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Message to Antigay Fundies Who Insist They Love GLBT People

The sublime Ex-Gay Watch features a brilliant posting by Timothy Kincaid that tidily encapsulates my oft-hurled message to anti-queer fundamentalists. (For the purpose of this exercise, we’ll call these conservative Christians who oppose legal equality for gays and lesbians “fundies.”)

The story Kincaid addresses is about the Soulforce Equality Riders, a student offshoot of the nonviolent direct-action group. The Riders visit gay-unfriendly college campuses to spread a message of tolerance towardl GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender ) students. In March, the Riders visited Lee University in Cleveland, TN, where someone defaced the Soulforce bus with the words “fags mobile.” The activists weren’t left on their own after the incident; a number of thoughtful Lee students pitched in to help the Riders clean their vehicle. Turns out Mike Ensley of ex-gay ministry network Exodus International claims he was responsible for the fundie kids helping with the graffiti removal, something Ensley characterizes as proof that anti-GLBT hate doesn’t come from Exodus and its supporters.

OK, I’ll concede that helping the Equality Riders clean their bus was a righteous mitzvah. Good for them for helping out their fellow humans in a time of need. And I’ll even say thanks, because the helpful students earned it.

But.

As Kincaid explains in his published comments to Ensley, busting suds for queers doesn’t mitigate all the other ways in which followers of the Religious Wrong spread the hate.

Mike, let me give you a timeline for when I’ll realize that hate doesn’t come from you: When you stop spreading malicious lies such as all gay people were molested or had a poor relationship with their same-sex parent, that gay people do not have committed monogamous loving long-term relationships, and the myriad myths you propagate about the sex lives and “health risks” of all gay people. When you stop seeking to enact laws that would deny rights to gay couples that are taken for granted by straight couples, take away gay people’s children, and – in some states – incarcerate gay people for expressing their love to their partner sexually. And finally, Mike, when you stop lying to gay people about the methods, reach, failure rates, and agenda of the Exodus International. Once you’ve done that, Mike, get right back to us and we’ll let you know whether you’ve convinced us that hate doesn’t come from you. In the meanwhile, you’ll understand why I think that your “love the sinner, but destroy his life at every opportunity in every way” type of message is more likely to result in vandalism than in clean-up.

Bingo, and bravo! Listen up, fundies and “change” proponents, and I sa this with love: This message is not for Mike Ensley alone. And though it comes from Timothy Kincaid, it goes double for me: If what you do is love, keep it. You may not call what you do to your GLBT brothers and sisters “hate,” but trust me, its effects are the same as those caused by what most would consider love’s antithesis. And God knows, it feels like hate.

About NR Davis

  • http://www.alistreview.com Diane Ensey

    What? They do one good deed and expect a big pat on the back and to be told what good Christians they are? The key is standing up in church or wherever anti-gay rhetoric is being preached, and refusing to agree with the sermon.

    And, of course, in Ensley’s situation, not writing the sermon in first place!

  • RedTard

    You’re a hypocrite spreading way more hate than the ‘fundies’ you deride. Whenever you label someone with a word like ‘fundie’ or ‘racist’ or ‘homophobe’ think how you like being labeled a ‘nigger’ and see how it feels.

    Your epithets are more damaging and effective, calling one a nigger or fag just gets sympathy and makes them a victim in the eyes of the majority. Being labelled a fundie or a racist or a homophobe sticks to people and makes them suspect regardless of the truth. Maybe we should make fundie the new f-word.

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    Thanks, Ms. Ensey.

    Mr. RedTard, I can’t spread what I don’t feel. “Fundies” can be snarky, yes, but the word is essentially an abbreviation for the very long “fundamentalists,” which is a pain in the ass to write over and over again. God’s truth.

    But we are going to have to agree to disagree in general. It would waste my time and yours to spar. We both have better things to do.

    Must address one thing, though: Equating a name (sometimes derogatory, though not always) for what someone looks like or their ethnic makeup or their sexual orientation (conditions people generally do not choose) with a term (sometimes derogatory, though not always) for people who choose certain beliefs and expect others to bow to said beliefs is fallacious at best. Remember that it isn’t the fags who want to deny legal equality and equal protection under law to anyone.

    Perhaps those terms you bemoan are suspect for a good reason, Mr. RedTard.

    Of course you’ll disagree, and that’s OK. Let’s agree to disagree. Seriously. Peace.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I’ve always been grateful to the ex-gay watch. It’s a great blog that exposes a lot of the harm of the ex-gay community. This brilliant response shows ‘we don’t hate you, even as we work to oppress you’ is how it really plays out.

    In the ex-gay watch’s blog sidebar, there is a category of links called recoveries. I’ve got some on my own blogroll, they are the blogs of people who are surviving the ex-gay movement.

    Ex-ex-gays as it were, and their blogs are moving, tragic and often horrific stories of what life was like in the ex-gay community. I think the truth will eventually get out there to a lot of people soon.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    G-L-B-T-UR-D-A-Y NIGHT
    G-L-B-T-UR-D-A-Y NIGHT

    Sorry, I think it’s a bulky acronym. That’s my take.

