Why Are We Stilling Debating?
I remember Jamie Farr’s character in M*A*S*H* and why he seemed out of place on a battlefield. Farr played Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger, an Arab American orderly from Toledo, Ohio, who was desperate to get out of the army. Klinger hit upon the idea of dressing in women’s clothes to demonstrate that he was mentally unfit, a sure ticket back to the US, or so he thought. It’s a great example of the old “catch-22.” If you are able to pull off pretending to be a woman then you aren’t truly insane.
In some of my books I complained about how that bug-eyed lunatic from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, has made things worse. Her husband, Marcus, owned a clinic that pushed a “pray away the gay” therapy. Of course, if you believe God created everything and everyone, then the logical conclusion is God created gay and transgender oriented people.
Just because something might be “normal” in terms of pure numbers doesn’t mean that everyone in the US will adjust and let live accordingly. A recent Gallup poll showed as many as 16% of recently surveyed younger people considered themselves LGBTQ. You can’t pray away gay.
Over time, I have thought about a diabolical confrontation I would love to instigate. Let’s say that medical science finds a way to determine whether a given fetus was going to be born gay, I’d like to ask Mike Pence if he would let the mother terminate that birth. If he said no, then one could surmise he believes being gay is a normal and natural process of life. If he said yes, then he would be trampling his argument that every life matters. But let’s not confuse the discussion.
Being gay is something that’s been happening for more than 300,000 years. Scientists reckon that the first Homo sapiens, anatomically modern humans, arose alongside our other hominid relatives more than 300 millennium ago. We now know that during a human’s development in the womb, the timing of the release of chemicals and proteins plays a significant factor. After early life, some people will not only identify as the opposite gender but will have an emotional connection with that sex and all that entails. Many evangelicals put too much faith in the “intelligent creator” and hold onto the believe that nurturing can conquer nature.
The House of Representatives moved the Equality Act last week, a bill that if passed into law will ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity and will substantially expand the areas to which those discrimination protections apply. Hardcore conservatives and goofballs want to keep talking about boys using girls’ restrooms. I am highly offended by any notion of a separate bathroom for transgender people. I remember the “White” and “Colored” signs on the restrooms when I first moved to the south. Such things enforce an unnecessary class distinction. I raised three daughters and lesbians were in the girls’ restrooms, they just didn’t wear a little sign on their sleeves.
The real fun will surely begin when the Equality Act gets to the Senate. The partisans will roll out the “In God We Trust” sign and claim that being gay is a sin. Okay, then what? How does that deal with people’s feelings? How does that help our children understand that being gay is a natural occurrence and that the LGBTQ community is not a “THEM?”
If God believes being gay is bad for the business of populating the world, why did she make people homosexual? First, she made our hominid relatives and waited for more than 100,000 years for some freaky gene mistake to create a different kind of hominid. We got to be homo erectus, then we flipped to being homo sapiens and the other guys died out. Why wouldn’t some in the progression evolve into homo sexual? We aren’t the only species on earth exhibiting same-gender attractions. Worms are both genders in one. I guess they need only one bathroom.
Before we revert to Old Testament laws which prescribed stoning people to death for adultery, homosexuality or a mystical belief that the Earth is flat, shouldn’t we first agree that we aren’t good Christians, Jews or Muslims if we torture and kill other human beings? Instead of murder we have the option of divorce, although watching Dateline, 20/20 or 48 Hours on TV might make you think we still do play that revenge thing.
A president of the United States calls a global pandemic the “China Flu,” then Asian people get attacked on our streets. Is that making America Great? When people try to sell homosexuality, gender dysphoria and transgender as dangerous perversions, they stoke primal fears within some people which then bubbles up as hate and violence against the class they have determined is inferior.
I never felt a compulsion to wear my mother’s dresses when I watched Jamie Farr – Corporal Klinger – on M*A*S*H*, but I was always immersed in the quick wit and fun of that show. My sexual orientation was determined long before I took my first breath, as is true for any gay boy or girl. I am always amazed about how embarrassed some parents become when they realize or learn one of their kids is gay. Yes, we want our offspring to be happy, but making them carbon copies of ourselves isn’t the way. They are their own individuals, and we should always respect their truth. And I am impressed when a parent finally comes to grip with the reality their child’s orientation doesn’t stop them from loving and helping their kids. Some people do change.
Then, there is that selfish comment, “Oh well, I always wanted a grandchild, but with Loretta’s thing I guess that’s off the table.” No, it’s not. Gay people have babies and create homes and families. Just let them show you.
We need a law on the books because the legal system needs to understand that when a crime is more than a crime, when it’s a “hate crime,” special attention is needed. We must avoid the kind of thinking that allowed the German and Russian governments to intimidate “certain kinds” of people. Why is it against the law to be gay in Russia? They are so smart with regard to science but so dumb and regressive with social justice. You can say the same about China, North Korea and some of the Middle East countries. The United States must lead the way out of all this.
Any elected official who stands and speaks in a way that paints a boogieman picture of the LGBTQ community or any of its members should be removed from office. None of us are forced to engage in that “lifestyle” or “orientation,” but we all must certainly respect the rights of everyone. It’s “We the People…” and that means ALL THE PEOPLE.
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Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”