Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

Solidarity Gestures and Rejection of Solidarity


Projection gets in the way.

A growing number of straights are including vows of solidarity with gays in their marriage vows. Some gays are offended by this.

One of the largest mistakes that the feminist movement made was to reject gestures of solidarity from men.

Solidarity and support comes in many forms. And so does bad manners. The small gestures would have been called “Consciousness Raising” back when I was a teenager in the 1960s. Every bit of consciousness raising that can be offered should not, in my opinion, be rejected.

Before I accepted my own twisted sexuality, I liked talking to gay guys. For one thing, I could trust them not to hit on me. Then one of them labeled me a ‘fag-hag” and guess what came of that? I stopped talking to gay males. A year later, I had an English class with a conspicuously effeminate gay male. He sat down next to me and I got up and moved away from him. Jamie assumed I was homophobic until a month later when I punched a football player in the face to make him let go of Jamie. Rescuing Jamie was probably one of the best things I did in High School. We had a long talk about the ‘fag-hag’ label that Lonnie Kincannon had slapped me with the previous year.

Jamie helped me get over my feelings of being rejected by the gay community. I spent nearly every lunch period with Jamie talking about science fiction and fantasy. He was very well read and one of the few who knew the genre as well as I did.

Ten years later, as I was coming to grips with my own bi-sexuality, I ran into that ‘fag-hag’ label again and the bigotry of it made my stomach clench up. This time it was not directed at me and it came from a pair of lesbians.

Jean had agreed to ghost write a book on gay graduates of Harvard Business School. She handed me the marked up transcripts of the book to enter into the computer so that the interviews could be turned into chapters. Within those transcripts were page after page of this pair joking and complaining with other gays about the ‘fag-hags.’

I was appalled. In all of my life I have steadfastly refused to have or accept a double standard of behavior.

Bigotry, whether it comes from a member of a minority group or a majority group, has no place in a world that seeks true equality. Allowing any single person to get away with bigotry serves only to create an exchange of oppressors, not an absence of them.

Bigotry is part and parcel to a refusal to accept or a denigration of those small gestures. Not everyone can make large ones. But every little bit of solidarity, when assembled together, can make for a larger package. Because it is not possible to see into the hearts of others, it is not possible to know how deep or shallow those gestures are.

It is better to accept them all, in case you might be rejecting an ally; than to reject them all because you might be accepting an person who does not truly mean their words.

If I had not been able to rise above my reaction to the slurs that Lonnie, a gay man, had tossed in my face, Jamie would have been severely beaten up by that pair of football players. Granted, I had the element of surprise in my favor and I knew how to fight, but still two large males…. I know what might have happened, but I didn’t stop to think.

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6 comments on “Solidarity Gestures and Rejection of Solidarity

  1. thevern
    September 3, 2008

    I posted this over on SL a while ago, I still stand by my comments.

    Black, white, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim…… Forget the race, sexuality, religion and colour, above all look at the person who stands before you…

    A human being and an equal.

    There is good and bad in all. It’s 2008 not the dark ages, there is no place for all these “ism’s” and phobia’s. Take the time to get to know someone before judgement is made purely on what you’ve seen or heard about them. People have a right to be themselves but respect has to be earned. I guess I just want to say don’t just judge someone because they may be different to you. (Well, I know what I’m getting at!)

    Sermon over.

    I’m sick of the repulsive world we live in, sorry, I’m sick of the repulsive people that live in this world! 1000’s of years of evoloution and here we are…. still savage.

    Vern.

  2. Kody Boye
    September 3, 2008

    Remind me not to get on your bad side. You’ve got guts if you’ll punch someone in the face, lol…

    Well, that, or you were just pissed off. I’m sure if someone pissed me off enough, I’d punch them too.

    The ‘fag hag’ thing is stupid. Why can’t people be friends with whomever they want? Is it REALLY That big a deal to other people?

  3. cussedness
    September 3, 2008

    I like those sentiments, Vern.

    Kody, I was brought up to be a fighter. Mama did not approve of my losing or backing down from a fight. She once put a stick in my hands after I lost a fight with a boy from across the street, and sent me out to hit him with the stick.

    My life would have been far more difficult if I had not fought back. A lot of the kids thought I was crazy, but it kept them from picking on me.

    That same football player, who I hit to rescue Jamie, later decided to get even with me in art class. He stuck his hand out and walked past me, smacking me in the face as he passed. I jumped up and hit him with my chair. It would have turned into a major brawl, except that two other guys grabbed him and the teacher tossed him out of class with a detention.

  4. Kody Boye
    September 4, 2008

    OMG A CHAIR?

    If I ever get into a barfight, I want you there with me. It’d be fun to watch you kick ass. 😀

  5. cussedness
    September 4, 2008

    the women in my family are berserkers. I’m nothing compared to what my Mama was like. She stood a fraction under four foot eleven and weighed about ninety pounds and growing up I saw her cold cock a guy who was six foot plus. amazing woman when she lost her temper.

  6. Kody Boye
    September 5, 2008

    Do you accept jewlery with human bones, or tribal paint made of blood? 😉

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This entry was posted on September 2, 2008 by in Janrae Frank, memoir and tagged , , , .

Janrae Frank

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