I am livid. I just responded to an author who had posted the following text in a discussion of social justice for an oppressed minority: “Be grateful. This is a very good time and place (the US and the West, generally) for you. The govt supports you. Academia supports you, the cultural opinion makers support you, rogue judges support you at the expense of the Peoples’ will. So gays, stop your whining. You have a very good thing going, and more angry rhetoric and upthrust fists (in the air, I mean) put you past the point of diminishing returns. Through your overreach, you are making enemies you don’t need and otherwise wouldn’t make.”
I don’t even know how to process the small-heartedness of that attitude.
If you want to argue that homosexuality is a sin, fine, do that. I will refute you. In fact, argue anything you please, or anything you believe to be right. But regardless of your particular emotional response to or opinion of homosexuals, do not suggest, do not suggest for one moment that homosexuals have reason to be “grateful.”
Speaking here as a straight man, a religious man, and a married one, and one who is passionately a believer in the sanctity of marriage (though sometimes I wonder if I and certain pundits mean quite the same thing when we say that), what on earth are you talking about, when you say that gays are “whining” and should be “grateful”? Gay men and women should be grateful that they cannot visit their life partners’ hospital beds? That in some parts of the country they can’t raise children? That in some parts of the country they are at risk for being beaten and left bleeding on a barbed wire fence? For being raped repeatedly because a straight man decided to “convert” them into heterosexuals? Should they be grateful for a society that constantly judges them as inferior citizens? Should they be grateful for not being permitted to marry in most states of the Union? Should they be grateful that many of the producers of culture — such as the self-styled “award-winning novelist” who posted this — blithely, repeatedly dismiss their appeals for justice and for basic human decency in condescending and patronizing terms?
In the name of God, exposing injustice is never, ever an “overreach.” Challenging popularly-held untruths and making invisible, culturally sanctioned evils visible is never “whining.” If you believe otherwise, then I grieve for you, and hope fervently that some day your heart for your fellow human beings is a larger, more God-shaped heart.
Stant Litore is a novelist. He writes about gladiators on tyrannosaurback, Old Testament prophets battling the hungry dead, geneticists growing biological starships, time-traveling hijabi bisexual defenders of humanity from the future. Explore his fiction here. And here is one of his toolkits for writers, and here’s another book where he nerds out about ancient languages and biblical (mis)translation. Enjoy!