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Troy N. Diggs

June 1998

"... that caterwauling is throwing all the wrong switches out there in the vast heartland of America."

--- Dennis Miller

A little while back, a friend of mine wrote an entry in his online journal about the gay community... I won't go into the details of it, but to make a long story short, he was kind of dubious about what's popularly called the "gay rights movement". It made me think about where I stand on activism. Part of it's that little safety thing I talked about in April... but that's not all of it; that's just a little minor part. I think the major reason I'm starting to get disenchanted with activism is the exact same thing Chastity Bono said about "Ellen": it's too gay.

Before any of you get mad, upset, betrayed, whatever... I am NOT trying to bring down the entire gay rights movement in a little column. Honestly, I think we have a long way to go before we're accepted into American society 100% totally unconditionally truly madly deeply do. And, yes, the best way to get what you want is to make a stand.

At the same time, though, we are gay. Of all the gay people I know, both friends, relations, 'net buddies, etc., none of them chose to be this way. Why would we? We have no rights and everybody hates us. (No, that's not my original thought. The punchline's from comedian Jason Stuart.) It just happened; maybe by genetics, maybe by the grace of God, I don't know. It's a human thing.

What I'm afraid of is that some gay rights activists are taking this "human thing" and turning it into a political cause, and I'm not 100% sure that's right. That, to me, intimidates all those people out there, gay, straight, and other. Instead of having an equivalent to racial harmony (which, granted, isn't 100% complete either, but work with me here, people...), I see lots of people out there trying to make us one big cohesive, in your face collective. It doesn't work that way.

So, instead of pride marches and rallies... let's try other techniques, OK? Those of you out there who think that only gay things matter, wake up and realize that there are straight people out there too, and while you're asking them to quit excluding you, you're excluding them. Instead of trying to fight those who oppose you, try to understand where they're coming from, and invite them to do the same for you. It's called compromise. There's nothing at all wrong with being strong, but there's a big difference between strong and stubborn.

I may live in Arkansas, but I've never slept with President Clinton... drop me a line anyway at TDiggs@aztec.astate.edu or visit my Web page at http://www.geocities.com/~tdiggs/. Laters...


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