The Pro-Bullying Lobby
Let’s cut the bullshit. They’re losing, and they’re losing the next generation even faster, and they know that a public school system where everyone knows gay kids growing up and it’s not a big deal will be the last nail in their coffin.
By “they” I mean the pro-bullying lobby, the people who have fought for twenty years not to address bullying. The AFA and their homophobic cohorts resist efforts to stop bullying, because as a group some of the people most affected by bullying are LGBT students. When I went to high school, there were no gay straight alliances, and nobody was out except to a few friends, and that was in a very liberal part of the country. The queer kids were afraid to come out, in large part because of the fear of bullying, and the certainty that they would get no support. That has changed; not as much as it needs to, but a great deal.
Everything the homophobes have worked for, everything they had believed they achieved, is slipping away from them before their eyes. The Supreme Court decided in 1986 that states could outlaw sodomy, but reversed itself in Lawrence in 2003. A clear majority of Americans, and of current and former armed forces personnel, want to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. A poll even showed a majority for marriage equality. (Ignore the headline, which says it’s an even split. That’s for whether the Constitution currently contains such a right. A majority said that is should.)
Homophobia has so little future that even high profile conservatives like Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter have recognized it is a bad business to be in and have jettisoned the anti-gay groups, much to the latter’s shrill dismay. The rift has beeen exposed partly because a new Republican group, GOProud, insists on doing it the street and frightening the horses, questioning whether the antigay stalwarts or the economic and foreign policy conservatives wear the real mantle of conservatism. Since I’m against both sides of the conservative split, I root for casualties, and the whole thing is schadenfreudelicious! More on that here, and really all over the place at The Blend, where Pam’s coverage has been both indefatigable and gleeful.
The perennial antigay screamers’ old tactics don’t work very well anymore. Just yesterday, Bryan Fischer said of Glenn Beck: “Glenn, Glenn, Glenn: if special rights are given to people just because they want to use the alimentary canal for sexual purposes, no social conservative will be able to criticize homosexual behavior on biblical or moral grounds without running the risk of legal punishment.” And Pam Spaulding had the same reaction I did: isn’t be worried about alienating all the het folks that like anal sex with talk like that? That stuff used to work, but now it doesn’t. Anal sex alone isn’t going to get much “ick” reaction out of a crowd unless that crowd is over sixty and churchgoing — and even then it depends which church.
They see a future where open homophobia is as unacceptable as open racism, and they apparently take little comfort for the stubborn tenacity of structural disadvantages and covert biases. They see the future coming, they see history moving forward; and we all know that Buckley said the conservative’s job is to stand athwart history and shout, “stop!”
They know why they are losing. They are losing because the attitudes are generational. Young virulent homophobes are in short supply.
Their answer is tactically obvious: they have to try to encourage more homophobia at younger ages. They have to prevent young people from coming out in their early teens, forming their own peer groups and being seen to be happy. They need to use the social structures of teen life to enforce conformity to a heterosexist hegemon. They need to shut up the antibullying activists, and get those bullies back to beating up the queeny boys, the dykey girls, the gender nonconformists; marginalizing them by brutal force in the great public school tradition while the administration looks the other way.
And if they can, they’ll support their political platform on the broken psyches and bruised and sometimes dead bodies of those kids; acceptable losses to them. They always say they want to protect the children, but that’s just another way of using the children. They always use the children. There are no nice, polite hate movements. Hate movements always, and especially in their last throes, require and use the methods of monsters.
But this tide does not roll back, and if they stand their ground they will drown. Good riddance.