crazy little thing called love

Monday, June 29, 2009

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

You’ve probably never heard of it. And even if you have odds are it’s because of recent token media coverage now that Obama has decreed June to be Pride Month, and for a month people act like they care about the homos. But if you haven’t heard of it, don’t feel bad. I didn’t know what the hell a Stonewall Inn was until about a year ago when I happened to come across it on Wikipedia while combing through articles, following one link to another. Nobody told me about it in school, my mother never brought it up despite being a child of the age, you get the idea. I knew who Stonewall Jackson was, but I doubted and still doubt his name bears any relation to the place in New York City.

To make a long and complicated story short and neat in the interest of time and space, the Stonewall Inn was, 40 years ago yesterday, the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and much of the world. New York’s Finest had taken to raiding gay bars under the auspices of enforcing the law, but the queerbaits at the Stonewall unexpectedly showed some resistance. The NYPD quickly lost control of the situation, and for five days a community shouted out their collective window and proclaimed they were mad as hell and they weren’t going to take it anymore (seven years too early I know, but the line fits perfectly). Exactly a year after the riots on Christopher Street the community held the world’s first gay pride parade, marching from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park.

Now, four decades removed from the riots where do we find ourselves? Everything those couple hundred pissed off queens could never have even dreamed of, for one. For a civil rights movement that started such a short time ago, the gay community has made truly remarkable progress. Prior to 1969, coming out anywhere was a formal request to be disowned by your parents and/or fired by your employer. While “the heartland”, Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and huge swaths of Asia still have a long way to go, at least there are places on this planet where gay people can be somewhat accepted by other people and where the wandering can find refuge.

The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, South Africa, and Canada are currently the only five countries on the planet where same-sex marriage is legalized without restriction. The marriage debate is an easy one nowadays to coalesce the whole gay rights movement into. It happens every day. And while the right to marry is certainly a very important one it would be irresponsible to assume the marriage issue is the only stain left unwashed.

In Ohio, I can be fired from my job effective immediately if my employer decides she doesn’t like queers. In Florida, if my landlord feels the same way he can kick me out of my house for no other reason than that. In Jamaica I can be beaten and harassed by police officers. Half a world away, I can be tortured, mutilated, raped, hunted and killed–legally or otherwise–for daring to be myself. But no LGBT person anywhere is immune from rejection by so-called friends and family. Old habits die hard, and it’s easy to say you accept gay people before your son or daughter, or even spouse comes out to you. Several people I know learned that the hard way, and it’s something I am legitimately afraid to face. I don’t know if people are born gay or not, but I can say with absolute certainty that it is not a conscious choice.

It’s always amazing how much things change and how much they can manage to stay exactly the same. Our current president promised to be a “fierce advocate” of LGBT rights. He promised to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, opening the doors for the United States to eventually become #6 on the previously mentioned list. Infamously, he has taken no action against DADT and his administration defended DOMA in court using the Bryantesque comparison of homosexuals to pedophiles. Simultaneously, he declares June to officially be Pride Month as if that’s supposed to make amends. The notion of a homophobic federal government sanctioning “Pride Month” reeks of the tokenism of Black History Month immersed in White History Year. And it’s disgusting.

Bob Dylan once asked a world, “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?” Like the black civil rights movement, and like the process of coming out for every LGBT person, there is no definite end but death. So long as there are gay people and straight people, institutionalized discrimination will always be something to struggle against. The point of the gay rights movement is not to reach some sunshiney, saccharine promised land. The point is to be free to live and love as we see fit. It’s that simple. A freedom to be yourself is not just an American right, it’s a human right. If a handful of broke, homeless, slightly drunk queers can stand up on a lonely New York night and spark a cultural movement, imagine what millions can do.

44
Manifestos:


Anonymous
said…

People got worse problems than you.


Woozie
said…

Well, no shit. If I were to write at length about all the world's problems, the total word count would put the Bible to shame. Do you really think I have time for that? Do you really think anybody would want to read that?

If you think this post was just me bitching about my problems (and they're not just my problems) then you're sorely mistaken and probably can't read very well.

*have


Anonymous
said…

Your a drama queen.


Anonymous
said…

*queen* ROTFLMAO


Woozie
said…

If finishing high school makes me a drama queen, then so be it.

*you're


Nashe^
said…

Didn't know about Pride Month. Wow I'm so out of the loop.

Have you seen the Manifested Glory Ministry's Gay Exorcism video yet? It was so ridiculous, it's entertaining. Watch it if you haven't, okay.


Anne
said…

@ Anonymous:

Congratulations! You have been promoted to Level 7 Troll!

@ Woozie: Exceptional post, young man. I only disagree with one thing. Tokenism or not, I'll take that gay month because we need all the small victories and positive P.R., as well as opportunities to make people think, as we can get.


Woozie
said…

Nashe: Yes I have, and the pastor talking about the exorcism on CNN is just as entertaining to watch.

