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Why They Hate Us So

It is good to periodically remind ourselves why the fundies, conservatives, bigots, etc. so strongly resist our birthright claims to first-class citizenship–or, stated more bluntly, why they hate us so.

See, we are OTHERs.  This is not news.  We've all heard politicians and fundies say things like, “LGBTs have the right to live however they want, but they don't have the right to [marry, go to our churches, serve in the military, work at our companies, etc.].”  And we all have asked ourselves why someone would say something so illogical as “you can live, but you can't do the same things that other human beings are wont to do when they live”?

It's the fact that we want something that they have laid claim to as “their” cultural property.  If we LGBTs get to share in that cultural property, then we are no longer an OTHER that can be easily stigmatized.  For to stigmatize someone who shares your own rights and values (e.g., marriage, military service, religion, work ethic) requires, to some extent, a repudiation of those very rights and values that you hold in common with the person whom you are stigmatizing.  So instead of risking a confrontation with that cognitive dissonance, they have concluded that it's better just to make sure that, as a legal and cultural matter, we OTHERs don't ever have the capacity to share anything in common with them in the first place.

Whether the objection comes in the form of religion, natural law, sheer bigotry, or what have you, at bottom it's really just because they can't stand the thought that we OTHERs would ever want the same things that they want.  For that would mean that we OTHERs have something in common with them.  That would, for lack of a better word, NON-OTHERIZE us.  So they'll come up with any reasons they can–however preposterous, intellectually dishonest, insulting, degrading, or patently false–to keep us as OTHERs.

We should periodically remind ourselves that we're not asking for the world here.  We're just asking for a choice.  We're asking for the right to decide for ourselves whether–and whom–to marry, whether to serve in the military, whether–and where–to attend church, and whether–and where–to work hard.  We're simply asking for the right to choose for ourselves, in the same way that non-LGBTs already have the right to choose for themselves.

We're not asking for the world.  Just first-class citizenship and a recognition of our common humanity.  And mostly just a chance to decide for ourselves what we do with our lives.

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