With summer comes the spate of anti-gay sentiment, or at least it feels that way to me. Maybe it’s because state supreme courts are wrapping up their year and the toughest decisions come out in June, or thereabouts. Of course this summer season we have the GOP primary jockeying, so as candidates are scoping for uber-conservative votes, they’re more than willing to say things like “gay families aren’t families.” We could blame the incessant “heat dome” for frying people’s brains and in their heat exhaustion, causing chronic foot-in-mouth disease. Whatever the cause, I am beyond sick of it. Let’s call a scapegoat a scapegoat. In this time of financial strife and political cowardice, I think it’s fitting to look at all the ways in which people crap on the “gays,” and excuse me, Dan Savage, but I’m using it as an umbrella term for queer, not a reference to your clique in Seattle.
1. Hold up signs declaring your hatred of the gays. No need for correct grammar or spelling, it’s the hate that’s important here.
2. Hold up signs declaring your god’s hatred of the gays. Bonus points if you take these signs to the funeral of a fallen soldier, or even better, a murdered child.
3. Write up anti-gay laws, like The Defense of Marriage Act, or the prevention of contracts between two people of the same sex, as was passed in Virginia in 2004.
4. Do nothing to repeal anti-gay laws, or cite anti-gay laws when standing by decisions that, say, force apart a couple over one partner’s immigration status. Feel free to point instead to your pro-gay Web site as evidence that you don’t hate the gays.
5. When caught in a gay tryst, affair, or casual sexual encounter, don’t come out of the closet. Take this opportunity to lash out at gays, or consider crying and begging for forgiveness, because of course it was the worst thing that could have happened in all of the world. Do note: Craigslist and other online ads for gay sex are likely to throw open the closet door. Just FYI.
5a. While in the closet, however, see item #3. Get busy.
6. Use any celebrity status, however fleeting, to say something anti-gay so all the impressionable kiddies of America will hear it and know that being gay is not for them. Bonus points for using Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook to spread the anti-gay message. Deduction of points for using Google+, because that’s too geeky for any self-respecting celebrity to use.
7. Refuse to help the gays when they are in need of emergency assistance, such as health care, police protection, housing support, or employment assistance. Bonus points if you blame the victim or find a way to make their orientation or gender ID status part of that blaming. No, I will never get over what happened to Tyra Hunter. But super bonus points to removing any of these basic rights statewide. Also, special douchebaggery points to the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department for expanding on their usual racist police coverage into LGBT territory. Dear Mayor Gray: please gut the department and start over.
8. Acquit perpetrators of anti-gay violence by buying into their “gay panic” defense and self-defense claims.
9. Ban books by the gays because people shouldn’t read such immoral work. This makes it easier to claim they never do anything for culture, too. Bonus points to Amazon.com for removing sales rankings of many gay books, because why should we count interest.
10. If kids are going to read something, like say, school textbooks, make those free from gay contributions, too.
11. While gay kids are bullied at every level of school in the country, ignore it. When finally admitting anti-gay bullying happens, only pay attention to the cases in which whites were targeted. Feel free to blame the victims again, too.
12. When announcing a program to say “it gets better,” point to your trip to Paris as proof that it really does get better, and consider getting defensive when people call you a classist ass. Also feel free to divide the gay community by using your newspaper column to pit gays against people of color and transsexuals, because hey, these are all mutually exclusive categories, right?
13. On the flip side, tell everyone in earshot that the gays are just a monolithic group who don’t care about anyone else and that they should be resisted at all costs. Bonus points if you call yourself a progressive radical while doing this.
I’m sure there are more ways out there, but heck, this isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list. Anyone else care to add something?