Given the crap going on Indiana, I thought it was time to bring out the whole ‘Gay Agenda’ topic again. This post rescued from Livejournal, dated June 6th, 2012.
Ah, “The Gay Agenda.” I love the idea that we’ve all got this unified approach to, oh, everything. Like how we’re having sex, all the time, non-stop. Because, y’know, we’re gay. That’s what we are – and it’s all we do. Back in university, when I first came out, I missed the memo that said I was to be having sex all the time. I explained this oversight at one of my homophobia chats with a floor of residence that was having some issues with some nastygrams left on someone’s door, and the room had a good laugh.
I maintained a straight face (ha!) and further bemoaned that by not getting the memo about the “all the time sex!” directive, I felt less secure about my gayhood. It helped me illustrate my point about stereotypes, and how gay folk aren’t homogenous (ha!) and so on.
After, one of the people at that chat session sent me a memo apologizing for the previous memo not having arrived, and directing I was to be having sex all the time.
You would not believe the crap that memo inflicted on my G.P.A. Who had time to study? After that, it was one long bonerfest, and I was there to be a real gay and live up to the mandate of my people.
Mandate. Heh. Get it?
But back to The Gay Agenda. Allow me to first define the term, because there’s no point arguing about fruit if you’re not going to agree that a tomato is a fruit, right? (I actually don’t give a shit if a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, since either way it’s gushy and awkward when it pops in your mouth, and that just brings back horrible flashbacks of my post-memo years in University.)
So. The Gay Agenda.
Likely, you’ve been told The Gay Agenda is something like the following:
Let me put forth here that there are some key indicators that what you’ve got here is not actually The Gay Agenda.
Item #1. “Destroy the sanctity of marriage.”
The sanctity of what, now? Seriously, take a gander at the divorce rates, and explain to me how adding queer marriages to the mix is going to ruin everything. This one pops up a lot on fake lists of The Gay Agenda.
But even apart from the obvious, no one would blame us for wanting to change the institution of marriage. For fuck’s sake, I have sat through so goddamn many of your weddings it’s only fair you take some constructive criticism here. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve had to explain to Single Cat Lady or Creepy Cousin or any of the rest of the denizens of The Awkward Table (admit it – you seat us at The Awkward Table) that, no, I’m not single, and no, the guy beside me isn’t single, and then sit back and wait for the moment of realization? It’s not that hard to figure out, honey. Our suits are fucking awesome and we can dance like the blazes. Do the math.
For the refusal to just give up on the awful birdie dance alone, marriage deserves to be desanctified. Let us in. We’ll fix it. Weddings could be fun again.
And you totally owe us for the tasteful and useful shit we’ve been buying you for years, even though we couldn’t cash in ourselves.
(Addendum: I should add that I’m speaking out of the corner of my mouth since I live in Canada, and we have marriage equality, and our wedding didn’t have the birdie dance, and it was awesome. We also handed out brown paper packages tied up in string – seriously, brown freaking paper and goddamn string! – to every wedding guest, inside of which was a book my husband or myself thought the guest would enjoy. See? Gay weddings. We totally classed that shit up.)
Item #2. “Recruit new gays.”
Where to begin. If you see Item #2 listed as above, then rest assured, you’ve got a false version of The Gay Agenda.
First, there’s no recruitment system out there that could make joining The Gay Agenda sound promising. “Act now, and we’ll toss in free helpings of public safety woes!” “Join today, and we’ll toss in a fifty percent off coupon for all love received from family members!” “Hurry, before someone else takes your place and can be fired without cause!”
Yeah, let me line right up.
I’m incredibly happy about who I am. Seriously. But getting to where I am now has – at times – sucked beyond measure (and not in the post-memo university sausage-fest good way). If you take nothing else away from me today, please believe this: No one in their right mind would choose to be hated, beaten, disowned, fired, bullied, broken, and outcast. That’s not said with self-loathing. Again, I love big gay me. I love my big gay friends, and my big gay husband, and all the other big gay stuff (except for Perez Hilton), but the younger version of me back in elementary and high school would have swallowed the “make me straight” pill in a second. There is no “make me straight” pill any more than there is a “choose to be gay” pill. Except for tequila, but that only works with certain frat boys, and the effects wear off and include “memory loss.”
So. The Gay Agenda is not recruiting. Got it? We’re not plotting ways to make you gay. Honest.
I think I could get a few (read: all) the ladies in the house here to agree that most fellas who are worried that they’re about to be swarmed by “teh gays!” are worried for naught. You don’t know it, but you’ve already found our kryptonite: you. Confidence can be sexy. What you’ve got isn’t confidence. It’s not confidence to smell like that, nor to wear those pithy t-shirts announcing “Fat Chicks Dig Me.” The way you burp and scratch and spit does not throw us into sexual apoplexy. You? Resistible. I don’t mean to sound cruel here, and I don’t mean to be harsh, but if The Gay Agenda really were some sort of fabulous Borg (with way better skin care) we would be warping on over to the Ryan Reynolds planet. Or the Chris Meloni planet. Or Idris Elba. Or the whole cast from True Blood – and I’m not being redundant about Chris Meloni, because we’d totally assimilate him twice.
