Dan Savage’s comment on Salon: “Straight people can’t hear it.” Ouch.
Prejudice arises from lots of things, but persecution is driven by fear. All the real problems around both women’s rights and gay rights seem to me to come from what I’m afraid I’ve taken as a gvien: straight men fear women and gays. The fear has a wide range of intensity and expression, from blushing and stammering, to denigrating jokes and stereotypes, to murder, but it’s still fear. And we have influence in society out of all proportion to our numbers.
If we’re going to act justly, we’re going to have to lose the fear. And that requires, somehow, convincing even nice, decent people like me that the fear is neither natural, nor necessary. Talk about a transformation! If we do it, though, it will change the exercise of power.
Of course you both know all this, and have for a long time. Me, I’m just noticing a bunch of people, some of them best friends, who seem to be turning to hear something I can’t quite. Maybe I should try to find out what it is.
Courtesy of my dear friend Walter, who I’d written with the Savage quote I reproduced in the last post. Friends like him keep the world making sense.