Disingenuous fear-mongering about the “gay agenda”
September 13, 2011
I was recently alerted to this video’s existence via a Facebook post by a conservative Christian associate of mine. It was created by CitizenLink, a Focus on the Family affiliate.
It’s more of the same message we often see from “pro-family” organizations: that “parents” (read: heterosexual Christian parents) should be “concerned” (read: alarmed) about “homosexual indoctrination” (read: teaching kids that they shouldn’t regard gay people as horrible, immoral monsters) in schools.
For what it’s worth, I know that there are at least a handful of gay activists out there who do have a disdain for heterosexuals and do want special treatment for their sexual orientation (I know this because I met one). With a little bit of dressing up, this fringe element serves as a handy strawman for anti-gay activists to reference in videos like this. Don’t be fooled. The vast majority of homosexuals just want to be who they are without being treated like freaks. That’s your real “gay agenda”.
If you don’t want to sit through the whole thing, skip to 6:48 for the part that really made my blood boil.
“. . . it is clear that these kids are struggling.”
Around the 7-minute mark the show’s host plays a clip from a “tolerance” video promoted by a gay advocacy group. In the clip we see teenagers giving their candid perceptions of their own gender identities, followed by the host and her guest reacting with thinly veiled disgust. They no doubt picked this clip thinking that it represents the worst of the gay indoctrination that students face, and I personally saw nothing wrong with what that clip depicted. What exactly is wrong with boys not acting masculine? Girls admitting that they’re not 100% feminine? More importantly, what evidence is there that these kids are “struggling” any more than any other teenager struggles with life?
Of course, that’s a rhetorical question. I know that the people who are alarmed by the blurring of boundaries between gendered behaviors feel that way because it demolishes two immutable categories that they’ve constructed in their minds. “Men and women are fundamentally different, even without counting the genitals and physiological differences, and should always behave as such, and you’ll never convince me otherwise!” says my social conservative strawman.
What’s really damaging is the idea that there can’t be middle ground in gender issues, that you’re either a manly man, a womanly woman, a girly gay boy, or a butch lesbian. No room for bisexuals, or even heterosexuals who exhibit personality traits of both genders, exists in this mindset (let alone trans- or intersexuals!).
An admonition for conservatives who aren’t anti-gay
I understand that there are plenty of economic conservatives out there who don’t have a problem with anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity so long as they’re productive citizens. I understand your sentiment that gay advocacy is intruding on public school curriculum with programs like those described in the video, and likewise that lawsuits for the same cause are frivolous and that government intervention on it is excessive. I don’t completely agree with that sentiment, but I understand where it comes from.
What secular conservatives should understand is that much of the left-wing sentiment backing this type of aggressive advocacy was forged by the backlash from social conservatives against those homosexuals who have “come out” over the past few decades. Gay rights activists built up this momentum while fighting a culture war for their right to exist in society. Tell the religious zealots who have hijacked the Republican Party to stop fighting culture wars and focus on the economy, and you won’t have to listen to this senseless debate any longer.
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About the Author: Matt FossMatt Foss is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in International Studies, and currently studies computer science there part-time. He is a member of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio and the Secular Student Alliance. He writes an opinion blog at Honest to Godless and is also a contributor for Skeptic Freethought.
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