Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We must listen to these voices.

Here is the latest of 160 comments left on my Youtube video documenting the gay protest at the Mormon Church in Manhattan:

civil union would be ok in my opinion. It would protect same sex guys from losing their assets, but marriage was criated God with the porpouse of having children...

At first read, I dismissed this comment as just another bit of homophobic stupidity. At second read, I focused on the fact that the commenter is OK with civil unions. That certainly lifts him out of the bigger pool of haters. I began to think that this is exactly the person our advocacy groups ought to be contacting. This is the man we ought to try to convince to expand his thinking.

As always, the comment is easily linked back to a Youtube user. The commenter's uploaded videos show us the simple joy a father takes in his young daughter. In one video called Daddy's little girl, he sings along with John Lennon's Imagine....

Dear Alexmetista, I hope someday your daughter will live in a world where these protests are not necessary, and even if you yourself don't see things just as I do, something tells me that she someday will. We can wait.

13 comments:

Atari_Age said...

That is a good point - the transition between rabit hate and understanding IS something like this.

Unrelatedly, I'm surprised you didn't point out the proper spelling of the sea mammal is "porpoise".

ewe said...

I disagree with you. This attitude of allowing same sex civil unions stems from a feeling of heterosexual superiority. I need equality not acceptance. I don't care if straight people accept me anymore than they waste time wondering if i accept them. I tolerate the current state of heterosexual hegemony because i am so open minded and spectacularly evolved. Yeah right! That statement begs me to tell myself to go stuff it. Double standards may exist but it is not acceptable to me.

Paris said...

I suppose you're right, but in my experience, when you discover something that you are passionate about - career, family, what-have-you - then you want everyone to have the opportunity to be as passionate about it as you. Not necessarily in the exact same way, but in their own way. So he's really excited about his little kid - how hard can it be to grasp that LGBT families are equally psyched about their little kids too and want to protect them too?

On a bitchy note, I hope he loves her enough to insist that she does better in school than he did. It's the information age, yo. Learn to type.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear Ewe,
Yes, we need equality and acceptance and an end to double standards, but in order to change the votes on things like Prop8 these are the men we have to reach. This is the world we live in. This is the dirt in which we are planted. Extract from it what you will need to bloom. I don't care if this man likes me or not.
Can't just ride rough shod over this portion of the population.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear A_A, ewe nd Paris,
His English is a tip off to where he has been in this world. It's an important clue for us, if we are to change the minds of men like this. You can't get all Oscar Wilde with this man.
Also, don't you guys feel the irony of the lyrics of the Lennon song that he is feeding into his daughter's head? That is the one reason I highlighted this commenter.

Anonymous said...

dear father tony, perhaps #8 would have been defeated with more thoughtful ads on acceptance with children in them.


Chubby Hubby

Alan said...

As Plank supposedly said about science, "Change happens one funeral at a time."

The majority of folks who oppose gay marriage are 65 and older. The majority of people 30 and younger are just fine with it.

We will simply outlive the bigots.

Y | O | Y said...

One of the most effective arguments in favor of Prop 8 in CA was that the state's "domestic partnerships" were the same thing as "marriage" just without the name. This allowed many folks who don't have a problem with DPs/Civil Unions to vote in favor of the amendment. They felt as though the were voting against the redefinition of the word marriage and not against gay rights.

sebastian said...

Politics is the art of the possible, and is built on compromise and coalitions. One seldom gets everything one dreams of, at least not in the early rounds of the fight.

I worked in state government, and many times saw academics and people who were devoted to a particular cause walk away from a fight sad because they had gotten most of what they wanted. They were too blinded by their own idealism to realize that, in political terms, they had just won 6 or 7 of their ten goals. Any state legislator, on the other hand, would be elated by the same achievement.

We must be realistic with ourselves before we can be effective with our opponents.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear Sebastian,
Having also worked in state government taught me what it taught you. Some processes have a timeframe of their own that cannot be adjusted and a road that cannot be straightened.

Doralong said...

Many large battles are won in small increments. And sadly I think the one that will ultimately win the war is attrition.

Homer said...

After being told that homosexuals and murderers were equal sinners, on election day, I have no tolerance for people pushing their homophobia onto me.

Birdie said...

I believe this man represents the most difficult demographic to sway: the parents of young children. This group divides into two camps: "I want my children to know and welcome everyone" and "Don't expose my children to that." Parents are fiercely protective on whatever issue they perceive negatively affects their young children. A man like he is needs to understand that his perceived threat is not in fact a danger. We must take him through steps that allow him to come to that conclusion himself.

Angry words, rallies, and chants are not effective tools for him; they are for those who need to be energized to action. Instead, he needs calm acceptance—of who he is, not his opinion. He needs to know someone who is gay, to understand the effect of his opinion. The stories of same-sex parents and the difficulties they face may sway Alexmetista.