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Gay "Pride" Month

I talk to a lot of conservatives, and some of them have an objection to my being gay.  I even told one that since I’m single and effectively celibate and therefore out of action, that I wouldn’t make an issue of it.  I’m not sexual, period.  I think I’ve changed my mind about the issue of orientation.  People need to be educated, and I’m going to do just that.  I’ll save the bits I don’t like about my community for last.

I don’t think my parents did anything wrong.  I grew up in a normally dysfunctional family.  No trauma, no horrible stories of abuse, neglect, or inappropriate touching.  I went to school and graduated.  Then I went to college because my parents were both college-educated and wanted me to be, too.

I began to have some awareness that I was different when I reached puberty.  I was socially awkward, and always felt like a bit of a weirdo, anyway, so I didn’t really trip on being gay.  I grew up, went on to college and wondered how I could meet others like myself.  I had no clue until I started reading an alternative newspaper called The Berkeley Barb.  The paper was filled with ads for sexual services in the back, but it had some noteworthy counter-culture news in the front.  As I kept reading it, I found out about a group called Gay Liberation Front in Berkeley.  I found a way to transfer to UC Berkeley, and started going to meetings.  They were mostly men, but I didn’t feel unwelcome.  After a while, I figured out all the other lesbians were meeting at the women’s centers, and started going there.  I was thrilled to meet others who were like myself!  I had felt like some kind of alien before that.

Yes, I still felt socially awkward, but a part of that was because all of this was new, and no one had any idea how gay dating should work.  They still may not.  We had no role models but heterosexual ones, and they just weren’t a good fit for us.  Time went on and I had many relationships, flings, affairettes, etc.  I will spare you the juicy details, but there were good and bad things about them, probably just like in any straight relationships.  Lesbians did have an advantage, though, because we didn’t find the toilet seat up at night, we both took out the trash and did the laundry, and there wasn’t any role-playing to speak of; we both worked, and each one pulled her own weight.

Prior to 1969, the year that marked the Stonewall bar riots in New York, and the start of gay liberation, anyone who was gay absolutely had to be in the closet and live their lives furtively, lest someone find out and send them to jail or fire them from their jobs.  It was an underground culture, and not everyone who was so inclined was able to find it.  Same-sex relationships were literally “the love that dare not speak its name.”

Despite the fact that it was the Left that set us free to live fuller lives, rather than lurking in the shadows as somehow “less than” others who were normal, I was always conservative in my political outlook, and the more political correctness was inflicted on me, the more my cheeks got chapped about it.  Every gay event I went to it was assumed that of course I had a leftist point of view, and no other political views were tolerated.  I learned to keep my mouth shut and NOT discuss politics.

I spent 40 years in the San Francisco gay and Leftist subculture, and had mostly gay friends; I spent almost no time with straight people, except when I worked.  I made it a point to be in the closet while at work because I wanted to keep my job.  If I met anyone else gay at work, it was either because they were obvious or because they knew the “code.”  A safe way to find out if they were one of us was to mention the name of a gay bar in casual conversation.  If they recognized the name or had been there, there was a good chance that they were “one.”  In spite of my good behavior, I was fired at various times by 3 different paranoid closet queens.  They knew I was one, but it didn’t mean anyone else did!  But there was no appeal to anything like that.  It was a different era.  I hate closet cases, for that and other reasons.  Don’t even get me started on the latent gays who can’t even tell themselves the truth.

I am very well-schooled in Leftist political tactics and strategies.  They work!  As my consciousness was raised I learned something about “white privilege” and discrimination against minorities.  I personally experienced racism, and it was quite jarring because I wasn’t used to it.  “White privilege” doesn’t exist today to the degree it did then simply because of the inroads made by the POCs (People of Color).  This lady really nails the white privilege/oppression points game!  Between the POCs already living here, illegal immigration, and media, they have forced whites to look at how they treat POCs differently.  Imagine that you were a POC watching TV, just like all the rest of us, and you never saw anyone there who looked like you.  Would you feel left out?  That’s how gays felt for decades, and we were thrilled to see ANY gay characters in entertainment mediums!  It was a sin to the Bible-thumpers, a nothing to others who didn’t really care, but it was a big deal to us.  I was excited when the LOGO channel debuted on cable TV, but it has since petered out into endless installments of stupid sitcoms and RuPaul drag races.  Let me tell you, honey, you can only watch so many programs with drag queens in them!

I came out of the closet in 1969, the same year the gay liberation movement started.  In 1972, gays successfully lobbied the APA (American Psychological Association) to remove homosexuality from their DSM of mental disorders.  Yet, over 45 years later, despite mental health experts saying we were not sick, we still get called depraved, degenerate, and all sorts of other names.  Usually, they throw a few Bible verses at us.  In spite of this, many gays are Christian!

