25 March 2007

 

Kramer vs. You

No, I don't believe every last word of what Larry Kramer recently wrote, but I do think he's got many interesting ideas about the situation we gay people find ourselves in in this world, at this time. His brush is necessarily broad: If its description isn't particularly accurate to you as an individual in your locale, at this moment, should you be surprised? The larger question is whether he's captured somethings about the context in the USA as a whole, at this instant.

You have to ask yourself in your heart of hearts whether you believe that inequality for people who are gay can be justified in any way shape or form? You have to separate out what you've been told from what you know with your own eyes, with your own heart. You have to be honest about your fears, if that's what they are, but open to the idea that those fears are goundless.

I believe, in my own heart of hearts, that if you honestly partake in those thought experiments, if you ask yourself how you will respond out of love if you find out your co-worker, your friend, your child, your sibling, your parent, your spouse, is not heterosexual, you will know in that same heart of hearts that what Kramer accurately, in my opinion, diagnosed as just plain hatred is just plain wrong. At that point, when given the opportunities, maybe you can do something positive to respond to that hatred, starting with standing up to those who think they can speak hatefully about people who aren't heterosexual without being challenged, without expecting to have their opinions critically examined by those they believe should be tacit allies in oppressing people who are gay.

Is it consistent with a deep and mature sense of human rights that I should be able to be fired for being gay? Is it consistent with a deep and mature sense of human rights that I should have to pay taxes on jointly owned property if my partner of many years should die? That I should not be able to collect pensions or Social Security? Are you so cynical about human nature that you don't believe we can nuture a deep and mature sense of human rights applicable to all people?

Please.

We may be, certainly are, flawed creatures, but we have shown at numerous times and places in our history that we can become better in the whole by broadening our perspective about what equality, fairness, and justice entail.

Get with the program.

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