The New Face Of Homophobia


From a scary new site:

Exodus Youth has launched a new initiative, the Allies,
Too project, whose
stated goal is “to build
a community of tolerance and respect.” As
Focus on the
Family reports, “We hope most
of all to bridge the gap between Christian and

GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered)
students that has been created
by the promotion
of false tolerance,” said Mike Ensley, youth analyst
for
Exodus. “Our goal is to embolden and educate
students to make a stand for real

tolerance – treating each other with dignity
and respect in the midst of
debate.”

http://www.alliestoo.org/allies/

Comments

cruxsola said…
Just so you know, I have never called self-described LGBTQI people "hateful, nasty, loud-mouthed a------- who hate on people with different views." Never. And I never will.

I also see some irony in your note, since it comes from someone who is supportive of a group that has built its cachet on "listening" and asking "to be heard" and that others not be so "judgmental" and "we're just like everybody else." Well, in my neighborhood, we don't talk about others in this way, and that includes the two gay guys who live just down the road from me. The ones I visit with every time I'm out walking the dog and see them in shouting distance. (Oh, yes, and I see them in other contexts, too.)

Yes, the boring old "judge not" and "log in your own eye" Bible verses that many angry people like to throw at others apply to you, too.

If your cause is fair and just and rational (unlike your writing here), should it not stand up to scrutiny?

So, let's all play fair, OK? Let's all listen. I don't expect you to agree with me, but I expect the same courtesy that you demand for yourself.

Shame, shame, double-shame.
Anonymous said…
No offense, cruxsola, but some people get a little testy when they see the new advertising approaches to telling them they're relationships aren't valid. Especially when the approaches aim to train the impressionable youth to take over the mission of opression. Sure, the overt language behind this stuff is Positive! and we're Allies! and We Love You! But that's not how it's used in greater society.

A true ally,
Joshua
Anonymous said…
Er, by "they're" I mean "their"
ejcolen said…
This is funny:

"So, let's all play fair, OK? Let's all listen. I don't expect you to agree with me, but I expect the same courtesy that you demand for yourself."

I love this rhetoric. The false parallelism of it is cute. Unfortunately it's damaging as well.

I would never want you to stop reading your Bible. You should never ask or expect me to stop loving my wife.
Carol Guess said…
My dear friend Cruxsola,

I'm charmed that you're reading my blog! Perhaps this is part of an ongoing attempt to educate yourself about GLBT people, literature, art, and culture. I hope your journey brings you pleasure, and that you have many opportunities to challenge your own belief systems in meaningful dialogues with others.

I must disagree, however, with the current advertising strategy of the Fundamentalist Christian right, which attempts to woo recruits for its agenda by positing a false parallel between its own anti-gay agenda and the civil rights movement for GLBT people.

Websites like "Allies, too" use manipulative rhetoric to suggest (as my dear Joshua notes) that there are (only) two sides to debates on GLBT political issues, and that those two sides deserve equal air time, equal respect, and are equally valid. This rhetoric is manipulative in part because the Fundamentalist Christian right does NOT see pro-gay positions as equally valid to their own. But it's actually more problematic than that. The Fundamentalist position on GLBT lives is not a respectful position. It is a position rooted in deeply-held beliefs (based on interpretations of the Bible translated into English) that GLBT are not fully human, and thus do not deserve full citizenship (eg marriage rights, eg participation in the military). It is a position which also argues that GLBT people do not, on some level, exist -- that they can and should "convert" to heterosexual, that they can and should "change" from GLBT to heterosexual and gender-normative.

Setting this position (in which GLBT people are not fully human and should not, do not, really exist) as a parallel to the position that GLBT people are fully human and do exist is not respectful and generous and intellectually-engaged; it's dangerous and cruel and manipulative.

Moreover, Cruxsola, GLBT people are not currently in positions of power in this country (outside of a few token individuals who have obtained marginal power, usually in fields like entertainment, eg Ellen). GLBT people do not have full rights as citizens in this country, and are actively and consistently oppressed by both invidiuals and institutions.

Christian Fundamentalists hold lots of power in this country, and are not oppressed. They might be cranky, or pleasant, or rich, or poor, or white, or black -- and they might suffer oppression because of other facets of their identity (eg race, dis/ability, social status, etc).

But to compare GLBT anger at the status quo, which excludes GLBT people, to Christian Fundamentalist ad campaigns encouraging people in power to play nicely with people they are oppressing, is a false parallel.

Finally, at least at the time of this posting, you're closeted to me: you're not revealing your name, face, location, etc. I long ago made the choice -- in spite of being oppressed as a woman, a lesbian -- to be honest and open about who I am and what I believe. I don't speak from the closet, from secrecy and silence. If you're going to dialogue with GLBT people in the way you claim to want (honestly, openly), you need to come out.

