The ridicu­lous re­li­gion bi­nary

Si­mon Wil­liamson lives with his hus­band in het­eronor­ma­tively-as­sim­ila­tive fash­ion in Athens, af­ter a year of sur­viv­ing ru­ral Ge­or­gia.

GA Voice - - Outspoken - By Si­mon Wil­liamson

One of the things I de­test most in the world is the gen­der sten­cils we’re forced into, rob­bing us of fab­u­lous things we could have spent our child­hood par­tak­ing in, like skirts and kiss­ing boys. The gen­der bi­nary is a bloody hideous tool with which our pli­ant so­ci­ety has been beaten, un­til re­cently.

But, dear friends, that is not the only bi­nary that drives me mad­der than that whis­pery way Keira Knight­ley talks. The sup­po­si­tion that our peo­ple can­not be re­li­gious an­noys me worse than a mos­quito bite on the scro­tum (we do some ad­ven­tur­ous gar­den­ing).

I am sur­rounded by Chris­tian ho­mo­sex­u­als in my life, and to the de­gree I know, they are very se­cure in both their faith and their lives. I am not go­ing to sit here and lit­i­gate what Chris­tian­ity and its spokes­peo­ple say about same-gen- dered peo­ple bang­ing, fall­ing in love with and ob­jec­ti­fy­ing one another, but it is quite ob­vi­ous that the two ideas are com­pat­i­ble to those who have thought about them.

Mike Huck­abee, who I’m happy to see is do­ing worse in the pres­i­den­tial polls than Chris­tian Slater is in movies, has re­cently gone on a hate binge about a rain­bow packet of Dori­tos de­serv­ing a Chris­tian equiv­a­lent. I’m not quite sure what he ex­pects, but if it’s a bread and fish fla­vor that lasts for 40 days and 40 nights, I’ll buy the thing for nov­elty’s sake. Huck­abee, in­cor­rect about so many things, has con­tin­ued his tra­jec­tory into a black hole of per­pet­ual wrong­ness by as­sum­ing that Chris­tians are some sort of in­verse of LGBT folks, cre­at­ing the per­fect open­ing for a pun sce­nario I choose not to ex­ploit about how Je­sus hung around with 12 men all the time.

This ugly turd of a sce­nario raised its pocked head when bas­ket­ball player Jason Collins came out, and some gnomic wind­bag on ESPN be­gan ex­plain­ing to the world in whom and what Collins was en­ti­tled to be­lieve.

Not only are our moral and sex­ual choices as LGBT peo­ple ar­gued about by peo­ple who are not us, and not only do we need to get the high­est court in the land to af­firm for us the rights of mar­riage per­mit­ted to ev­ery­one else, we are also told ex­plic­itly what our re­li­gious be­liefs are. Mike Huck­abee and this rup­tured tes­ti­cle from ESPN are try­ing to dic­tate which re­li­gions gay peo­ple are welcome in, tak­ing a job orig­i­nally meant for, you know, Je­sus and his col­leagues Muham­mad, Buddha and Vishnu.

When I lived in Lon­don I knew plenty of queer Mus­lims, and Bud­dhism is some­thing quite com­mon­place in the LGBT com­mu­nity nowa­days (thanks hip­sters). There are gen­uine Chris­tians, Mus­lims, Bud­dhists, pa­gans, wic­cans, Taoists, Hin­dus, athe­ists, ag­nos­tics, Jews and more who sit com­fort­ably both in re­li­gion and on top of a penis.

We are quite ca­pa­ble of work­ing out our own re­li­gious val­ues. The fact that we have to nav­i­gate a world that tried to undo us from child­hood means we’ve had our be­liefs tested more than Com­mon Core. When it comes to re­li­gion, we know what we are talk­ing about, be­cause we have been con­fronted so many times by a mal­leable media that loves to mag­nify ab­sur­dity.

We have ab­so­lutely no right to dic­tate the re­li­gious be­liefs of any­one else, or have them dic­tated to us. Gay, les­bian, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der broth­ers and sis­ters, can I hear a “Hal­lelu­jah”?

“When I lived in Lon­don I knew plenty of queer Mus­lims, and Bud­dhism is some­thing quite com­mon­place in the LGBT com­mu­nity nowa­days (thanks hip­sters). There are gen­uine Chris­tians, Mus­lims, Bud­dhists, pa­gans, wic­cans, Taoists, Hin­dus, athe­ists, ag­nos­tics, Jews and more who sit com­fort­ably both in re­li­gion and on top of a penis.”

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