I’m here to tell you that most gays want the same things as straight folks do:  a satisfying relationship, the basics of life, friends, family, challenges, and the same opportunities as are available to everyone else.  Inside, we are the same.  Most of us don’t want kids and simply do not care about marriage.  In fact, the entire motivation for gay marriage is all about money, just like everything else political:  social security survivor’s benefits, healthcare coverage, inheritance, et al.  Sure, you can do some of those things with special legal contracts, but not all.  We don’t have kids, so we adopt pets, and we are great animal lovers.  Anyone who has pets knows that in some respects they are like your children.

So we’ve come a great way, but it’s still legal to discriminate against us in the same way that certain races were discriminated against.  The difference is, we can hide, and a person cannot hide their skin color.  People seem to be bothered by the prevalence of the rainbow flag.  It is symbolic of the many different groups we are a part of; we are all races and nationalities; “we are everywhere,” at every time in history, in every geographical area, even in nations where our preference for our own gender can get us killed.  And here is another explanation of the rainbow flag.

I’ve had my militant moments when I was younger, and now I’m more sedate.  I lived the life, and although I am retired, I’m writing this because there are people who need to be educated.  Sexual expression comes in many forms; some are just variations on a theme; and some are disgusting and abhorrent.  Sex becomes a crime when it is done with someone or an animal who either doesn’t consent or cannot consent; we all agree on that.

As an older conservative gay, there are some things gays do that I don’t approve of:  being naked in public, whether in a parade or otherwise; being pushy about your attraction (as many gay men are) when around others who are not interested; looking the other way (as some gay men do) when male minors are being exploited; imposing your will on others’ freedoms (the stupid wedding cake lawsuit). 

I absolutely hate the portrayal of gays as people who just love parties and having a good time.  It makes us seem vapid and frivolous.  I want people to know we are smart, educated, talented members of society, not just hedonists!

And I want to address the assumption that gay men molest boy children at a higher rate than heterosexual men molest girls.  This simply isn’t true.  The most frequent offenders are straight men with girl children. It’s disgusting and abhorrent that anyone would sexualize or exploit children, but it happens.  Look no further than the Rotherham scandal in Britain, or the Democrat #pizzagate exposed by wikileaks.

And there is one more phobia I want to smash:  the bizarre notion that because I am a lesbian, I always want to have sex with every woman in the room.  That would only be partially true if I were a nymphomaniac!  No gay person has just one thing on their mind all the time.  What, do you dummies think I’ve got no taste?  I’m just as picky as any other woman.  And I don’t go after straight women in the hopes that I may “convert” them.  Look no further than Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche to see how that doesn’t work.

Often I am asked tactfully by straight people why so many lesbians are fat.  My response is, “I don’t know why.”  A year or two ago I saw posts from conservatives who were angry that a study into the rate of obesity among lesbians was funded with taxpayer dollars.  The results were that a higher percentage of gay women were fat than the general female population.  I don’t accept that “fat is a feminist issue;” it’s a matter of self-esteem and addiction, likely driven by childhood trauma.  I don’t want to partner with fat women any more than I want crazy ones or substance abusers.  I’ve crossed them off my list!  And now you may have some idea why I am single.  Since I don’t have any of those problems myself, the field of potential candidates is considerably narrower.

I really hate the assumption that if you are gay, you must be “progressive.”  I have no problem in acknowledging the good that the Left has done for my group, but it’s time to give them the old “heave-ho.”  I’ve joined fundamentalist Christians, veterans, right-wingers and white nationalists in protesting illegal immigration, supporting candidate Donald Trump, and other people different from me in working on legal issues.  Politics certainly does make for strange bedfellows, but I have discovered that if you all are working together on the same issues you agree upon, despite your differences, you will be accepted.  Restoring American sovereignty, saving our republic, and returning our liberty are issues that concern all of us.

As far as “our” gay leaders are concerned, I’m not aware of an appointment or election being held.  They certainly are not my choice, nor are the issues they support.  Gays have come a long way in the nearly 50 years we’ve been fighting for our rights, and good public relations will do a lot more for us than militancy and lawsuits. 

If you are gay, come out, wherever you are!  Let people know we are their neighbors, their co-workers, their friends, and family!  Gays need to be involved with the rest of society if they seek acceptance.  If you are straight, give us a chance, and treat us just like anyone else.  The more of us you know, the more you will like us.

Copyright 2017 by Laine Lawless Permission to reprint in full with attribution