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Queer Talk: After All the ‘Right-ful’ Judging, Some Peace and Tranquility Would Be Nice

Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.

Okay, so I sound like an “old hippie,” who happens to be queer: but I really could use a few minutes of peace and calm and quiet, maybe sitting by a softly babbling brook, because I’m really, really tired of the loud and obnoxious babbling coming from the religiously rigid realm of the Right.

It’s no surprise that Tony Perkins, of Family Research Council, and other individuals and organizations that fall into the same general “traditional Christian” (as they define it) grouping, are using the very wrong violent actions of one man as another means for their never-ending attack on LGBT people, and those who support them. Floyd Lee Corkins, II, shooting a guard at the Family Research Council DC offices (see here) was, as has been said repeatedly, very wrong. Corkin’s actions do not, of course, characterize all LGBTs, any more than the latest in the long line of younger, white males, apparently heterosexual, shooters characterize all younger white heterosexual males.

But Perkins and others are on a roll right now. They had the big Chick-Fil-A event, with thousands showing up to show their support for Dan Cathy’s backing of anti-LGBT organizations. Of course Cathy and thousands have the right to hold and express their beliefs. And they were successful in doing so in a highly visible manner. On one hand, buying some Chick-Fil-A on one particular day isn’t exactly a life-changing experience. But I will say this: watching, or even just knowing about, thousands of people taking time to do something that was meant to communicate their condemnation of who you are isn’t fun. It isn’t just the one day fast food protesting the “gays” itself. It’s yet another in a very long, loud line of words and actions that, while you know they’re wrong, still takes yet another bit of energy from you.

Watching now, as Perkins and friends reiterate their judgments of me and all LGBTs, as well as our allies and supporters, is maybe a little easier because of its familiarity, but not much. By now, for me, my various responses — frustration, anger, exhaustion, concern, fears, etc. —are often for the younger members of the LGBT communities. But of course I’m concerned for all of us, and the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking about the “veteran” advocates of LGBT equality. We’ll “keep on keeping on,” but we may need to take a minute or two to work through another round of very loud, very public verbal attacks, before we get going at full force again. Which we will do … in addition to being annoying and a bit frightening at times, with every judgmental word, Perkins, Cathy, Fischer, etc., also provide motivation to keep working toward equality.

Right now, I wish some peace for all of us.

Some reading, if you’re inclined: Mark Potok, Senior Fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC: Family Research Council License-to-Kill Claim ‘Outrageous’; SPLC, Gays Remain Minority Most Targeted by Hate Crimes; Randy Potts, at Box Turtle Bulletin, Gang Style Chicken; Jeremy Hooper, at Good As You, Institute For American Values’ blog: ‘NOM further polarizes this ‘culture war’ and feeds into the cycle of aggression’, No labels. No claims. No editorializing. Just Tony Perkins’ record and ’ForTraditionalMarriage’: NOM commenter shows chillingly typical mindset; Zack Ford, at Think Progress, Bryan Fischer: SPLC Should Be ‘Held To Account’ For FRC Shooting; and Pam Spaulding, at Houseblend, The Family Research Council shooting and the impact of words and heads in the sand about violence.

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10 Responses to Queer Talk: After All the ‘Right-ful’ Judging, Some Peace and Tranquility Would Be Nice

  1. ladywalker68 August 18, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Right now, I wish some peace for all of us.

    Me too. Great quote and terrific post.

    Sending thoughts of Peace your way.

    • Joyce Arnold August 18, 2012 at 11:18 am #

      Thanks, ladywalker :)

  2. Taylor Marsh August 18, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Terrific sentiment to start Saturday after all that’s come down recently, Joyce.

    • Joyce Arnold August 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      I’m having conversations with several people about this same general thing … including that we really do need to take time, consistently, for some peace :)

  3. Antonio August 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    “By now, for me, my various responses — frustration, anger, exhaustion, concern, fears, etc. —are often for the younger members of the LGBT communities. ”

    You may not be as ‘physically’ active as you were in your ‘younger’ years…but just like Amy Goodman, DickGregory, Cornel West, etc…the resistance to the Powers that you exhibit now has to be done in a different light…a more “mature’ fashion…away from the battle field(although intimately connected)…in the manner in which the world has gone today………via information and communication. We need people like you who are willing to express and share their frustration, anger, exhaustion, concerns, fears, and everything else that helps remind us that this is not the freedom that we live and die for! And to write about it publicly in even more encouraging!

