Look! A cute doggie! Awww don’t you just want to pet it? It’s so cute and fluffy and friendly. Just like the gays, in fact! Aww I love the gays.
Facetious, certainly, but this awful and patronising attitude (hello, Neko Case) seems to be far more prevalent than it ought to be and it is currently unavoidable whenever the issue of gay marriage rears its head. Right-on liberal icons write about ‘the gays’ like they’re some homogeneous mass of stylish and sassy accessories. All women must have a Gay Best Friend, after all – a topic Moran is so enamoured with that she returns to it in this awful interview. Loving the gays is some liberal badge of honour and it both feeds into and is fed by the ‘gay is good’ idea. Twitter yesterday was awash with the ‘heroic gays/awful homophobes’ dichotomy and endless trite reiterations of ‘only homophobes have a problem with gay marriage!!’ (which, ya know, isn’t actually true)
Obviously the ‘gay is good’ thing grew out of real pain and adversity. It had a purpose and there are still contexts where it will have a purpose. In the UK in 2013, however, the pervasive idea that gays are cuddly little pets who you can pat on the head to show how right-on you are should be confined to the dustbin. It’s embarrassing and stupid. Of course many gay people are all too complicit in allowing themselves to be patronised; there is still a little fuss whenever any straight celebrity says something nice about the gays (it will without fail be reported on Pink News). Gay magazines still have an unhealthy affection for straight men who say they like gays while posing in their pants while the idea beloved of broadsheet journos that ‘gay’ represents something “exciting, underground, pioneering, fearless ” is clearly an easy ego-boost if you’re that way inclined (egotistical, not gay). For all of the offence taken at stereotypes and presumptions, many gay people are happy to indulge in them ranging from the widespread ‘gay people are more sensitive/liberal/funny/etc’ to the ridiculous. And of course, we allow niceness about the gays to be used as a nice polish for the images of companies and politicians.
Personally, I don’t want to be reduced to a mere conduit for flattering the self-image and ego of ‘liberal’ types. I don’t want to be complicit in becoming a one-dimensional person and I don’t want people to think that they deserve special props merely for not being a wanker. You deserve scorn for being a bigot, sure – that’s because you’re not supposed to be a bigot. It’s kind of a given these days – we’re thankfully largely past the days where people would feel alright advertising the fact that ‘some of their best friends are black’, an attitude which is now rightfully mocked. If you’re not homophobic, great – all it means is that you treat me as a person, not that you automatically treat me as some lesser being who should be simperingly grateful that you’re being pleasant. Because guess what? There are people who are gay who are utter gits. There are people who are gay who are racist, sexist, violent, stupid, ignorant. There are people who are gay who do terrible things. And everyone who is gay has good points and bad points, good days and bad days. Shocking, huh? So if you are one of those people who feels the need to make a song and dance out of how cool you are with people being gay or a gay person who rewards this behaviour….if you retweeted Neko Case thinking ‘awww’…if you think that Andrew Garfield is amazing cos he wouldn’t mind if Spider Man was gay…you’re kinda part of the problem when it comes to achieving ‘equality’.