I have often heard the complaint “why are we still hearing about this? For the love of God, shut up already. I am so tired of hearing about gay rights.” This sentiment has led to the contemptuous term “the gay agenda,” used by evangelical pastors, politicians, and pundits. There seems to be a perception that the LGBTQ community is an evil force bent on indoctrinating the world and convincing everybody to become “one of them.” This ridiculous and childish misconception has led to many attacks by people who are so weary of hearing about it that they feel threatened by the mere mention of social equality. If you are one of those people, I urge you to thoughtfully read what I have to say. Allow me to explain to you why the fight for social equality is here to stay.
First of all, I must say that the idea that LGBTQ people are dangerous predators is reminiscent of something straight out of a conspiracy theory. Evangelical pastors like Jack Hibbs and Scott Lively are routinely given platforms from which they teach that homosexual men are pedophiles, rapists, and savages. By viewing LGBTQ people in this way, they remove humanity and victimize an entire human community. These views portray their victims as base, instinctual, incapable of human thought, cognition, compassion, or empathy. They assume that the entire LGBTQ population has lost whatever it is that makes us human, and are in need of salvation. The misunderstanding required to make such claims is so extreme that I sometimes wonder if those making them are even aware that there is a world outside of their own. I have said it many times before, and I will continue to say that human beings have been viewed this way many times in our history. The most poignant examples of this, as we all know, were during the days of slavery in the US, and of course Nazi Germany.
The above view is of course a major contributing factor as to why this fight must continue, but now on to the primary reason why the protests and outcries continue. It’s very simple, really. They continue because the abuse continues. How many times do we have to stand up and demonstrate injustice? How many times must we offer evidence as to where active discrimination is happening? How many times are we going to have to protest human rights abuses only to have the perpetrators rewarded with honours like the Olympic Games? The list goes on and on, and the conversation surrounding it must go on also. Things will not get better by putting the issues back into the closet. Change has never happened by letting a problem sit silently while everyone ignores it and goes about their day-to-day, and the major issue here is that fear is the day-to-day norm for many LGBTQ people the world over. There is no good reason to shove this problem aside. If you feel weary of the discussion, ask yourself why that is (and be very honest with your response. Don’t worry, only you have to make peace with the reality of how you feel. Nobody else has to know).
Yes, the fight for social equality must continue. The white, heterosexist, male-centric culture that still dominates much of the world has had its day; and it is time for that to end. A lot of people may not like it, but paradigms of superiority have not worked for the human race. It is time for the Age of Equality, and the discussion is just getting started.