December 31, 2008

That's So Gay, Pt. II

Written as a letter regarding the whole Rick Warren thing, then sort of morphed into just some thoughts which will probably never be sent anywhere.

I'm a senior in high school, and while my school is full of wonderful, tolerant people, I still have to deal with the fact that teenagers are sometimes idiots. The other day, a girl in my class, angry about our exam schedule, yelled "That's so gay!" in the middle of class.

The teacher and I blinked at her. "How is it gay?" he asked.

"You know what I mean," she said, scowling.

"Well, yeah, but you shouldn't say it like..."

"It's not offensive," she cut me off.

"...You just compared everyone gay to something you think is stupid..." I began. She interrupted again.

"I don't care if it bothers someone, I'll say what I want. People shouldn't be so sensitive."

The teacher ordered we drop it, and she shot me nasty, triumphant grins for a while before getting bored and going back to passing notes with her boyfriend.

Why is it okay to kick us like that?

Why is it okay to reduce "gay rights" to a political buzzword, and reasonable people should just agree to disagree on whether or not we deserve our rights and dignity. After all, who could be offended by presenting an anti-gay pastor and a pro-gay pastor as moral equals? And who cares if it bothers someone?

But the thing is, it is offensive, because giving an anti-gay celebrity a place of honor makes it acceptable for our rights to be just another political buzzword, morally equal to anything else.

The right of gay people to be treated as real human beings is not just a political buzzword.

I am not an abstract in a political debate. I have a life. I hope to one day have a family. I volunteer with my church, and voted in my first election this year. To put someone who compares my relationships and hopes for the future to incest and pedophilia and thinks that gays should be turned straight on a national stage, in a place of honor, and then tell me that's okay because there's someone who will be nice to me up there too is beyond offensive.

The girl in my class couldn't see how reducing my life to some trivial thing she found stupid was offensive. It makes me unbelievably sad that the future president of my country, who I helped elect, can't understand how reducing my life to a trivial political issue is offensive, too.

1 comment:

Llencelyn said...

I wish your teacher had used that situation as a teaching moment. It is not right that you had to take an insult like that for the comfort of privileged others.

(Arrived via Shakesville.)