. You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate yourself.

But look at the actual “don’t say gay” part of this law. It’s a clever little bit of tactical syntax:

3. Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.

This is the “don’t say gay” part of the law. But to hear the kook pews tell it, that first part, “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3″ is the entire law. And the routine online now is whenever anyone calls out this law for the bigoted attack on gay kids that it is, they get the rote boilerplate reply, which comes in three forms:

Oh you haven’t read the law have you. It only applies to K through grade 3.
Oh, you want to teach sex to kindergarteners.
Okay groomer.

As I said, it’s clever. Section 3 of “CS/CS/HB 1557: Parental Rights in Education” has two parts to it. The first part says specifically no teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in K through grade 3. The second part adds that no age or developmentally inappropriate instruction shall occur regardless of grade, according to state standards. Now…think about this…there is nothing in the first part of section three, that isn’t also covered in the second part. You could simply say just the second part and be done with it. Teach kindergarteners about gay sex? No…that’s not age and developmentally appropriate. Gender identity? Is the material age and developmentally appropriate? No? Then it’s out.

But teaching kids things that are not age and developmentally appropriate is not the problem being addressed here. The problem is teaching kids respect for people their parents hate. The problem is teaching respect for other kinds of families that their pulpit thumpers hate. That is the problem. That is the only problem.

But how do you stifle classroom discussions about respecting others without looking like a hate monger? There’s where that first part of section 3 comes in. It may look like it’s simply emphasising what is not to be taught in K through grade 3, but what it’s actually there to do is to give the bigots an excuse to call every critic of the law a pedophile and then just keep babbling on and on and on and on about grooming children for sex, to shut everyone up…and maybe even provoke a little righteous violence against the hated Other.

Oh…you want to teach little children about gay sex do you…groomer…pedo…

The homosexuals are coming after your kids. You know what to do…

And if you think I’m exaggerating…

This is what Disney Corp is getting, after apologising to the LGBT community and their LGBT staff for not coming out strongly against the Don’t Say Gay bill in Florida, and for contributing money to the Florida politician who authored the bill, and to the bill’s supporters.

 

So now the bat signal has gone out and the noise machine is in full riot gear…

 

 

The homosexuals are coming after your children…The homosexuals are coming after your children…The homosexuals are coming after your children… And just you pay no attention to the fact that it’s the bigots who are coming for your children…to teach the heterosexual ones to hate and bully their LGBT peers, and to teach the LGBT kids to be afraid and to hate themselves for existing.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Every gay man of my generation that I know had to grow up under this torrent of hate and abuse. And a lot of us still bear the scars of that adolescence, when what should have been the most magical and wonderful time of life, that first crush, the discovery of romantic love, that first date, the first kiss, was turned into a nightmare, so the righteous could make their stepping stones to heaven out of the pieces of our broken hearts.  Who are the real child molesters here?

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