Aravosis at Salon
Aravosis has a long winded piece at Salon today that he is promoting at his blog.
As suggested wisely in another diary here at Pam's, we need to look at his words before passing judgement on him.
It is a long article, and here is where I had to decided I couldn't stand to read anymore:
“It is simply not p.c. in the gay community to question how and why the T got added on to the LGB, let alone ask what I as a gay man have in common with a man who wants to cut off his penis, surgically construct a vagina, and become a woman. I'm not passing judgment, I respect transgendered people and sympathize with their cause, but I simply don't get how I am just as closely related to a transsexual (who is often not gay) as I am to a lesbian (who is). Is it wrong for me to simply ask why?”
To be sure, there were moments prior to this that I wanted to scream:
“I have a theory about revolutions. I've always believed that you can't force a country to have a revolution, and then expect democracy to stick. Yes, you can launch a coup, topple a government, and execute a Saddam, but for a revolution to stick — for democracy to survive — a country's citizens need to be responsible for, and vested in, the social change happening around them. Otherwise they have no ownership of it, as it wasn't their revolution.”
There is also this gem:
“Civil rights legislation — hell, all legislation — is a series of compromises. You rarely get everything you want, nor do you get it all at once. Blacks, for example, won the right to vote in 1870. Women didn't get that same right until 1920. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provided a large umbrella of rights based on race, religion, sex and national origin, but failed to mention gays or people with disabilities. People with disabilities were finally given specific rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, but gays as a class have still to be granted a single civil right at the federal level. If we waited until society was ready to accept each and every member of the civil rights community before passing any civil rights legislation, we'd have no civil rights laws at all. Someone is always left behind, at least temporarily. It stinks, but it's the way it's always worked, and it's the way you win.”
If you go to Salon to read his piece (http://www.salon.com…) youwill notice that I quoted him in reverse order. It was like bricks of acid reflux being piled upon each other. I kept reading until I could taste the burning in the back of my throat.
I do not need to be lectured by a white, privileged, conservative, Andrew Sullivan in drag, political hack. I will do what I can to finish reading his piece because I'd really like to know what he is trying to accomplish, although I don't believe he will openly reveal his ideology.
Sure, he wants ENDA to pass as Frank/Pelosi have most recently presented it, but how is he hoping to accomplish this? First, he is trying to reframe history by ignoring any gender identity/expression/interpretation from the past 50 years like it wasn't a relevant piece of our cultures social evolution.
Also, he is trying to talk to the level of what he considers to be liberal or revolutionary people by instructing us about what a revolution is – like he has ever been involved in one or would ever participate in one. It's like going to the hardware store to buy a loaf of bread.
He is also conflating ENDA with the Civil War, womens suffrage, 1964 legislation and disability rights. As has been stated by other thinking people, those movements didn't parse out some slaves, some of the disabled or different communities of women – let alone go the the lengths of justifying their exclusion by saying “How did we ever get associated with THEM in the first place?” Besides, none of those movments ever pretended to consider LGB or T as part of their agendas any more than LGB or T consider those issues in our work.
And the worst bit of all – he is using his penis to make transgendered people seem worthy of marginalization. HE would never part with his weiner no matter what! How could any man (in Aravosis speak) consider separating himself with his precious penis and instead adopt an…an…artificial vagina…and then presume to have a connection with any community that seeks equality???
What is the point of his essay? Doesn't he realize that the non-LGB politicians that share his anti-T viewpoint would also wonder how Aravosis could stand gay sex? He forgets that no matter how conservative he is, the conservatives don't consider gay men to be equal. He has himself convinced of his seat at the big table of power and he has no idea that they laugh at him behind his back.
There is no way to reason with his rhetoric. Does it make any sense at all to argue with him, or with the kind of dialog that would come from the mouth of Michael Savage or others from a long list of inflamed, irrational, provocative banshees?
To me, it doesn't make sense at all. His words aren't used to promote dialogue or understanding. They are used to divide a community and put one group in the right column and others in the wrong column. It is justification for a bill that seems like it will be passed no matter who says what about its flaws, shortcomings and potential effects.
Is Aravosis worried about ENDA or is he worried that conservative values (trans-phobia and assimilation and a heirarchical order of the distibution of rights – starting with his first and the rest of us get a number) has become untenable as we become increasingly impatient with being patronized by supercilious selfish morons, like himself?