Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Truth is that I am a Pissed-Off American

There is nothing about the McGreevey situation that fails to induce a string of epithets so vile as to embarrass the most blue comedian spewing from my between my clenched teeth like so much spittle threatening to drown anybody in front of me. In short, everything about the New Jersey soon-to-be-ex-governor's circumstances induces contempt and loathing in me.

The entire fracas is "chicken or the egg" in regards to wrong and right. Our societal norms and values are still sufficiently misalinged to the point that many gays and lesbians feel the need to hide their sexuality or worse pretend they are straight. American law offers no protection to gays and lesbians in the workplace; being queer is sufficient cause to fire someone. And while many Americans probably wouldn't vote out an open gay man or lesbian, being out certainly adds an extra struggle to getting elected in the first place. Relgion, of course, plays a huge role in this. While debate rages in our churches over the place of the homosexual, most religious leaders condmen and ostracize us.

I still find it hard to understand the public fear against homosexuals and the stigmitization that accompanies this fear. I struggle with how people can justify the way they treat sons, daughter, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. when they find out they are gay. So the American stage is set and ready for such a opera.

Still, the actors are not absolved from their roles. Simply and crassly stated, McGreevy let his dick rule his brain. Whether he put a lover in a position he was unqualified for or sexually harassed his unqualified appointment, he chose to allow his gonads to overrise common sense, professionalism, and respect and love for his wife and family.

And, returning to societal norms and values, what a condemnation of our culture and judicial system that Cipel could, for all intents and purposes, blackmail McGreevy, ostensively for being gay. This also speaks to McGreevy's apparent lack of ability to judge character. Talk about a bad trick.

Again, however, McGreevy put himself in the situation, through one method or the other. And this perhaps is what angers me the most; the complete and total abdication of personal responsibility until the moment he was metaphorically caught with his pants down. Where was the responsibility to his citizens, his state, and even more importantly his wife. I have much sympathy for men who feel the need to get married because of family or societal pressure. Simultaneously, I have zero tolerance for these or any other men who then cheat on their wives. If you need a beard, then your beard deserves to know prior to the marriage. I have actually heard that some women willing enter into a marriage with a closeted man, knowing that he will find sex with other men (and presumably they will not have sex as husband or wife). If that's what you need, go find it. If you don't know that's what you need, then you need to either honor your vows or make other arrangements with your wife.

Finally, a few "fuck you"'s are in order. Fuck you, McGreevy for your proclamation that"At a point in every person's life, one has to look deeply into themirror of one's soul and decide one's unique truth in the world. My truth is that I am a gay American." You say it as if you are out and proud; as if you have been soul searching and come upon some great truth. You were about to have your entire personal life ripped apart; otherwise, you never would have come out. You would have continued to be an adulterer and presumably making appointments according to how hard the guy made you.

McGreevy earns a "fuck you" for proclaiming gay marriage, while under the cover of the closet, as having a "detrimental impact" on his state. To his credit, McGreevy signed into law a domestic partnership act for the state, one of five such statewide laws in the country. This is still no excuse for speaking out some vehemently against gay marriage.

And lastly, I award McGreevey an honorary "fuck you" for the general timing of his scandal and exploits, giving homophobes an example to point to when arguing against gay civil rights and marriage as well as justifying gay stereotypes of being promiscuous and sex-crazed.

Societal norms, as explained above, also earns a de facto "fuck you." Cipel, for being a low-life blackmailer merits a "fuck you." (If Cipel's claim had merit, he would have persued legitimate routes of complaint.)

The HRC comes close to earning a big FU for promoting the fact they helped McGreevey in his press announcement. I have no problem that they advised him, since their advice seemed to be sound; namely that McGreevy should point out that intrinsically being gay has nothing to do with his resignation. However, I question their motive for announcing their tenuous association with him. Other than letting other closeted politicians know that they can help when they are outed and scandal ensues, what is the profit?

Lastly, fuck the press for latching on to this as a GAY affair. It's not sufficient to simply announce that the governor of New Jersey was having an affair that is resulting in his resignation. Every headline I saw in print or television blared that this was a GAY affair; providing certainly a more salacious bent to the whole thing. Hey, politicians have affairs all the time, but how much more tantalizing and tawdry is it because it's with another man? Thus proving that we still have a long way to go before society as a whole sees us as something other than perverts, sex-fiends, and/or abnormal.


lmdenton said... scared me a little bit ...and not to be all english major but in the first paragraph you can't have a "lesbian man." but it's just a typo and you seem really angry so i'll just be quite. i love you

GA - Keith said...

Well, strong feelings! And really good points, although I will have to stick my tail between my legs and sulk a little over berating those who get into marriage and then are not true to their vows. Though I think it is less justifiable today, 20 or 30 years ago denying, struggling, hating yourself and hiding, were more of a component of being Gay than was pride. I married at 21 in 1984, because of all the pressure from those around me against my homosexuality, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that one's vows would be one of the first things to go out the window as your made-up life starts crumbling down around you.

That said, though McGreevey leaves a lot to be desired in the integrity department, he has done more to put 'Gay American' into our lexicon than anything I could have done (or, maybe HRC did read my email about the need to use terms like 'Gay American' when discussing our issues). We now hear journalists, commentators and politicians more often referring to our LGBT community as 'Gay Americans,' rather than 'Gays,' which I believe helps us. Was McGreevey's mess the best way to get it there? Perhaps not, but it is one of the good things to have come out of this "Fuck You Award" winning group. And maybe the other good thing was that a few more people saw how repressing Gay men and Lesbians can destroy lives -- however complicit those involved are considered to be.

Sorry for the long comment post, but it's been awhile: Welcome back!