Friday, January 7, 2011

On Gay People Being Held To A Special Standard Of Goodness

Ever read Post Secret and think to yourself, "it's a good thing the secret-keeper keeps that one to themselves, because that's just offensive, and makes them look clueless." This week there was one of those.

If you can't see the image, it consists of a photocopied picture of soldiers in combat, over which someone has drawn rainbow stripes, and pasted the text:
I thought gays fought to promote tolerance of differences thus the rainbow flag representing their acceptance of diversity. Seems like fighting and killing are the exact opposite of promoting tolerance and diversity. 

Where to begin...

First, there's this thing called Wikipedia, where you can look up the origins and significance of things like the Rainbow Flag. You know, just to make sure you've got it right. As it turns out, it doesn't represent that gay people have "accepted diversity" so much as the diversity of the LGBTQ community itself. A bit of a difference there.

Second, gay people have not made it their job to "fight to promote tolerance of differences" in every way. Because there is no representative Council of Gay that decides what gay people are going to do and what they stand for.

Third, even if someone is a pacifist, that doesn't mean that they're down with discrimination in the military. Being able to defend one's country is an important part of asserting equal citizenship.

Seriously, I think the rainbow imagery has some people confused into thinking that LGBT folks are all magical happy people filled with peace and understanding. Note to postcard writer: "gays" are just people.


  1. hi Marissa...good post. One would think it wouldn't be necessary to state the obvious. But sadly we have to. I'd say more, but I haven't received the latest communique from the Council of Gay, so I'm not sure it's authorized... ;)

    P.S. Happy New Year !!!!

  2. Thanks! Happy New Year to you too! :)

  3. I definitely agree. I saw that postcard too, and it bugged me, but I wasn't quite sure why. Thanks for articulating my muddled thoughts. :)

    You've inspired me, actually... hmm, I feel a blog post coming on...

  4. Thank you for this post, it really needed to be said. The person who sent in that post card really missed the point of both the gay rights movement and of the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

  5. I love it when people (most often right-wingers and bigots) say something that they think is really clever, except it isn't. At all. It's something you see a lot with signs at Tea Party rallies.

    As an LGBT person, I'm less offended and more "WTF?" than I am anything else.


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