The O-town Scene

October 14, 2010

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

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Savage Love By Religion no excuse for bigotry Q: I was listening to the radio yesterday morning, and I heard an interview with you about your It Gets Better campaign. I was saddened and frustrated with your comments regarding people of faith and their perpetua- tion of bullying. As someone who loves the Lord and does not support gay marriage, I can honestly say I was heartbroken to hear about the young man who took his own life. If your message is that we should not judge people based on their sexual preference, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to that young man, and I know for a fact that is true of many other people who disagree with your viewpoint. To that end, to imply that I would somehow encourage my children to mock, hurt, or intimidate another person for any reason is completely unfounded and offensive. Being a follower of Christ is, above all things, a recognition that we are all imperfect, fallible, and in desperate need of a savior. We can- not believe that we are better or more worthy than other people. Please consider your viewpoint, and please be more careful with your words in the future. — L.R. A: I’m sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments. No, wait. I’m not. Gay kids are dying. So let’s try to keep things in perspective: Screw your feelings. A question: Do you “support” atheist marriage? Interfaith marriage? Divorce and remarriage? All are legal, all go against Christian and/or traditional ideas about mar- riage, and yet there’s no “Christian” move- ment to deny marriage rights to atheists or people marrying outside their respective faiths or people divorcing and remarrying. Why the hell not? Sorry, L.R., but so long as you support the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, it’s clear that you do believe that some people—straight people — are “better or more worthy” than others. And — sorry — but you are partly respon- sible for the bullying and physical violence being visited on vulnerable LGBT children. The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality — even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person) — learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and les- bian children in your schools. And while you can only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time. Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not “sinners.” Gay and lesbian children. Try to keep up: The dehumanizing bigotries that fall from the lips of “faithful Christians,” and the lies about us that vomit out from the pulpits of churches that “faithful Christians” drag their kids to on Sundays, give your children license to verbally abuse, humiliate and condemn the gay children they encounter at school. And many of your children—having listened to Mom and Dad talk about how gay mar- riage is a threat to family and how gay sex makes their magic sky friend Jesus cry — feel justified in physically abusing the LGBT children they encounter in their schools. You don’t have to explicitly “encourage [your] children to mock, hurt or intimidate” queer kids. Your encouragement — along with your hatred and fear—is implicit. It’s here, it’s clear, and we’re seeing the fruits of it: dead children. Oh, and those same dehumanizing bigotries that fill your straight children with hate? They fill your gay children with suicidal despair. And you have the nerve to ask me to be more careful with my words? Did that hurt to hear? Good. But it couldn’t have hurt nearly as much as what was said and done to Asher Brown and Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas and Cody Barker and Seth Walsh — day-in, day-out Dan Savage for years — at schools filled with bigoted little monsters created not in the image of a loving God, but in the image of the hateful and false “followers of Christ” they call Mom and Dad. Be careful of asphyxiation Q: I’m a loud screwer, just like the partner of the woman who wrote in recently. With my consent, my partner uses a pillow to dampen my screams, so I don’t have to worry I’ll piss off the neighbors. — Lesbians Do Scream A: It’s all fun and games — loud fun, ear-splitting games — until someone ac- cidentally asphyxiates a screamer. But thanks for sharing, LDS. Fiancé must be honest Q: I am engaged to a man whose sexual orientation is somewhat confusing to me. A few months ago, I discovered transgender porn on his computer. When I asked him about it, he said he just watches all kinds of porn “just to watch it.” That sounded like total bull to me — and it was proved to be total bull when I discovered that he watches ONLY this type of porn. I also recently discovered a letter he had composed a few years back to another man asking him to “hook up,” stating that my fi- ancé had had a one-night stand with another guy and really wanted to do it again. The letter also states that my fiancé had a girlfriend, and since “discretion is very impor- tant” to him, he could only hook up when she was out of town. I can deal with somebody being bisexual. I have bisexual fantasies myself. However, I can’t deal with someone lying to himself and to me, and being unfaithful. Sadly, I can’t really make this guy confess to me that he is bi. When I tried, he simply told me, “You are so blind.” What does that mean? I really don’t want to dump the guy. I love him. My question is, I guess, what the hell do I do? I feel like a crazy bitch supreme trying to get this out of him, but it’s impossible not to Dan Savage offers sex advice on a weekly basis in his nationally syndicated column, Savage Love. He currently serves as the editorial director of The Stranger, Seattle’s weekly newspaper, and is the author of four books. think about. — Bitchy Girlfriend A: There’s nothing to be confused about: Your fiancé is very clearly bisexual. Gay men just aren’t into chicks-with-dicks porn; that’s a genre that appeals exclusively to straight/ straightish/bi male viewers. So why can he be open about his liasons with a complete stranger—that dude he sent the letter that you “discovered”—but not with you? It’s a tired cliché, I realize, and I shy away from it for that reason, but in this case the shoe fits: Your fiancé has a bad case of the internal- ized homophobias. He finds it easier to be open with someone he doesn’t care about and is unlikely to see ever again precisely because he doesn’t care about that person and isn’t going to see him again. If you or the other people in his life he’s close to knew, he fears you would see him as damaged or inferior because that’s how he sees himself. So, yep, a bad case of the internalized homophobias. He’s not entirely responsible for contract- ing this malady — our homophobic culture is the disease vector here — but, as an adult, he is responsible for working through it, for overcoming it, for being truthful with himself and the people he claims to love. If he can’t be honest with you—the snoop he claims to love — about his sexual orientation, and if being cheated on is deal breaker for you (and he will cheat on you), don’t marry him. — Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) at thestranger. com/ Oct. 14, 2010 O-Town Scene 31

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