Empty sails

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

GA Voice - - Out In The Wind -

Last week’s elec­tions, es­pe­cially the nondis­crim­i­na­tion ordinance fail­ure in Hous­ton, up­set me. But be­fore we deal with be­ing on the wrong side (again!) of a bull­shit way of get­ting rights for a small group of peo­ple (ref­er­enda), we need to make sure we don’t do in our com­mu­nity what oth­ers are do­ing out­side it.

I was skep­ti­cal when peo­ple pre­dicted it, much like when I was told just how good Adele’s new song would be, but it seems we did in­deed see the oomph of the fight for equal rights die with the mar­riage vic­tory.

In Hous­ton last week a nondis­crim­i­na­tion ordinance got an ab­so­lute thump­ing at the ballot box, some­thing we have seen mul­ti­ple times across this na­tion, but like butt-sex, it hurts a lit­tle ev­ery time, de­pend­ing on the sever­ity.

Texas may have a rep­u­ta­tion as Con­ser­va­tive Heaven, but Hous­ton it­self is not. So it wasn’t un­rea­son­able to think the good peo­ple of Hous­ton would fol­low in the foot­steps of other ma­jor US cities like Miami, At­lanta, In­di­anapo­lis, New Or­leans, Phoenix, St Louis, Salt Lake City, Charleston (the one in WEST BLOODY VIR­GINIA EVEN) and state-mates Austin and Dal­las.

Yet again, the en­tire slate of or­di­nances was pushed aside to quib­ble over the sensede­fy­ing ar­gu­ment about which bath­room trans­gen­der peo­ple should be forced to use. I am not go­ing to lit­i­gate it here be­cause it is so in­cred­i­bly easy to Google, and also ridicu­lously silly, and ridicu­lously repet­i­tive and sup­ported by the worst peo­ple in the world. It is the Fast and Fu­ri­ous of gay rights de­bates.

To com­ple­ment the fact that peo­ple against us, who out­num­ber us, are still mo­ti­vated enough to go out and vote on that ba­sis alone, a bit of in­tro­spec­tion is also worth do­ing here. There is some vile pe­ti­tion do­ing the rounds across the back­wa­ters of the gay parts of the In­ter­net which calls for the Hu­man Rights Cam­paign and other gay rights or­ga­ni­za­tions to drop trans­gen­der peo­ple from the move­ment.

Why they both­ered in­clud­ing the HRC, which is do­ing a mag­nif­i­cent job on that front it­self, I don’t really know.

Maya An­gelou, who said back in 2000, “I’m con­vinced that the neg­a­tive has power ... It lives. And if you al­low it to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when the rude or cruel thing is said—the lam­bast­ing, the gay bash­ing, the hate—I say, ‘Take it all out of my house!’”

The LGBTQIA+ group­ing was not formed be­cause we are all the same thing. It is be­cause we are locked in sim­i­lar fights— we are ask­ing for the right to live as we please, rights that don’t af­fect any­one else. I spent the week rag­ing at the com­plete in­jus­tice of the Hous­ton nondis­crim­i­na­tion ordinance be­ing voted in a ref­er­en­dum, mostly by peo­ple who have no dog in this fight, and rely on the turgid inani­ties I ref­er­enced ear­lier. But we all need to direct a lit­tle rage in­wards, to make sure we’re not do­ing to our­selves what they did to us.

“The LGBTQIA+ group­ing was not formed be­cause we are all the same thing. It is be­cause we are locked in sim­i­lar fights— we are ask­ing for the right to live as we please, rights that don’t af­fect any­one else.”

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