Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Tragedy of Today's Gays

I have a friend who has a teenaged son. One of his friends was kicked out of the house because he is gay. Well, the actual reason was that he knocked over a lamp and didn't pick it up and "it could have started a fire" but that was just the excuse. His stepfather gave his mother the ultimatum - "it's either him or me". He was 18 and without a job so he is now living in my friend's house.

Yesterday I was over there and he had asked a teacher of his send him the speech below after he had talked to her about another friend who was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. He told me about it and I read it and was very impressed.

I don't know why people are so hateful to gay people. I don't understand it. I am sure that you will enjoy the piece below. It is powerful, but fair warning - there is language that could be considered offending to some people.

"The Tragedy of Today's Gays". Author and activist Larry Kramer gave a 90-minute speech Sunday night, November 7, at Cooper Union, NYC. In the early days of the AIDS epidemic he was as outspoken as outspoken can be — founding Gay Men's Health Crisis, ACT UP, and writing a play that's been produced hundreds of times, The Normal Heart.
So for this, his first major public address since the early days of ACT UP, 900 showed up, 400 were turned away. Nobody walked out, according to reports. The speech, which follows, is characteristic — shrill, wildly political, disturbing, accusatory, often off-putting, at times engrossing. You may not get through it. But here it is, a call, a plea to action by a man who's made that his life's work. If anyone was there on Sunday, please comment.
"The Tragedy of Today's Gays" by Larry Kramer
I think this has been the most difficult speech I have ever had to write and to deliver. It is a long speech. I pray you will bear with me until its end.
It is an attempt to give you some idea of who and what we are up against. It is also an attempt to discuss our ability to deal with these.
I recently learned about two dear friends, both exceptionally smart and talented and each in his own way a leader of our community. One, in his middle age, has sero-converted. The other, in his middle-age, has become hooked on crystal meth. Both of them are here with us tonight.
I love being gay. I love gay people. I think we’re better than other people. I really do. I think we’re smarter and more talented and more aware and I do, I do, I totally do. And I think we’re more tuned in to what’s happening, tuned into the moment, tuned into our emotions, and other people’s emotions, and we’re better friends. I really do think all these things.
To us it defies rational analysis that this incompetent dishonest man and his party should be re-elected. Or does it?
I hope we all realize that, as of November 2nd, gay rights are officially dead. And that from here on we are going to be led even closer to the guillotine. This past week almost 60 million of our so-called “fellow” Americans voted against us. Indeed 23% of self-identified gay people voted against us, too. That one I can’t figure.
The absoluteness of what has happened is terrifying. On the gay marriage initiatives alone: 2.6 million against us in Michigan. 3.2 million in Ohio. 1.1 million in Oklahoma, 2.2 million in Georgia. 1.2 million in Kentucky. George Bush won his Presidency of our country by selling our futures. Almost 60 million people whom we live and work with every day think we are immoral. “Moral values” was top of many lists of why people supported George Bush. Not Iraq. Not the economy. Not terrorism. “Moral values.” In case you need a translation that means us. It is hard to stand up to so much hate. Which of course is just the way they want it. Please know that a huge portion of the population of the United States hates us. I don’t mean dislike. I mean hate. You may not choose to call it hate, but I do. Not only because they refuse us certain marital rights but because they have also elected a congress that is overflowing with men and women who refuse us just about every other right to exist as well. “Moral values” is really a misnomer; it means just the reverse. It means they think we are immoral. And that we’re dangerous and contaminated. How do you like being called immoral by some 60 million people? This is not just anti-gay. This is what Doug Ireland calls “homo hate” on the grandest scale. How do we stand up to 60 million people who have found a voice and a President who declares he has a mandate?
The new Supreme Court, due any moment now, will erase us from the slate of everything possible in no time at all. Gay marriage? Forget it. Gay anything, forget it. Civil rights for gays? Equal protection for gays. Adoption rights? The only thing we are going to get from now on is years of increasing and escalating hate. Surely you must know this. Laws and regulations that now protect us will be repealed and rewritten. Please know all this. With the arrival of this second term of these hateful people we come even closer to our extinction. We should have seen it coming. We are all smart people. How could we not have been prepared?
They have not exactly been making a secret of their hate. This last campaign has seen examples of daily hate on tv and in the media that I do not believe the world has witnessed since Nazi Germany. I have been reading Ambassador Dodd’s Diary; he was Roosevelt’s ambassador to Germany in the 30’s, and people are always popping in and out of his office proclaiming the most awful things out loud about Jews. It has been like that.
All Mary Cheney is is a lesbian! Even her mother is hateful! That Cheney must be one fucked-up kid to stick around that family. I hope she doesn’t want to teach school. One of the reelected Congress persons vows to make it illegal for lesbians to teach school. [continued at link]


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