  • nugget

    that’s all fine and good. But let’s not forget where the pendulum can swing. Redtard put it to you straight when he said that if you say the word “fag” or “nigger”, then you are immediately ostrasized and held in contempt by the vast majority of Americans (as one should be). Saying something like “stupid white males”, “crackers”, “white people are crazy”, will probably score you points at ANY major University in the United States unless you’re in an old south Fraternity or something. Hell, sometimes I feel like I have to apologize for being a white male because of what my “ancestors” did.

    On top of that, the road to openmindedness seems extremely narrow to us who are outside of the gay community. I’m not going to pretend like I enjoyed Brokeback Mountain, or that I loved the buttsex scene, or that that movie even deserved consideration for an oscar. Please. What do you guys who are in the in-crowd want us white straight males to do? Stop making gay jokes altogether forever? Stop using the word “fag”? Hand out oscars to gay rights activists? gay jokes are funny. They just are. Go into any male dormitory across this nation and you’ll find many a male joking around about gayness. Those jokes do not stem from “hate” or “closedmindedness”. They’re usually jokes that use a pivotal and gross butt-sex reference as a means of humor. I hate to break it to you guys, but that atmosphere ain’t gonna change. And gay guys of blogcritics, I’d have a beer with ya. No big deal I’ll be your friend and I wouldn’t make fun of you, but I still might tell homo jokes and laugh at the thought of unholy bum love.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Ceasing to use the word “fag” might be nice, yes.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I have no problem with most gay jokes.

    But consider this, nugget. Would you still keep up with anti-women jokes around women, (blonde jokes for example around blonde women) or do you refrain out of courtesy in those cases? If so, why the difference?

    However, this isn’t about gay jokes, this is about an anti-gay group who is actively working in this country to demonize the gay community, all the while insisting that they love us.

    You laughing at butt jokes is not offensive. I did too, granted it was in the 4th grade and right up there with fart jokes but nevertheless I laughed too. If it’s funny to you, laugh away.

    Why would you need to pretend you liked the buttsex scene? Who told you to like it? Seriously, from where do you guys pull these thoughts out of?

    I don’t think a lot of people understand the difference between toleration and approval. All we are asking for, on a societal wide scale is toleration. Since we are law abiding tax paying citizens, that should be within our rights.

  • MCH

    Ms. Davis;

    Re your no. 3 comment, very eloquently stated. Nothing like the sublime (#3) responding to the ridiculous (#2)…

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    Mr. Nugget, laugh all you want at queer jokes, but don’t assume that because you find them funny that others must. And we certainly have the right to think less of you for finding that sort of rot funny.

    You wrote: “Something like “stupid white males”, “crackers”, “white people are crazy”, will probably score you points at ANY major University in the United States unless you’re in an old south Fraternity or something.”

    And that sucks, IMO. And I have the right to think less of anyone who makes statements like the ones you make above and of colleges who embrace that sort of vile behavior.

    Steve S: As usual, spot on. (Although I hever approved of that kind of humor and never understood the allure of bathroom jokes, which is probably why I was largely friendless as a child.)

    Mr. Sussman: Many included in the community designated by the bulky acronym would agree wholeheartedly. Me, I prefer human. Equal human. SO much simpler.

    MCH: Thank you.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Oh God, you should have seen the acronym the gay pride organization at my old college kept trying to get us to learn — GLBTQIQSS. It was at this point that I was against equal rights for acronyms.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    The acronym is getting longer and longer. I recently came across, on the web, a group of grown children who were raise by gay parents, and some of them identify as queer even though they are straight. Meaning they are heterosexual, but they have endured enough of the discrimination and oppression that their family went through, so they identify as queer in THAT regard. They want an ‘F’ for family, to be added to the list.

    While we can roll our eyes at the growing length of letters, we should remember that every single letter signifies an entire group who feels ostracized, outcast and discriminated against, while committing no crime.

    The fact that the list is growing, rather than shrinking, would be testament to the failure of the anti-gay movement, I would think. Perhaps the growing number of letters serves as a call to all to stop the hatred and condemnation, for rather than healing, we can clearly see the opposite happening.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    …and unfortunately SteveS some are discriminated against even within our own community.
    Jet

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Oh wow, I just realized I go to Cleveland TN in June on business.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Matt, whatever you do, don’t whistle the theme from “Deliverance” with the window rolled down, while you’re there!”

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    Seriously.

    While acronyms are indeed mindnumbing after a while, I too think the growing number of letters appended to GLBT – we’ve come a long way since we all were just “gay” – is a sign that more and more people are tired of being treated under law and by society as second-class citizens. Indeed, we are a gentle, angry people singing / struggling / fighting for our lives – and more people are joining the struggle to enshrine real equal protection for all under law. That can only be a good thing. The more the merrier, as they say. And I’m all for an F for family.

    Loving the thoughts being shared. Thanks.

  • nugget

    points taken.

    Let me add that I believe that the Indigo Girls have done more for homosexual credibility in the United States than any rights activist or movie. they created great, honest art! to boot, they were lesbians! Their art was of a much higher quality and instinct than Brokeback Mountain could have ever hoped to be.

  • james

    so fundie is okay because its derived from a longer word? is nigger okay because its from negro?
    Are religious words okay like kike and towelhead?