Us vs. Them

Posted on February 15, 2011 by

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[Guest Blog from “Grassy Narrows” by A Strange Boy]

Us vs. Them

I had an online debate on a distant relative’s Facebook status.

This relative of mine is a fervent Tea Partier.  He regularly posts anti-Obama statuses and denounces liberals and democrats with childishly petulant terms, copying talking points verbatim from Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.  He also says he believes that being gay is not a choice and that he admires George Takei for the work he does for GLBT rights, but he still has moments where his actions don’t match up with his words.  Like when he posted on accidentally stumbling on “Glee” the night of the Super Bowl and referring to it as a “commercial for the gay agenda”.

What was more concerning to me was when he “liked” a reply comment where the poster mentioned how twenty years ago he would have punched a gay couple, but to do so now will get you 20 years.  I replied about the disconnect between his words and actions, but haven’t gotten a reply yet.  I did get into a debate with another commenter about “putting it in everyone’s face”, the rash of gay suicides, white/heterosexual privilege and how change only comes about when enough people demand their rights and cannot be silenced out, making comparisons to the way multiracialism doesn’t have the huge stigmas it had in the past.  The other person kept repeating about how race and sexual orientation aren’t the same thing, completely ignoring my point about how discrimination is discrimination.

The way I see the real “agenda” for Glee is that it’s all about overcoming differences and acceptance of people for what they are, but I am also sadly aware that for some people, it will always be us vs. them.  But anyone can be an us.  Anyone can be a them.  Some people need to put another down to feel powerful.

I don’t think my words really have any effect on many of the participants.  There is another commenter on my side of the political spectrum but most of them don’t want to take responsibility for how their words and actions send the message to gay people that they are somehow lesser people, inferior and that they have to shut up and accept that they have less a right to happiness or to be themselves.

But I fight regardless.

I fight for my friends who struggle to assert their rights to love who they want.  To be who they are.  To be happy.

I fight for myself, still negotiating my own identity, readying myself for disaster.  Never quite sure whether I’m saying too much or not saying enough, whether I’m being subtle with my hints or as obvious as a flashing neon sign.

I spent years letting myself get bombarded with those messages and suppressing myself to become acceptable.

It took a lot to get me to the point where I realized that was not an option I agreed with.

It took even more to get me to the point where I knew why I didn’t agree with it.

And it’s going to take more to get me to the point where I don’t have to hide anymore.

 

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Posted in: QTC