Anne: To a certain extent I suppose that's true, but I'd take genuine care and interest over that any day.


Anne
said…

Genuine care and interest in anything is hard to come by. Complacent acceptance of (insert minority here) is a bit easier to come by. Heh.


Raspootin
said…

Good post & title. Freddie would be proud 🙂

Awareness months never made sense to me; who decides what we should collectively be made aware of and to what purpose is this awareness supposed to serve?

Are awareness months and pride months the same or different types of months? Can you have a month where you are supposed to be prideful and aware at the same time / for many different causes?

I think you follow my drift…

I guess we are too stupid to be aware or prideful unless someone designates us to be so and then only for that month… whatever; it government and big business rhetoric to make people think they actually give a shit. If either cared; we would not have to name “it”; “it” would be a given.


secret agent woman
said…

I think most of us who are older have of course heard of Stonewall. And not recently.

Why do the anonymouses of the world just slink in to lob there ridiculous shots and then slither away again?


Woozie
said…

Raspootin: Given that October is (apparently) lgbt history month, I'm not sure what June is supposed to be. Gay people have collectively been particularly, well, gay during June ever since 1970 so it's not like it's a new phenomenon or the administration is trying to start something positive. I just think it's a pathetic save-face.

saw: Well I figured that if I don't remember going over it in my high school curriculum, then it probably wasn't spoken of beforehand either. And I know that, with a few exceptions, it wasn't covered much as it was going on either. That being said I do hope you're right.

Bored teenagers probably. Gottdamn hooligans, on my grass and what not. Back in my day…


Anne
said…

Stonewall, like the vast majority of interesting historical facts, is not discussed in school. "The Man" doesn't feel you should worry your pretty little head about such things. I hated history in school, love it now. Coincidence?

Now look, you done got me all riled up about rights.

BrightenedBoy
said…

Well said. I actually had heard of this before, but had couldn't have quoted the name of the hotel.


BrightenedBoy
said…

I have to say that I, too, am disappointed that President Obama hasn't come out more strongly for gay rights.

He's still a whole lot better than anyone else who's been in office in a long while, but he could be doing much more.


unokhan
said…

a coalition of about fifty gays and lesbians formed the gulf alliance for equality (GAE) in 1978 in mobile, alabama. necessarily cryptic, our listing in the telephone directory was under 'Stonewall, George'.

may he rest in peace.


Orhan Kahn
said…

Thems alot of words considering you're not gay.


StillNoScript
said…

Every month is "Pride Month" for me.


Omar
said…

Who gives a flying fig what Bob Dylan has to say on anything?


you disappoint me
said…

Hmm. Now if I'd said that…

or is that the key?

fig in place of fuck…?


Omar
said…

If you'd said that you'd never know the depths to which he would rail against you. He saves the real venom for Facebook. You should request to be his friend!


you disappoint me
said…

Tempting, but no. That would require having a Facebook account.

Speaking of social networking and mind control… here is a lovely book I picked up over the weekend at Cracker Barrel.

Do click on the bottom right "interior" pic and have a look at both the illustration and the first bit of text.


Omar
said…

And you picked up this odd little piece of literature for what reason?

Cracker Barrel. Outstanding name for a book shop.


you disappoint me
said…

Cracker Barrel is a fine American restaurant…or rather, 541 fine American restaurants. They have nostalgia-themed retail stores which stock vintage candy, Uncle Sam birdfeeders, and books that illustrate American family values, like war and Jesus.

I picked it up because I wanted to know about "the plan", which is apparently barnyard pedophilia and worshiping golden trays of money.


you disappoint me
said…

Another reason why I love that they stock this series of books:

In 1991, Cracker Barrel instituted a policy requiring employees to display "normal heterosexual values which have been the foundation of families in our society." The company refused to change their policy in the face of protest demonstrations by gay rights groups. After 10 years of proposals by the New York City Employees Retirement System, a major shareholder, the company's shareholders voted 58% in 2002 in favor of rescinding the policy. The board of directors added sexual orientation to the company's nondiscrimination policy.


Omar
said…

OK. I just got back from checking out their website to find your latest comment. Cracker Barrel's dodgy hiring policies aside, you don't really expect me to believe that this culinary hoedown is one of your favourite places to dine. Do you get your Sawmill gravy on the side or do you drench your Tuesday night Butter Baked Chicken special with it? The Wounded Warrior Project? Gawd..

As far as "the plan", I'll defer on commenting until thimscool fills me in on the details..


Omar
said…

Hey, this is just like the old days. I wonder how many are watching this little chat?


you disappoint me
said…

They also have flag-themed dinnerware any teddy bears in army fatigues in their "Freedom isn't Free" section, which is usually just inside the door.

Cracker Barrel is a long-running joke amongst traveling musicians (and their delusional groupies who feign employment). They have room to park a bus, turkey sausage, organic cider, they use real butter, and they'll make any breakfast item with egg whites only. Try getting that kind of service at Waffle House sometime.


