An editorial: ‘Why Gay Liberation?”

The most confounding question a gay activist can be asked today is “Why is there a gay liberation movement?”. The most doubly confounding question is the same one, when a gay person asks the same question, and appends, “Why rock the boat?” to it. What is exasperating is that a gay person, in the America of Dr. David Rubin , who contends that all male homosexuals talk in falsetto voices, and that all lesbians are masculine, wouldn’t know why all the fuss. There are endless reasons why, but the best is because a gay person living in this country, has it pounded into her/his head (sometimes quite literally) that ‘you’re better oft dead’. Because the way you love is sick. That you are a second class citizen, and more power to those who do away with your likes. You are a child-molesting sex-machine, less than a woman, not a man, and you can’t love anyone for more than one night, and maybe not even then. That your very existence is against God’s law, that you live in con­stant “Boys in The Band” misery, that your mother (or was it your father) must have been domineering, and the best a heterosexual can do for you is pity. And that being gay is lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely.

Don’t fool yourself into believing that most Americans don’t believe all the crap they’ve been handed about homosexuals, because they do. The tragic fact is that a lot of gay people do too. So who’s gonna tell them different? When 1 was in high school, I read everything I could about homosexuals, and that wasn’t much. I found that I was sick, nothing more; that (being a male), I must mince, lisp, and flash a limp wrist, and nothing more. I was told by my guidance counselor how to spot a homosexual when I went away to college, because they’d try to molest me. I never read that Jonathan and David were lovers (they were), never heard about Sappho, was never told anything ‘adverse’ about Leonardo Da Vinci, because it ‘didn’t matter’, and when I wanted to do a paper for English Literature about Oscar Wilde, I was confronted by a red-faced teacher who said she’d be much happier if I did my paper on the Abbey Theatre. Who would have told me differently?

Where does it say, for the person just discovering him/herself that gay people can be sensitive, loving, well-adjusted people? When do they figure out that all the stereotypes don’t fit them, and there is no reason to live up to them? Who tells the joys of being gay, the.laughter that drowns out the sorrow?

This is why gay liberation. Because it is up to gay people to change the laws, the attitudes, the hatreds, for no one else will do a thing for you unless you push them first. No lawmaker is going to pay any attention to a homosexual vote unless that vote is sizable. No judge is going to consider the rights of a gay person until that judge has his eyes opened to the number of people denied their rights. Because it is illegal to be a homosexual, because people are being killed for being gay, here and now, and no cop is interested enough to find the murder(s) (read the ADVOCATE and rage). Because people still believe the worst stereotypes. Because you, as a gay person can be denied a job, loan, home, insurance (you name it, they can take it) due to your lovelife because things have to be changed, and gay people have to claim what is theirs.

And it feels good!