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X-Men and liars

X-Men and liars


The governor of Kentucky is a liar. I think there's no other way of describing a man who makes antigay discrimination legal and says, on the same day, "My administration has set diversity as a priority."

Allowing antigay discrimination, he added, "levels the playing field" for people seeking state jobs. Apparently he believes African-Americans and women were being denied state jobs because the queers were taking them all. I guess there are no LGBT black people or lesbians of any color in Kentucky.

Ernie Fletcher is a Republican, an ordained Baptist minister, a bigot, and a liar. Does he think anyone is believing his double-talk?

The scary thing is, I do think he's reaching people. And not only other Republicans, Baptists, bigots, and liars. I bet this crap somehow makes sense to a lot of regular, basically good people--people who have long been conditioned to accept the demonization of the evil, overprivileged gays, none of whom they think they know. They'll file Ernie's lies away in their minds as further evidence that the gays don't need any "special rights." Then they'll get on with their lives and not think about it again.

They certainly won't be making the connections The Advocate is in this issue, between LGBT lives and superhero myths. When X-Men: The Last Stand opens, you can be certain even Ernie Fletcher voters will be rooting for the mutants. When the plot twist about curing their mutations comes up, they'll think, How terrible that anyone would want to take away the very characteristics that make Wolverine and Colossus unique. How terrible to want them to be ordinary.

Americans have a remarkable capacity to celebrate difference in shallow, symbolic ways while at the same time voting for politicians and endorsing laws that oppose real diversity. Movies about the triumph of misfits and mutants and aliens are enormously popular, and their fan base includes the very people who shake their heads at local news reports about vocal LGBT activists or pro-immigration demonstrations. Love those X-Men, but what's with all those damned homo parents wearing rainbow leis to the White House Easter Egg Roll? And those darn illegals...

Fictional diversity? Fun! But not in my backyard.

Everybody wants to imagine himself an X-Man: better than ordinary, blessed with special powers, fighting for what's right. But fighting for conformity and uniformity is the antithesis of "X-ness." Want to believe you're special? Then let other people be special in their own way, even if you don't understand or approve. If they're not hurting you or anyone else, leave them alone. Celebrate them, even.

Otherwise, you wind up like Ernie Fletcher, holding fast to a twisted, unchristian, inhumane point of view that makes you sound like an idiot, endorsing discrimination while talking about diversity.

Yes, I'm picking on Kentucky's governor. Name-calling, even. If I'm demanding tolerance, doesn't that make me a hypocrite? No. Because here's the exception that proves the rule: The one thing we don't have to tolerate is intolerance in action. If your actions hurt other people--for example, if you issue an executive order to allow the state to fire gay workers just because they're gay--you forfeit your right to be tolerated.

Say what you want, believe what you will, but start throwing punches or antigay laws in my direction, I'll fight back. Just like Wolverine. But without the cool claws.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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