    “an “old hippie,” who happens to be queer”…………..is’nt it so much more honorable to refer to ourselves as something other than a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or some other corporatepolitical “label”…………..??????????????? :grin:

    • Joyce Arnold August 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      Antonio, thanks for contributing some peaceful, and powerful, thoughts of your own.

  4. Lake Lady August 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Joyce~ I know it can be very discouraging. The american taliban is at full throttle but keep in mind even their own children disagree with them.

    By all means find your babbling brook,daily if you can. I know the lake I live on gives me daily peace.

    • Joyce Arnold August 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      Lake Lady, thanks for your thoughts. And what you mention is one thing that really does give me hope — that “their own children disagree with them.”

      The babbling brook above is in Fall Creek Falls State Park, in Tennessee. It was one of many great places for escaping. I’m glad I took photos, and at least have the visual reminders). Of course, we can find such places wherever we are. Living on a lake would certainly be a good option :)

  5. newdealdem1 August 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    I’m a bit late here but I want to thank you for this post, Joyce.

    Okay, so I sound like an “old hippie,” who happens to be queer: but I really could use a few minutes of peace and calm and quiet, maybe sitting by a softly babbling brook, because I’m really, really tired of the loud and obnoxious babbling coming from the religiously rigid realm of the Right.

    I have lots to say about so many things political and not. Sometimes I am at a loss for words because the topic is so close to me and mine and it hits home so personally that I need someone’s words to speak loudly for me as you did with this post.

    Getting away from it all is something I think resonates with most people. I sometimes feel that Walden had the best solution but also realize that his is only a temporary one no matter how much i would love to go off into the woods somewhere for good, free from all the BS and noise and that tempation is great. However, even if Walden’s pond is only a distant dream, getting away from it all, all the crap, and hate and BS and other people is necessary for one’s mental well being once in a while.

    It’s no surprise that Tony Perkins, of Family Research Council, and other individuals and organizations that fall into the same general “traditional Christian” (as they define it) grouping, are using the very wrong violent actions of one man as another means for their never-ending attack on LGBT people, and those who support them. Floyd Lee Corkins, II, shooting a guard at the Family Research Council DC offices (see here) was, as has been said repeatedly, very wrong. Corkin’s actions do not, of course, characterize all LGBTs, any more than the latest in the long line of younger, white males, apparently heterosexual, shooters characterize all younger white heterosexual males.

    Yes, but that will never stop hate groups like “Family Research Council” and hate-mongers like Tony Perkins from leaping to those radical conclusions about an entire group as that has been his way since I’ve been aware of him and his hate group.

    There is a line from the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre’s play “No Exit” where one of the characters says to another “Hell is other people.” There is a part of me for which that line has resonated since I first read it. And, people like Tony Perkins, and that other paragon of tolerance and love :roll: Maggie Gallagher who spearheads that other hate group, “The National Organization for Marriage” fall into that category. She and Perkins have yet to show how my marriage and family cause their families to weaken and their marriages to dissolve. One has nothing to do with the other no matter how much they say it’s so.

    It goes without saying but I will that violence is anathema to me and I will speak up against that tactic no matter who does it to whomever and I’m sorry for that guard who was hurt and his family.

    But Perkins and others are on a roll right now.

    Talk about taking advantage and exploiting this rare event from one unhinged member of a community he despises and extrapolating it to all of us as if that will justify his groups active hate mongering against us and ours.

    But I will say this: watching, or even just knowing about, thousands of people taking time to do something that was meant to communicate their condemnation of who you are isn’t fun.

    No, it’s not fun. And, there are two people who post here who publically bragged about doing just that knowing we both exist here and are gay but yet that doesn’t shame them into keeping that to themselves. That pissed me off considerably and they both used the house of masquerades of “religious freedom” as an excuse for their prejudcies. I would rather they come right out and say what Perkins and Gallager believe and spew. That hate I can deal with because it’s out in the open instead of hiding behind the trojan trousers of “religious freedom”.

    Once, again, great post, Joyce. And, I hope you get away from it all even if only for a short while. Taking time to smell those flowers and hear the calming sound of a brook and hear the chirping of nature is all that one needs to recharge our hearts and minds to wash away the grime of other people and their hate.

    • Joyce Arnold August 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      I very much appreciate your thoughts, as always. In addition to the “get away” opportunities, sharing some good conversation is another big help :)

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong