Thursday, May 15, 2014

A kiss is just a kiss

Most of us have at one time or another turned to someone we love at a moment of happiness or joy and given them a kiss or a hug. It’s a very human thing. But to hear the USA’s rightwing, one kiss threatens to destroy civilisation.

The one kiss the rightwing is bleating about is, of course, the one when Michael Sam, who’d just learned he’d been drafted by the St. Louis Rams NFL team, turned to his boyfriend, they kissed and held each other. It was a touching moment.

The professional anti-gay industry cannot let anyone think nicely about anyone who’s LGBT, of course, so they flew instantly into their typical spittle-flecked rage. Actually, that’s their normal state of existence, but I digress.

The usual parade of professional anti-gay bigots declared the kiss was “perversion”, one said she was “revulsed” (whatever that means…), several said that Sam should be “persuaded” to undergo “ex-gay” torture and one notorious bigot really did claim the kiss would lead to the end of civilisation.

Obviously, most of these radical nutjobs are playing to their base so they can continue to get ever more money from them. But there are still significant numbers of people who say they’re uncomfortable about gay people being people—fully formed, fully functioning human beings who hug and kiss and even—gasp!—have sex. The radical rightwing anti-gay industry’s leaders think that if they can demonise gay people (that whole shrill “Gaystapo” bullshit) and make us seem “icky”, then just maybe they can stop the march of progress toward equality for LGBT people.

So, it’s not merely about raising money, much as they covet that, it’s also a political tactic to smear and denigrate LGBT people, to portray us as inhuman monsters. The irony is that this is exactly the sort of thing that the real Nazis did to their victims.

I think it’s now impossible to tell what commenters on the Internet are real. As I wrote recently, “Lately, I’ve had the strangest sense that I can’t tell who is a troll and who is expressing sincerely held (and sincerely batshit crazy) opinions.” Boy oh boy, was that ever true for THIS story!

Professional anti-gay bigots aside—we expect them to be all bigotty and to say bigotty things—I saw a lot of comments complaining about being “forced” to watch the kiss. See, I didn't realise that Obama’s Secret Army was being used to force people to watch ESPN at gunpoint. The things you learn on the Internet! Anyway, a lot of the other comments were about how it was “gross”; some even claimed they’d be just as offended if it had been a man kissing his girlfriend (fortunately, such comments always had links for buying the Brooklyn Bridge, which apparently they were also all selling). And many asked why they had to be subjected to such a thing.

Because, dear clueless more-or-less heterosexual, we have the same right to human expression that YOU do. Let’s be clear: We’re talking about a kiss—it wasn’t a porno movie they were making, it was a damn kiss!! Every single day we see heterosexual kisses—and far, far more—on television shows. Gay characters are chaste by comparison, even to the point of being totally sexless near-eunuchs (like on Will and Grace, for example). So, dear clueless more-or-less heterosexual, if you have to see the occasional genuinely affectionate kiss between two men or two women, well, TOUGH!

Sometimes clueless more-or-less heterosexuals seem so freaking delicate, as if having to face the humanity of their fellow humans who happen to be LGBT will cause them to suddenly lose molecular cohesion and slosh down into a puddle of ooze. Here’s the real shocker: That’s never actually happened. The clueless more-or-less heterosexuals who claimed to be so shocked or “revulsed” by one kiss were still there the next moment, and the one after that. They may even have kissed a loved one at some point (after government gunmen were done pointing guns at them and forcing them watch the kiss…).

The negative—and often flat-out insane—reactions to this kiss are what leaves me “revulsed”. It’s not enough that the professional anti-gay industry is working night and day to prevent people like me from having the same civil and human rights that they do, and it’s clearly not enough for them that they’re trying to pass laws to make it legal to discriminate against LGBT people if it’s based on supposedly “sincerely held religious beliefs”. No, keeping LGBT people as less-than-citizens isn't enough: They also demand that we never—EVER—express any sort of public affection for the person who means the most to us. Never mind that they’d think nothing of doing that themselves, us gay people are never to have the same freedom because it makes them “revulsed”.

The fact is, in most of the USA, apart from LGBT enclaves in major cities, it’s not safe for LGBT couples to express any affection publicly. Doing so can lead to violent attacks and even murder, and we all know that. In most places, we won’t hold hands in public, or have a hug, let alone a kiss. THAT is our daily reality, and that’s what the bigots of the anti-gay industry want us to experience.

And that’s why CNN was so infuriating—yet again. They thought it would be a jolly good idea to—yet again—have an anti-gay bigot on their channel to preach about how awful it is for two gay men to be seen expressing affection. This is a disgusting habit the network has, and I’ll continue to condemn CNN for its promotion of anti-gay bigots. Here’s a deal: I’ll stop condemning CNN when they routinely have a KKK member on to talk about the rights of African Americans and a neo-Nazi on to talk about Jewish people—because there is NO difference. By including an anti-gay bigot in a “discussion” of the kiss, CNN, as Media Matters put it in the link above, “helped legitimize and mainstream the kind of homophobia that keeps gay people afraid to be themselves in the public.” Exactly.

So, yeah, we’ve made a lot of progress over the past 45 years or so, but we have so much farther to go. Actually, if one damn kiss can get our adversaries and enemies in full froth mode, it’s little wonder that we don’t yet have full equality.

It’s not enough to be able to marry or to be free from discrimination based on who we are or who we love. We also ought to be able to have a simple affectionate kiss with the person we love most in the world. And to all the bigots in the anti-gay industry who claim to be “revulsed” by such a thing, I say with utmost love and affection, FUCK YOU! Smooch!

1 comment:

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

This is just a test comment, due to some problems with the Disqus commenting system I use on this blog. Some folks can't leave comments on some posts. So, I'm testing to see if me leaving a comment changes anything for anyone else.