Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

A day without gay

This post is from the file of "Ideas that Strike you as Really Great after Two Cups of Coffee but May Actually Suck." Timothy Gay's piece in the Star Tribune (his name appears to be merely an ironic coincidence) got me thinking:

In the new world order dictated by champions of "moral values," this wonderful, caring teacher might be branded dangerous. Emboldened by national conservative leaders, the town's evangelicals -- and there are plenty of them -- could well have raised a hue and cry to keep this teacher and "his kind" away from their children. And the town's young people would have been denied the chance to have their lives shaped by a remarkable educator.

Here's what Republicans of conscience have to understand about the machinations of Karl Rove and company. Fear isn't some emotion that can be easily bottled back up after it's been -- viciously -- unleashed. It isn't a once-every-four-years vehicle that can be wheeled out for a few months, then stowed back in the garage to be retooled for the next election cycle. Encouraging fundamentalist preachers to pound their pulpits and inveigh against gay people has consequences. It puts men and women in communities nationwide at personal and professional risk. There's nothing more despicable than creating a phony political issue (just how many gay couples are clamoring for marriage certificates in the state of Ohio, anyhow?) and preying on people's prejudices.

I really liked his warning about future consequences here; but it started me off on another track. I'm sure there are plenty of hate-wingers out there who would love to make sure the gay teacher Gay writes about never got a chance to teach. Or run a bank. Or build a bridge. Or do any of the other things "normal" people with "faith and values" are privileged to do. How to show them the error of their ways?

Did anyone see the movie A Day Without A Mexican that came out this year? In brief, it tracks a day in California when all the Mexicans disappear. And basically, no work gets done.

I know the GLBT community has occasionally done economic boycotts and things, but how about taking a page from the workers of the world and simply not showing up one day? Don't go to work. Don't buy anything. Don't contribute meaningfully to society in any way. In other words, for twenty-four hours, just leave a big, gay-shaped hole in the heart of America. Let the faith and values people see if they can make it without their gay real estate agent to finagle their mortgage points, their gay mechanic who fixes the radiator leak in their Ford pickup, the gay cop who shows up when their suburban fortress is burglarized, the gay doctor who biopsies that disturbing lump. Let them try to run the world for just one day without gay people. They would be shoeless, filthy, and blubbering by 4 p.m.

Wouldn't that be cool?


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