In 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in NYC, a bar frequented by many fringe groups, including many of the city’s poorest homosexuals. NYC had laws on the books outlawing homosexuality in “public,” including private establishments such as bars. The Stonewall Inn had been raided before, but in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, something was different.
The patrons of Stonewall rioted against the police. (You can read about the Stonewall Riots, and what lead up to them, here.)
While there had been gay groups before Stonewall, they were mostly interested in teaching people how to blend in with society. Some protested employment rights, there were a few court cases, but mostly, the gay community lived in private and seemed to prefer it that way.
This weekend, indeed this whole month, gay groups around the country and around the world are holding pride parades. The reason these parades started were to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Riots which I, personally, think all conservatives should stand up and celebrate as a triumph of individuals seizing back their liberties from an oppressive government. Of course, they don’t. Why? Where has the message been lost?
Like all civil rights movements, the modern gay movement started off with pure intentions: you can’t dictate my lifestyle. In the 1970’s, disco queen Gloria Gaynor made famous a song from La Cage aux Folles about individual liberty that became the default song for every drag queen in the world: I Am What I Am
I am what I am
I don’t want praise I don’t want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it’s noise I think it’s pretty
And so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle
Why not try to see things from a different angle
Your life is a shame
do you can shout out I am what I am
I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the aces sometimes the deuces
It’s one life and there’s no return and no deposit
One life so it’s time to open up your closet
Life’s not worth a dam till you can shout out
I am what I am
I am what I am
Other than the glitter and the coming out of the closet lines, this is practically a clarion call to stand up for individual liberty and self-expression.
Today, the gay community is rife with classifications: Bears, Daddies, Twinks, Leathermen, Otters, Trannies, Lipstick Lesbians, Bull Dykes, etc.
What happened to being an individual?
Not only is one encouraged to classify oneself for the easy sexual predilections of others, the gay rights movement has taken on a politically correct all inclusiveness that has nothing to do with the right to self-governance of one’s own morality and behavior.
In the early 90’s, I attended a planning meeting for that year’s Gay Pride Parade. They were going to change the name, because it wasn’t inclusive enough. I believe it is currently called the LGBT Pride Parade, which I have no problem with.
But, one often finds groups like La Raza marching. Certainly, there are gay Latinos, but why does a group with a completely separate political agenda need to march in “our” parade? Because Gay Rights isn’t about individual liberty anymore; it’s about spreading the progressive agenda using minority status as a vehicle.
How ridiculous have things become? The same year I attended the meeting, the group NAMBLA was petitioning to march in the parade. NAMBLA is the “North American Man/Boy Love Association.” It’s stated goal is to end the “oppression” of consensual relationships between grown men and boys. Not “boys” in the sense the term is used in the gay community: an adult who is boyish. I’m talking actual little boys. 10 year olds!
That’s when I “formally” broke ties with the gay community at large. Anyone who pushes pedophilia is an enemy of the state. It’s one thing to argue the right for consenting adults to govern themselves, and quite another to legitimize sex with a minor.
Modern Gay Pride Parades are a mixture of scantily clad men dancing on floats to disco music and political messages. Democratic candidates try to prove how gay friendly they are by marching in the parade. The message is clear: I support your agenda, now it’s time for you to support mine, whatever that may be.
In the 80’s, when the AIDS crisis began, several gay groups sprang to prominence, the most notorious being Act Up. I was going to link to them, but they seem to have bifurcated and the message I got from them in the 80’s has been changed.
The Act Up moment I remember most clearly was when a speaker addressed an audience of people and flat out told them: If you don’t come out of the closet right now, then you’re not a good homosexual.
That’s right. Because of your orientation, you must buy into the political agenda of the day, otherwise you’re not welcome among our ranks.
The gay rights movement has drifted from its original purpose. In Madrid, Spain, the Pride Parade forbade an Israeli contingent over its stance on the “occupation” of Gaza.
While not strictly speaking a gay movement, the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco is a yearly event sponsored by the leather community. This isn’t about rights, it’s about a blatant display of sexuality. There are people parading the streets in leather gear, assless chaps and sometimes next to nothing. There are public demonstrations of whipping and flogging. This event is open to people of all orientations, but a large majority of the crowd is gay men.
And then the gay community cries out in shock and outrage when they’re labeled immoral by religious conservatives. “We just want the right to marry like everyone else!” Yeah, tell that to your boyfriend, the one dressed in a harness, a leather jockstrap and tied up to that tree over there.
The liberal gay rights movement stopped being about equality a long time ago. It has become a flagrant, oppressive attempt to push its political and moral views on everyone else. Not to be “equal,” but to be dominant.
Consequently, gay conservatives have become the “bisexuals” of the political scene; they get crap from all sides. From the right: Oh, if you believe in gay marriage, you must buy into the whole gay agenda. From the left: If you are a conservative, you can’t be a good homosexual, because you support the oppression of our people.
But the gay rights movement isn’t the only civil rights movement that has gone astray. Recently, feminists have come out against strong conservative women. Gloria Steinem recently claimed, in an interview with Katie Couric, that you “can’t be a feminist if you’re pro-life.” Amanda Marcotte, another leftist nutbag, claimed that Sarah Palin believes that women are stupid and doesn’t want to offer them a choice. (Read Lori Ziganto’s excellent assessment of modern feminism on RedState here.)
A female Democrat politician recently said that you had to “look up the skirts” of Republican women to see if they were really women.
Remember when the official motto of feminism was: the radical notion that women were people? Yeah, I bought that shirt, and I still believe in that statement of equality through liberty. But if I run across it in my collection of clothes now too small to fit me, I’ll burn it, because that is not what feminism is about any longer.
When I was in college, I remember reading about the early years of NOW, and how the organization was run by white women, with black women relegated to clerical duties.
Perhaps feminism was never about equal rights for women, but about equal rights for some women, with the rest of them subject to oppression. Just as long as that oppression isn’t by men, then it’s OK.
Feminism, gay rights, the civil rights movement of the 60’s: all of these started off with truly noble intentions. And every single one of these movements have been hijacked to further an agenda that is antithetical to its original purpose. These movements aren’t about freeing anybody; they’re about corralling so-called minority members and getting them to toe the party, progressive line.
No thanks. Not for me. I am a fully actualized American! I will pick and choose which social issues I support, and I will support them in my own way. And I will speak out against those I find are wrong. Even if I wanted to be a liberal again, I couldn’t for this very reason. I’m not welcome. Original thought, honest debate and the sharing of opposing opinions aren’t acceptable. Only conformity. Only minority-status identification.
I’ve read Madeleine L’Engle, and I’ve been to Camazotz, thank you. There’s no way in hell I’m going back. So, rather than go party with the progressive approved homosexuals this weekend, I’m going to stay home and read the Constitution. And realize it applies to all Americans, not just the minority ones.