something to honk about
Note to reader: put away your flaming pitch forks and just hear me out for a minute, okay?
Things gay people have taken and made their own without asking everyone else’s permission first:
1. The phrase “coming out of the closet”. From all that I can gather, this goes back to the metaphor of having ‘skeletons in the closet’ meaning any kind of secret that you don’t want to be made public. So coming out of the closet is opening up to people and being honest about who you are. It first came into common use in the 60’s when men were formally presented at gay debutante balls. Now, so many years later, “coming out of the closet” only means coming out as gay and can’t be used in any other context without confusing an issue. That’s not so bad, I think we can live with that one and find other metaphors to use in non-homosexual references.
2. The word “gay”. Remember when “gay” meant jolly/happy/joyful/fun? No? Neither do I. Because it was so damn long ago. Gay has been used to refer to homosexuals since at least the 1920’s, perhaps longer. So now if you happen to be describing, say room decor that is bright and showy, and you say “this room is so gay” people automatically think you’re being a bigot/asshole/jerk.
3. Rainbows. The gay pride flag made its first appearance at a Gay and Lesbian Freedom Parade in San Francisco in 1978. Now I’m all for the idea behind it as a symbol of diversity, but also unity. But the rainbow?! It is a really magical occurrence in real life and it is a wonderfully bright and vibrant symbol or aesthetic to be used in so many ways. So… *whiny voice* why did gay people have to make it theirs? I don’t care if people get mad at me. I want the rainbow back. I really do.
And now! Things gay people have not taken away from us:
The Sanctity of Marriage I am sick of hearing about how the legalization of gay marriage will ruin “the sanctity of marriage”. Really?! It can’t possibly. We all know the divorce rate in the U.S. is somewhere around 50% these days. 50%!! And keep in mind, sanctity is “the quality or state of becoming holy, sacred, or saintly” so it really has nothing whatever to do with a legal policy regarding marriage. The legalization issue has nothing whatever to do with religion or any type of church. We are talking about the state and federal governments affording committed gay couples the same protections and freedoms given to any other married couple. An argument against it on the basis of “sanctity” is complete and utter bullshit. If any two adults want to make a commitment of marriage to each other, they ought to be given equal rights by law to do so. No one told me who to love or who to marry and I don’t see any rational reason why anyone else should be told who to love or who to marry.
Thanks for reading my thoughts, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Feel free to honk about this issue in the comments section below.