Pam posted a question
over the weekend that asked people to describe the worst "anti-LGBT encounter/interaction you've ever had." The comments are devastating. Slurs, beatings, losing jobs, getting kicked out of homes, family fights, it just goes on and on.
Those that choose to believe homosexuality is a choice, when confronted with stories like these, reply that these stories merely show the power of sin over people's lives. Homosexuals are just so deep in sin that they are willing to suffer abuse for the sake of it. Then people take the idea that homosexuals are so deeply, deeply sinful as an excuse to treat them poorly. Homosexuals are just more sinful than others, and therefore less deserving of common courtesy, or even simple safety.
It's hard to read the stories. I usually can cry at the drop of a hat, but the comments immediately went past such a banal response as to cry. They strike deeper, to places that lie below our emotions. The comments expose the seething, vicious underbelly of American life, the way that respectable people act when they think there is someone undeserving of any respect. These stories aren't all from some backwater burg in Alabama or Hazzard County, Georgia. The attacks described happened in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, as well as other parts of the country. People who attack, verbally, physically or through such things as their living spaces or employment, the GLBT community then go home to their suburban families, their churches and respectable jobs.
What do I say? What do I do? I feel like posting a comment or a diary saying, "I'm sorry." But while people would probably be gracious, who cares if I'm sorry? Who cares, really, how I feel about this? Commenter callie describes
a friend of hers:
One of our straight friends just doesn't have a clue about how we have to live. She thought it was odd to have to ask a restaurant ahead of time if it was okay to have a baby shower for a lesbian couple there. If I say something about not being able to do something in public, like holding hands, because we're gay, she'd say something like "do it anyway, who gives a fuck what they think?" not realizing that the actions and behaviors she takes for granted aren't welcomed in society from gay couples.
That's me she's describing. Even though my intentions are good, that's pretty much me. I don't get it. I don't understand what it's like to not be a straight, white male who lives in a nice house in the suburbs. And while there are cetainly things that can be done, the comments in Pam's thread show just how impotent we are, at least individually, in the face of such pervasive evil.
God forgive us if we can't just treat people decently and allow them to live in peace.