Conservatives Against Homosexuals
The recent rise in attacks against gay people in the US confounds me and doesn’t at the same time.
For confounding: the year is 2010, homosexuality has been de-criminalised for years, gay personalities are in the news, Gay Pride marches are a part of the national calendar, gay clubs sit cheek by jowl with straight ones at least in some parts of some cities. Against confounding: the rise of religion and conservatism.
Conservatives at core do not warm to homosexuals. They pretend to for many reasons: to appear modern and progressive, to win votes, to qualify as tolerant employers, to avoid losing friends and sons and daughters and so on but fundamentally and at heart they believe that homosexuality is evil and against nature. Thus, I have never understood why some gay men flock to the Republicans in the US or to the Tories in Britain. Do they just hate themselves they need to go to the enemy for expiation of their “sins”? Or is it that they believe in a right-wing economy (read: non-communist) and they believe only conservatives can steer public finances in the right direction? Or is there a secret plan by the Gay High Command to infiltrate the Right and engineer its metamorphosis from within? Dunno. What I do know is that we won’t be participating in any economy, left or right, if we are muffled and killed off by a fascist homophobic right-wing establishment. I think gay men and women tend to forget how good we’ve had it in the last couple of decades. We think we’ve been accepted by the mainstream. Afterall, we have the pink Pound and Dollar, we have our steady stream of fag hags and straight men who feel increasingly comfortable around gay people, we have Elton John and now we have gay marriage. But the real fight is yet to come if we don’t stand fast to defend the rights won by those who went before us; those who put their careers and lives at risk to champion rights for gay folk that are equal to rights for everyone else. If public opinion turns conservative (as they are wont to do when nations feel besieged as they are now economically) then things are likely to get nasty before they get better. The rise of religious fundamentalism in the West as in the United States and in the East will lead us back to the political barricades. I do fear that the rise of conservatism under any guise (Restoring Honor, Family Values etc) spells trouble for the gay community. Trouble we must confront directly if we wish to live with dignity and honor.