Saturday, December 03, 2011

When It Comes to ABCs of Free Speech, LGBT Group Deserves an F

Homosexuality was once known as The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.  No longer.

Now homosexuals never shut up about themselves and their predilections, and it’s the rest of us who dare not speak its name – unless you want to be called a lot of names yourself.

Mayor-elect of Troy, Janice Daniels, is getting pounded for a months-old comment on her Facebook page referring to homosexuals as “queers.”

The city's newly elected mayor on Friday said she won't apologize for a Facebook status update she wrote five months ago referring to gay people as "queers," saying she was speaking for herself when she wrote it and she has a First Amendment right to use the language she wants.

On June 25, the same day New York voted to legalize gay marriage, Janice Daniels posted an update on her wall, "I think I'm going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there."

Even though the update was written in June, on Friday more than 205 people shared it on their own Facebook pages, many referring to Daniels as homophobic and bigoted. (“Troy mayor won't apologize for 5-month-old Facebook status”).

From what I’ve been able to gather most of the small brouhaha on Friday seems to be coming from a single source, a homosexual spokesgroup called Equality Michigan:

"We are shocked and appalled and call on the mayor to apologize, and to endorse a nondiscrimination ordinance in her city that protects gay and transgender residents of Troy from the harm that such language breeds," the group wrote on its Facebook wall Friday afternoon.

Good luck with that effort.

Daniels didn’t actually do anything to anyone, nor call for the doing of anything to anyone. What she did was express opposition to homosexual marriage, and use the term “queer” where most Americans, responsive to our decades of operant conditioning, would naturally use the adjective “gay.”

Daniels’s critics, such as the executive director of Equality Michigan Denise Brogan-Kator, aren’t finding it so easy to demonize Daniels for saying “queer” when, as Brogan-Kator had to admit, “many LGBT people do use the word ‘queer’ as ‘a way to reclaim a word that has historically been used to hurt us, by the majority.’”

I’ll say they use the word. In academia the term is quite at home. There’s queer theory,” useful in the study of literature and philosophy for raising “questions about our ‘socially constructed’ categories of sexual identity.” There are also “queer studies,” available in all kinds of university “LGBT/Queer Programs,” both public and private. The Harvard Gazette proudly reported on the dean’s decision to appoint a director “to coordinate resources and develop programming in support of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer (BGLTQ) undergraduates on campus.” Harvard also has a "Queer Resource Center."

The University of Central Arkansas, showing they’re just as smart as Harvard when it comes to stringing letters of the alphabet together, has a resource that “serves the GLBTQQA (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied) community.” We don’t know yet if UCA’s campus speech codes have been used yet to expel any rambunctious students for using the term “questioning” with ill motive towards a member of the GLBTQQA community.

But it’s clear enough that both the Q-word and the Q-letter are completely A-OK when used by the MSWs and PhDs catering to the LGBT, BGLTQ, and GLBTQQA communities in the USA.

In fact, on June 25, the very day of Daniels’s Facebook remark, an article appeared in New York’s Gay City News under the headline, Queers Should Focus on Arab World and Iran, Not Israel.”

Then why is Daniels being called a homophobe, a bigot, and (the worst thing the Detroit Free Press can hurl at her), “a longtime activist in Michigan's tea party movement”? (“Troy mayor on defensive over gay slur”).

Because, as Brogan-Kator explains, when homosexuals use “queer,” they’re “reclaiming” the word “from the majority who have used it, historically . . . to hurt us.” That wasn’t Daniels’s intent, says Brogan-Kator, which apparently is how Brogan-Kator and her self-righteous friends  justify condemning Daniel’s use of the adjective as shocking and appalling.

And how does the LGBT community know what Daniels’s intent was? Well that’s simple: because she opposes same-sex marriage. Do you think any of these people would care if Daniels had written “Yippee! Now queers in New York can get married!”? Because Daniels opposes same-sex marriage she’s automatically defined by the LGBT community as a homophobe, a bigot, and probably a Christian religious nut. Saying “queer” has nothing to do with it. That’s just a handy excuse to go after her.

“Queer” is either a bad word or it isn’t. If the LGBT-BGLTQ-GLBTQQA community takes so much pride in reclaiming the word to define themselves, they have absolutely no business criticizing anyone for using it as a synonym for “homosexual”: that’s all Daniels used it for on her Facebook page.

I hope Daniels doesn’t apologize. She has done nothing to apologize for.

1 comment:

Wendy Woodley said...

Your title ("When It Comes to ABCs of Free Speech, LGBT Group Deserves an F") deserves an A!!!!