Item #3. “Gain special rights.”
I cannot express enough how important it is to feel special. Specifically, I can’t express how important it is for The Gay Agenda to feel more special than you. It’s so wrong the way that everything is so much harsher for today’s straight white male, and it’s wrong for us to keep trying to take you down.
Oh, wait. Right. We’re not. This is another clue you’ve not got a real copy of The Gay Agenda.
Here’s the thing. When it comes right down to it, I want the rights you’ve got. The “you” here is more of a social construct than an individual. I want the letter of the law (and the intent thereof) to be an even field. For a while there, women weren’t allowed to vote. People of colour were property. Sometimes tone doesn’t come across well in text, so let me emphasize here: these things are not good. I would like for there to be nowhere left in the world where my love for my husband is a crime punishable by death. I would like for a gay man to be able to hold his gay husband’s hand while that husband dies in an I.C.U.
I would also like the role of the doctor to be played by Chris Meloni.
Why some people feel that means I’m asking for “special” rights, I’m not sure. (The lack of death penalty, I mean. Not the Chris Meloni thing. ‘Cause that would be special.)
Item #4. “Destroy religion.”
Just how much time do you think I have, exactly? I have a day job. Destroying a whole religion is way more of a time commitment than I’m willing to undertake. Seriously – I have to D.V.R. “Glee” and catch up on Sundays. I’m freaking busy.
Okay, I’m not going to lie. There are some religions for which I have a little less love than others. That guy in the phallic hat who keeps telling nuns to go protest stuff instead of helping the poor and the homeless? I think his priorities are a bit messed up. But I quite like faith. I think faith and ritual can help bring people together. It’s just when it starts to do so by setting other people apart that I get annoyed.
And if there’s a book of rules tied into a religion and you’re going to start freaking out about those rules, you don’t get to pick and choose. It’s like gym class when the teacher makes two kids take turns selecting the students to make their teams – someone will have to take the least athletic, least popular kid (which was me, by the way, and I shall hate you forever, gym teacher). If you’re going to go all Leviticus on my ass about… well… my ass, then get ready for some discussion about polyblends, seafood, and tattoos. Also, I’ve read that book. Cover to freaking cover. I’ve even listened to the audiobook version (James Earl Jones – I was totally waiting for God to tell Jesus that he was his father). It may have needed a better copy editor, but there’s some lovely stuff in there. If you’re going to pick some stuff out at random, might I suggest “Love thy neighbor”?
Item #5. “Muzzle teachers and parents and force children to learn about gay sex.”
I promise you, from the depths of my heart, that if I had the singular power to muzzle any of the individuals listed above, it would be the children. They’re so fucking annoying.
The rest is also just untrue. Besides, why should I deny adolescent teens the sheer joy of trying to figure it all out as they go along, complete with all the humiliation, mistakes, awkwardness, and terror that I got to enjoy? If there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that not talking kids about sex leads to much less sex, and far less sex-related problems.
R-i-i-i-ght. I’m glad we’re clear on that.
Seriously, though, I’m not suggesting grade five screenings of Brokeback Mountain (which, by the by, would be a great film on the importance of lube – those cowboys wouldn’t have swaggered half so much if they’d thought to bring some lube with them). I’m suggesting that education can destroy ignorance, and increase health and safety for all concerned.
And Chris Meloni could teach my class.
Item #6. “Flaunt the gay lifestyle at every opportunity.”
Yes. Yes. Yes. There’s nothing like that special thrill I get when I lean over and kiss my husband’s cheek while we’re out and about somewhere. My heart pounds, my palms sweat, and I think to myself, I hope no one beats the shit out of me.
This particular item is a bit of a sore point with me, and is always a way to know when you’ve found yourself a false version of The Gay Agenda. There are so many things wrong with that statement that I just don’t know where to start. Flaunting? Lifestyle? How about an illustration, instead? Look here:
That, folks, isn’t “flaunting.” That is me and my husband in a garden centre in New Orleans. I have my arm around him. That’s it. We can’t do that just anywhere, I might add – the owner of this garden centre is gay, and as such, felt comfortable posing for the shot. We couldn’t do that at a movie theater, for example, without wondering if our “flaunting” would inspire comment, ridicule, or violence. A single kiss, holding hands, a term of endearment – none of that is a queer couple “flaunting” anything. That is a couple in love being a couple in love.
Only with the added danger of potentially being assaulted for doing so. This ties back into that whole “special rights” fallacy a few items ago. There’s nothing special about it. Well, except he’s my sexy dimpled penguin and that’s super special.
Right, that was the last item on a false version of The Gay Agenda. Also please note the singular way you can tell this version of The Gay Agenda is complete bullshit is the font. Gays invented design, folks. Comic Sans? No. Fucking. Way.
Having cleared up what The Gay Agenda isn’t, I think it only fair to show you the real deal. If there was a memo telling me to keep The Gay Agenda under wraps, then I guess it was waylaid along with my original memo about the sexathon requirement. But, in the interest of full disclosure, I will present to you my own personal copy of The Gay Agenda, in total:
I forgot the fucking milk.