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Playing into the Hands of the Homophobes

“A taxpayer-supported ‘gay’ celebration in San Francisco, featuring a poster portraying Jesus Christ and his disciples as ‘half-naked homosexual sadomasochists,’ has come under heavy fire from major Christian groups demanding that California lawmakers condemn it.

“The poster by organizers of the Folsom Street Fair, sponsored in part by Miller Brewing, replaces the bread and wine representing Christ’s blood and body with sadomasochistic sex toys.”

[For the full article, see here]

This picture says it all:

For countless generations, Gays have been called all sorts of vile names, from outright “hedonists,” to “Godless people,” to “immoral,” to “degenerates.”  And these terms uttered with regularity have helped retard the acquisition of civil rights for LGBT people. 

Now, this display serves to play into the hands of our enemies who can garner not only more publicity for their cause in fighting against the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people, but makes the work to acquire those rights that much more difficult, as it serves to confirm in the minds of many that all the negative things they have been hearing about Gay people might well be true.

If I were asked how best to sabotage the possibility of LGBT people acquiring full and equal civil rights, I couldn’t come up with anything better than a public display of this type that both confirms all the negative stereotypes placed on LGBT people by homophobes, but says, in effect, to all those who are Christians (and all other religious people), “up yours!”

It is a needless slap in the face to so many decent people who are both Straight, as well as Gay, who seek to live lives of dignity and enjoy the rights that accrue to all citizens in this country! 

What I am writing has nothing to do with the Leather community!  It has to do with the openly hostile display of licentiousness and “otherness” that undoubtedly has the effect of providing some cheap, childish thrills to the participants, all the while serving to distance the perception of Gay people from mainstream society whose good will is certainly needed in the fight for equal rights.

As I’ve written before regarding so many professing Christian leaders who are homophobic and proud of it, if I were the very devil himself, I could think of no better way of seeking to discredit Christianity than by putting haters front and center claiming to speak for God, for the Bible, for Christianity, and for the Church.  Similarly, if I were asked to portray the Gay community, and I wanted to sabotage its getting all the rights that befit all citizens, I would advocate disgusting and hateful  displays like that depicted in the above picture.

Make no mistake: Leather, Drag, BDSM, and all other subgroups within the LGBT (and other) communities are not at issue here, as they are valid and viable parts of the community!  What is at issue is the public display of those very behaviors that only serve to confirm the stereotypes that have helped retard the acquisition of civil rights for Gay people for far too long; its stereotypes that we can not afford to confirm and reinforce, if we’re truly serious about acquiring dignity and full and equal civil rights! 

If sex clubs among Straights were so depicted, that wouldn’t serve to deny full and equal civil rights for all Straight people, as Straight people are not a demonized minority group!  However, when Gay people are in the cross hairs of a host of bigots who get a lot of material, psychological, social, and political mileage out of depicting Gay people as “Godless,” and “immoral,” to then have such displays, as depicted by and in that Fair, only serves to place the participants, as unforgetably depicted in that picture, in the very same camp as those who demonize all Gay people, as they serve to confirm in the minds of many people who have been sitting on the fence regarding equality for LGBT people that what the homophobes have been saying all along is correct!

People who engage in such public behavior that depicts an “in your face,” attitude, along with their confirming the negative stereotypes that have long helped consign LGBT people to an underclass, self-loathing, subterranean underground within society, show me that they really don’t want to be integrated as mature and fully participating citizens in society with all the rights that accrue to non-LGBT people! 

With friends like these, we certainly don’t need enemies!

[Also posted on A Christian Voice For Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, And Transgender Rights.]

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Jerry Maneker

Jerry Maneker

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