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Queer as me

Carefully worded to avoid spoiling anything, for those who haven't seen the last three or so episodes of the current season.

When Queer as Folk started, I had such hopes for the series, that it would echo the experiences I have had as a gay man in America. While it has had its moments, I've always felt that it fell shy of the mark, that I myself was too marginal a subdemographic of gay America to have my voice represented. Even though it wasn't 45 minutes of catharsis every week, I still came to love the characters with all their gifts and faults. Given all this, I was pleasantly surprised tonight to have Mel (who was my first "favorite" character on the show) give voice to exactly how I feel about living here at this point in history.

Mel has a line in tonight's episode, the gist of which is that she always believed that hard work and perseverance would eventually bring about equality for gays in this country, but she was starting to have serious doubts given the current climate. I started crying over this quote as it was a perfect summation of how I've been feeling since the last election. As much as I want to pretend that my grief is solely over Bush, I have to own that my biggest problem is that I'm living in a state that didn't choose Bush, but still made the statement that being gay is a such a horrible thing that we have to make a rule against it in the state constitution. Almost a year later, and I'm just now realizing that I have to deal with feeling betrayed by people who I normally share political and moral values with, that they drew a line in the sand just shy of me on an issue. I really should join a melodrama 12-step group.

So then I'm left with what to do with these thoughts. The counselor in me is rejoicing over this unexpected opportunity for dealing with held grief (because having my thoughts reflected back to me has comforted me greatly), but the gay man in me is thinking of taking the advice of a redneck's bumper sticker: America-Love it or leave it. At what point do you withdraw from the battle and retreat for safer territory? I guess I'm scrappy enough that I still want to fight, but I have to acknowledge that I've done almost no fighting since last November. Sure, I've sent a couple of emails to my legislators when the HRC did all but wipe my ass to make the process easy, but I've really spent the time hiding. I'm a deer in headlights, just waiting to be run down by conservative America. The deer, should it come to its senses, would run to the forest to save itself.

I can't stay stuck in the middle, the deer in the headlights. To mix my nature metaphors, I need to come out of this cocoon I've been hiding in, and either become the deer completely, relocating myself to the nature preserve (Canada) where I can live in peace with others of my kind, or I need to use this cocoon to become a predator, something that won't go down without a fight. I'm not going to be so stupid as to commit to either of these roles in this moment, for I know that this decision will require significant life change no matter which path I choose.

May the creator guide me along this path, wherever it takes me.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:17 am (UTC)
We are hardly living in a "Nature Perserve".
Jul. 25th, 2005 04:37 am (UTC)
don't mean to offend, was reaching for a term that stayed true with the wildlife metaphor.
Jul. 25th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC)
Move to Canada! I don' know how queers, outside of LA and NY, can stand to live there.
Jul. 25th, 2005 01:03 pm (UTC)
Mike & I just watched the "same-sex marriage" episode of the Simpsons last night (which has a really great and funny message. If you haven't seen it, you should) and we were bitching about how there was a disclaimer in front of the episode that said "this episode deals with same-sex marriage discussion. Viewer discretion advised." There was no offense language or sex in the episode, apparently the only thing "offensive" was gay people getting married. We were just talking last night about how pissed off we were about it, but neither one of us have any clue as to how we can help.

I definitely understand where your coming from. If you figure anything out, I will be more than happy to help.
Jul. 25th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
Weired, I didn't see that disclaimer, Maybe it was local. Sad huh?
Jul. 25th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
It wouldn't surprise me at all if it was local. I live in a very conservative area. And it is really sad that FOX has to warn it's viewers that an episode about love requires you to sheild your children's eyes...
Jul. 25th, 2005 01:31 pm (UTC)
I don't think the deer needs to run into the forest where it's safe. The deer needs to find a way to kick the shit out of the guy driving the car.
Jul. 25th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
Rambling response
Most people complain about the way the world works, but don't do anything about it. Whether fear, apathy, laziness, or something else is the reason behind it, it doesn't matter. Every time you spend money, you are voting with your dollars. The way you live your life, from your entertainment choices, to your job, to your relationships makes a difference. Being aware of the consequences, both short and long term is an important step. Living deliberately is harder than it seems. Every time you take the initiative to make a new friend and try to understand why they think they way they do, you get insight into "the other side". The people I talk to who did vote for the constitutional amendment don't understand what they did. When you discuss how it prevents hospital visits, inheritance rights, and tax benefits they have no problem. Some are opposed to adoption, but most are simply opposed to the word "marriage". My personal feeling is that government should get out of the marriage business all together and just be in the business of civil unions. Let churches worry about the spiritual side of things, and let government worry about the legal implications.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 25th, 2005 07:33 pm (UTC)
NY is liberal -and it still had the pre-simpsons disclaimer. God damn fox.

Be a predator- whoop some ass.
Jul. 26th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
Ridiculous Constitutional amendments were meant to be repealed. Remember Prohibition?

What I'm saying is, November 2004 wasn't the end of the world. We, those like you and I who recognize the injustice that has been done not just in Michigan but in 17 (fact check - I know there were 12 at the time of the election?) other states, just need to continue to open people's eyes, one person at a time.

On a semi-related side note, did you see 30 Days last night? There was a conservative straight guy (from Michigan, no less) going to live with a gay man in San Francisco. The straight guy was kind of obnoxious, but he did eventually become a little bit more open-minded.
Jul. 30th, 2005 07:37 pm (UTC)
you are the one who posted this! I just left you that voicemail. Did you catch the scene in front of the bridge? He's wearing a CMU Chippewas tshirt, which makes me think this is where he went to school. Who else wears CMU apparel other than students, former students, or parents of both?
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )