Monday, July 11, 2011

Pride Week!!! The pride to play fair

originally posted July 17, 2010

Mark Barna, writer of the Gazette column, "The Pulpit" recently asked:

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It’s absolutely valid.

These days, gays can and do choose to be whatever they want to be, whenever they want to be – white, black, man, woman, or anything else in between…putting it on and taking it off like Peter Pan and his shadow. The rest of us either can’t or don’t pick and choose the color of our skins and the gender of our beings as though they were mix-and-match accessories; most of us neither have it nor want it any which old way.

It’s bemusing how quickly some members of the GLBT community -- or is it the LGBT community...or is it the  LGBTIQABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP community... -- will step forward to shoulder the black burden as their own – just for a moment and only when it suits them…however awkwardly, and only for the sake of appearances – like the drag queen who dons a man’s business suit and eschews the false eyelashes on his day in court. In sharp contrast, blacks aren’t able to pick up and put down their blackness according to their circumstances and associations; they are black, all of the time.

Whilst posing as blacks, gays wave their dark veil as though it were some sort of noble flag, and people stand and clap and cheer; but when blacks do the same, people are just as likely to wave a confederate flag in their faces and advise them to go back to Africa. How convenient it must be, to only be black when it’s in vogue…to be a boy or a girl whenever and however the fancy strikes; every day is a costume party.

But the truth is that slapping on a black mask for the sake of convenience is something that only bank robbers and minstrel singers do. Waking up one morning feeling ten feet tall doesn’t mean that you are. Claiming you feel like a girl inside doesn’t make you one. Not to over-simplify things, but my own experience is that taking a good hard look in the mirror can help clear up confusion, and show that you are what you are.

Being proud is a good thing – it’s certainly better than being ashamed. It’s good to have pride in oneself and one’s people: it’s why doing things like brushing our hair and teeth are good for us individually, and events like Fourth of July fireworks in Memorial Park are good for us as Americans. But too much pride is always a bad thing – indeed, it’s often said that it cometh before a fall…

…and I’m sorry, but what is it exactly again that the GLBT community is so darn proud about — their talent at holding their breath and stamping their feet until getting their way? Or perhaps their habit of changing the rules that everyone else is playing by, just because doing so is more advantageous for them and them alone?

What good is the sign that says, “You must be at least five feet tall to ride the roller coaster” if a passel of bad-tempered, rule-hating short people are intent upon jacking the coaster and riding it anyway? I, for one, am not going to try and dissuade them from boarding that roller coaster…but it will not surprise me if and when they slip out beneath the safety bar and bump their soft heads – and damned if I rush toward them afterward to kiss their owies; they should have heeded the sign.

Why insist that the whole world suddenly stop, change course, and start dancing to the arrhythmic beat of one’s own peculiar drummer? Dance however you like to dance, to whatever music happens to sway you; but throwing a temper tantrum until the music is changed, and bullying everyone else into dancing like you do is just plain bad manners and bratty behavior, no matter who you are.

No one is extra-special. No one is the center of the universe. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they hate you. Rules are established for the general good of society, not just for you and your friends…and rebelling against the rules doesn’t necessarily make one smarter or cooler; a lot of times, it just reveals one’s density. Learning these lessons are essential if one ever hopes of getting over one’s self.

In a game of cards, players are dealt a hand, and then they play it; there’s no reason to “argue” a card, as its face value argues itself. Changing the rules midway through the game is not permitted…and never are certain players afforded the special permission to pick and choose only the cards that work to that player’s exclusive advantage.

It is disingenuous any time gays compare their struggle for inclusion to being black; hence, playing the polygamy card when arguing against gay marriage is just as valid as playing the race card when arguing to defend it. The purpose of marriage has always been to join one man together with one woman – not one man to another man, not one woman to another woman, not one man to many women, not one man to his sister, not one man to his dog, not one man to a tree – those are the rules.

Why are those the rules? Simple answer: Because. And if you can’t handle that answer, then you’re a spoiled brat.

Color outside the lines if so you desire; promise and devote yourself to whomever or whatever you choose; but have the pride to play fair. Don’t have a hissy fit when the rest of us call a spade a spade – don’t kick and scream to change the rules, just so that your hand will be stronger. If you don’t like the rules, then don’t play the game; just move on and live your life, regardless of what others might think.

Otherwise, you might not be quite as at ease with yourself as you like to pretend.

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