Omar
said…

I see there are only two of them in Connecticut. I guess that's maybe why we never stumbled across it. I can't eat that kind of food anymore anyway, if I do I writhe awake in bed bloated and gassy until the sun cries morning. These days I'm more of a Falefel House kind of guy.


you disappoint me
said…

As much as I appreciate that visual, you really should stop into one the next time you're in Kentucky. They serve broiled fish and steamed veggies and you can buy the complete collection of The Merv Griffin Show on DVD on your way out.


Lakota
said…

This post has been removed by the author.


L.P.
said…

Woozala… 🙂 Hi back. And damn good post.


billy pilgrim
said…

i'm just following lakota, i didn't read what you posted.


unokhan
said…

bobby–

you can be freshman only once. friends and friends of friends will entertain and accomodate your sorry ass during your freshman year, but they expect you to know the rules of the game –even if nobody spells em out. you will no longer be the frosh bebee in september, and you are going to need some cash to back up your new-found if unwanted status. that's how it works. if you show up with empty pockets your second year, people will quietly write you off as a bum.


Woozie
said…

I usually have money–my mother offered to give me a little bit of money so long as I stay on the dean's list, but a) her monthly finances would be a lot easier if she didn't, and b) it's just not enough anyway. The only people I owe money to is my credit union.

The dining halls employ a fuckton of students and none of them are outrageously far from my dorm next year, so I could work at any of them. They say I can work a max of 20 hours a week @ $7.30/hour minimum.


Raspootin
said…

See they need to change the drinking age back to 18. When I was at Tulane I was the proud "barmaid" who everyone in my classes looked down on. However, 3 shifts a week; Thur happy hour Friday night and Sat night payed over $500/ week. Tips mind you are“bar maids” money. I always wished when they would say “barmaid?? OMG she is in OUR CLASS ???; that they would have had at least the common snob courtesy to call me waitress.

Well bar tending for you is not an option, so if Uno says it s all about the money; then I will say the "mature thing" and that is: if that's what it is all about; they are not really your friends anyway…

What do I know? I still wonder about the friends who are supposed to be my “friends” and I have been friends with them well over umm 18 years.

PS never been to Cracker Barrel, but have been to that other “stop” that serves just pistachio and other milk shakes and Ice cream; I can not remember the name; just the family memories. "STUCKEYS" just remembered. Don t think they had books like Ms. Leslie found; but then again I don t think the customers that frequented really read… maybe Gideon s, but not a $15 book. Still want to know the boy and girl plan…


Omar
said…

This is quite interesting. I'm not sure if anyone can make it through all 57 minutes of the nutballery, but it's likely worth the hour. I made it to around the 6 minute mark when the story unfolded onto Ashlan(sp?), Kentucky, where I won't be visiting a Cracker Barrel anytime soon.


you disappoint me
said…

Should've hung in there ~it really picks up at 11:14…the list of family values being threatened by homosexuals ("freedom of speech" being the funniest), and then comes the cure for lesbianism…

Omar, you really should take a 2-week tour of the heartland of America. Rent yourself a PT Cruiser and buy some John Mellencamp cds. I can draw you a map directing you to the finest sites…God Bless Sarah Palin billboards, giant vinyl siding crosses that glow purple at night, Gander Mountain superstores, my favorite Jesus Can't Swim statue, truck stops that sell ammo and beer, and the best Cracker Barrel in all the land.

If you time it right you can even take in a Chris Isaak concert at The Ryman in Nashville. He's doing a nice Elvis/Sinatra medley in the middle.


Gadfly
said…

Yeah. I remember, before you were queer, when I thought of you as a nigger

(I'm so sorry … I couldn't help it. Just for old time's sake lolz)

Seriously, though… "but I can say with absolute certainty that it is not a conscious choice" That is truth. Nobody signs up for the extra life hassle voluntarily. You definitely gotta have some motivation.

I love the imbeciles who still think people can be "led" into being gay. No, little imbecile. They can't.


Am lie
said…

7.30/hr??? -_______________- wtf. They need to update their minimum wage…


Josh
said…

It is unfortunate but it will always be a struggle. We won't live to see a world where our kind are not scorned and cast out.

In a locale in Africa (I think Gabon) the town's residents learned that a man who'd been buried in the town's cemetery was, in life, gay, and so they descended upon the graveyard, dug up his body, and gave it back to the man's relatives to re-bury elsewhere.


Raspootin
said…

Omar and Leslie did you take the Survey?

That may have been the worst thing I have viewed since Jesus Camp / Campy not being the operative but hope that I had with regards to it.

nutballery thanks for the new verb? or adverb or could it be used as a pronoun; dunno suck at grammar; i would just like to use it in the correct context before I have to make up a story. Nutballery

I like that word and will coin you on it Omar.


kara
said…

i like gay people. i want to give them babies.

the thing is, some would call that kidnapping. because none of them would be mine. i'd have to borrow them to give them away. it's all very messy.


thimscool
said…

Whassup honkies?