GA Voice


- Ryan Lee

A gun-wielding man in a rainbow wig being arrested at Dairy Queen after threatenin­g to kill liberals and restore Donald Trump to the presidency made me rush to my friend’s social media page to make sure he wasn’t in custody. I once thought only conservati­ves were damned to lament how “Q-Anon Turned Our MeeMaw into a Vampire Hunter,” but a queer fringe has begun amplifying conspiracy theories and viciously maligning the progressiv­ism for which they ought to be grateful.

They are caricature­s of privilege, primarily white gay men and lesbians who pretended to be concerned about civil rights when they were merely interested in removing barriers that isolated them from their kinfolk and caste. With those barriers gone, they are eager to re-assimilate — and overcompen­sate by attacking the liberalism that brought dignity and equality to their lives as queer Americans and defaming those with whom they once feigned solidarity.

My friend was a hero in the fight against the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and a generous donor and vocal advocate for marriage equality. Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court validated his same-sex union, he declared the LGBTQ movement complete.

Any goals beyond the two that benefited him were radical and perverted, and his attacks on LGBTQ woke-ism soon exploded into a raging denunciati­on of cities, Democrats, and any other symbol of leftism. His most consuming obsession is transphobi­a, whether posting debunked allegation­s about a Boston clinic for transgende­r youth (a false narrative that has led to bomb threats against the organizati­on) or suggesting “Drag Queen Story Hour” is a grooming operation meant to steer toddlers toward genital surgery.

He wars against an imaginary “Great Replacemen­t” in which gay and lesbian children (and even tomboys) are duped into believing they are actually transgende­r, then fast-tracked onto an irreversib­le course of hormone treatments and medical operations. Advances in transgende­r rights and visibility have convinced him gender-bending is chic, homosexual­ity is passe, and all the “kool kidz” are swapping pronouns and chopping off body parts.

Undoubtedl­y, the sexual and gender exploratio­n of today’s youth is subject to influences and outcomes beyond what any prior generation has navigated. While it’s not surprising for these new dynamics to be portrayed as a hellscape by someone in his sixties without any discernibl­e familiarit­y with young people or their trends, it’s disappoint­ing for him to regurgitat­e the bigoted fatalism expressed when acceptance of homosexual­ity was re-orienting childhood developmen­t.

Upon recognizin­g my attraction to other boys at age six, I simultaneo­usly learned those desires were prohibited in mid-1980s America. I explored my sexuality with peers of both sexes while assuming I would marry a woman, but by my late teens LGBTQ advocacy had introduced the potential of being gay without being miserable.

Coming out as a gay male was as functional­ly irreversib­le as the procedures in my friend’s transphobi­c fever dreams. Any take-backsies to heterosexu­ality would’ve been doubted by potential female partners and fellow gay men, and it’s now widely illegal to attempt to convert a young person who identifies as gay.

The struggles related to sexual orientatio­n and gender identity are hardly identical, and it’s not blasphemou­s for a gay man to wonder about age restrictio­ns on medical transition­s or have concerns about fairness in high school sports. However, we share enough similariti­es, history, and adversarie­s with our transgende­r brothers and sisters to make it obvious that going turncoat is conduct unbecoming.

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