So, my friend, I wish you well on your journey. If you want to engage in more dialogue, you'll need to do it with Joshua, or PFLAG, or other bloggers -- I usually save this sort of thing for my students or public speaking events, not closeted, faceless, nameless strangers who post and run.

I give your shame back to you -- shaming others is a strategy the Religious Right likes to use against GLBT people trying to claim their human-ness. I don't feel shame for who I am, but pride in who I've chosen to become, who I'm becoming.

Sincere Regards,
Carol
MEDEA poetica said…
It is disengenious of Cruxsola to assert that, "in his (?) neighborhood," folks don't judge people -- and to assert this even as Exile hawks its videos and training materials that promote sledgehammering people into one prescribed shape is truly a blasphemy.

This group may promote itself as one that promotes tolerance, but pasting a smiley face on a bigoted message does not make the message inclusive or nonjudgmental.

Interesting, too, that Exile's new campaign comes hot on the heels of so many sex scandals amongst the fundies. No big surprise, then, that their marketing research has indicated that folks aren't buying their hypocritical prattle.

Finally, let's don't forget the millions of dollars that fundie groups such as Exile have raked in by promoting fear and loathing of difference.

Sounds like kinder and gentler truthiness to me, Cruxsola -- but maybe we only know truthiness when we see it in my neighborhood.
Anonymous said…
Carol:
You'd also do better here not to create a false dichotomy of your own, herding all people who think that sexual practice involves choice into the camp that sees GLBT as "not fully human." Unless being "fully human" involves acting on whichever impulses (I guess here sexual) we might have. In that case, welcome to the club, I'm not fully human either.
Trying to work out the hypothetical consequences of a belief often doesn't help much. For example: someone who believes that sex acts between people of the same gender is not acceptable for someone of his own religious persuasion. This would only entail you were you to be of the same religious persuasion. You may try to convince him that there is something wrong with this persuasion, but if he is ok enough with you doing what you do as you are, why try to point out that his beliefs entail your being less than human? When he doesn't want you to change a thing? Your implying that he thinks you aren't completely human is - well, inviting him to legal consequences suitable for a fascist.

Many believe that an important aspect of humanity is the ability to recognize the humanity of others. Would this then mean that he is less than fully human, since you say he doesn't see you as fully human? And it is your statement which has placed him in this position, making you than less than human according to this criterion, irrespective of your views or practices on sexuality.

So I think let's not make Carol less than human by accusing someone of thinking she's less than human. Beliefs do have consequences, in many cases nasty ones, but not all of these possible implications are actual. I sincerely doubt Cruxola really thinks you are less than human in any way.

However, people are likely to become afraid of groups of people who imply that their beliefs are so deeply dehumanizing as you here claim. Indeed, the beliefs of some people are - but you should qualify your words to keep yourself in the debate.

Let's try to keep the dialogue civil. I see people becoming angry at LGBT folk because they are afraid that LGBT legal actions and rhetoric will mean they can no longer practice their religion. These people who otherwise would get along well enough with LGBT folk employ more officially sanctioned language in public but then in private can show hostility toward general LGBT culture in a way they probably wouldn't if they didn't feel their own back was against the wall. Indeed, nasty fundies do just the same thing, and get the same treatment. And they rant about being a minority group and the power of the gay lobby yadda yadda yadda.

Please don't give up trying to make the public space a better place for LGBT people, but keep in mind that some rhetorical tactics are likely to backfire on LGBT members that aren't the activist type, and can create a more sour situation for LGBT and non-LGBT alike.
medea poetica: the name is Exodus. You'd do well to check out what they do & believe to make sure you aren't just going on rumors. Disagreeing with them is perfectly permissible but some things said about them also isn't likely to do the LGBT community any good for those who are better informed about their beliefs and practices. I think many heteros are already at the stage where they think, "oh yeah more of that LGBT talk." & Medea Poetica - their name is Exodus & you should find out more about them, there are a lot of rumours about Exodus & many who aren't so into the LGBT bandwagon recognize rumours for rumours - you do your own cause better if you know the facts (& their name).
Carol Guess said…
Okay, Anonymous and Cruxsola, etc: enough. I'm not interested in educating you in this medium. I get paid to educate people, and this blog is not intended to be a place where strangers (and anonymous strangers, at that!) can send me angry emails.

I refer you to PFLAG.

Stop harassing me--and harassment is what this sort of thing is, whether it's on a blog, via voice mail, or ugly looks and angry words when my girlfriend and I hold hands in the grocery store.

Carol