Saturday, December 3, 2011

Flamers, and Why We Should Love Them

Got into a fight on the good ole interwebs yesterday. Twas a troll sparked the flame, and I probably shouldn't bother posting anything about it/her, as it gives further voice to her inanities. As we all know, however, I have heaps of trouble learning lessons.

A viral video was posted, a video about a young man who looked to be in his late twenties, speaking on behalf of his lesbian mothers. He went into detail about everything they'd done for him, how much they had changed his life, and how his success was far from hampered by his mothers' orientation. He wasn't successful in spite of them, he was successful because of them. He was pleading, that they may be granted marriage rights. It was a beautiful beacon of proof, proof that the families of the LGBTQ community are not doomed to failure because of who we are. It cut like a hot knife through bigot butter.

...and like all good trolls, K. swooped in and started vomiting half-formed, I don't know, ideas (?), all over my wall.

Her main point in regard to said video, I think, was that these people had a "designer baby", a baby she thought was "genetically inclined to success", and because of that, this story was not beautiful to her. Also, that gay "marriage is the least of our worries".

The stupid non-points about the baby I could ignore. The comment about is where you picture cartoon flames shooting out of my eyeballs.

In her infinite wisdom, K. also stated that her problem with the gay community is that we are "self-righteous and flamboyant." Lots of people on this planet suffer, sez K. Our plight isn't that important because other people! They also have problems! We should stop all our nakedness, and fluffiness, and be more dignified in pursuit of our goals (suddenly, gay marriage DID matter to her, but we were going about obtaining our rights in the wrong way). Then THIS crawled out of her mouth:

"Point is, conservatives don't like the radical flamboyance and it is the conservatives that are making it difficult for us."

... it-it- the f - it -flam - flames. Flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breathl- heaving breaths. Heaving breaths... Heathing...

I don't think the gays woke up one day and said hey, let's put pussy stickers on our foreheads and march on Washington! The outrageousness and pageantry of Pride evolved from our sordid past as closet-occupiers. It was not safe to be gay and honest about it only fifty years ago. Some would say it's not safe now, either, and I agree...but in this sense I mean it was literally not safe as in if you walked outside your house and said that you were a gay that fifty greasers would take a pipe to your homo head and wouldn't stop till you were no longer breathing. Certain behaviors, i.e. the gesticulations of effeminate men, the habits of masculine or opinionated women, were telling. Some of these men and women had to fight every fucking day of their lives to keep their desires a secret, or face exile, public shaming, and sometimes death. There are some gay men whose natural mannerisms are flamboyant, and some women whose default personality is far from traditionally lady-like (yo). The fact that they had to monitor their every move, fight their every natural instinct, change their very nature, day after day, for the entirety of ther lives, is utterly heartbreaking.

Eventually, enough was enough. Stonewall set fire to powder, and we took to the streets in 1969. We dared to publicly request that we be treated as human beings. No more trying to pass, no more gritting our teeth and settling into unwanted heterosexual relationships. It was time to step out into the sun.

Pride in the U.S. and other developed countries has snowballed significantly, especially in recent years. Drag queens outdo each other in full, befeathered, sequined regalia. Men and women alike walk shirtless. We cover ourselves in glitter and body paint. We're loud and obnoxious and our collective voice has grown strong.

It started as a protest, and grew into a celebration. We honor the men and women brave enough to bring us into the sun.

K. says we shouldn't be naked. K. says we shouldn't be flamboyant. We should be subtle and dignified. What K. fails to see is that the outrageous, flaming, and yes, sometimes silly pageantry isn't just men in makeup and booty shorts. It's a collective war cry declaring that we are different, we will no longer hide our otherness, and there is nothing you can do to make us go away.

K. would have us "tone it down". To help get the conservatives on our side (I swear to god, that was her actual point.). Okay, K., you tell us, ye wise one, ye who art so generous in deigning to spread your facebook enlightenment to the masses. What should we do to tone it down? Take away the booty shorts? Fine. We'll do that. Oh but but, ANOTHER conservative group just said that even the most subtle and passable drag queen is offensive. Oh well can't have that, sez K., K. knows all and K. says we gotta suck a little dick to get places in life. Take away the drag queens, wipe off their makeup and get those trannies in a suit. This isn't about who we are, this is about DIGNITY, goddammit. K.'s special brand of dignity! Oh but but but wait, yet ANOTHER group of right-wing Christianists just absolutely BAWL over the parade ITSELF. How DARE us scary gays collectively GO OUTSIDE and BE GAY OUTSIDE (if you read this, K., you know that there are several protesters who are not swayed by subtle clothing, they protest the act of the parade itself). No more Pride, 'cause what we want is conservative buddies! Maybe if we put away the pussy t-shirts and fluffy skirts, Jerry Falwell will take me out for ice cream! REPUBLICAN HOMO SOLIDARITY!

Seriously, though, if we censor the flamers, the sluts, the silliest of naked gays, where do we draw the line? When would it stop? When would our opponents finally take our side?

The answer, of course, is never. Before we marched, we wore nothing BUT suits and dresses and did nothing OTHER than try to pass. They hated us then, too. There is no level of "dignity" and "subtlety" we can achieve that will garner the support of bigots.

K., I am ashamed of you, ashamed of you and embarassed by you. You, and any other gay/straight/asexual person like you who would shove us back into the closet and pander to the monsters. You go right ahead and lick those bigots' boots. And keep a detailed list of EVERY SINGLE BIGOT whose head you've turned by requesting that the gays "tone it down". I'm confident enough in the stupidity of your master plan that I will have that list tattooed on my ass cheek should even one name grace its pages.

P.S. I will be making a complete and utter drunken, be-glittered, obnoxious ass of myself at Pride this year, JUST to piss off you and yours. Cheers, asshole.

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