People I’m Tired of: Part 4
Straight people who tell me about their gay friends.
Like, when some of them think that I’m just being persnickety, and not recognizing how awesome and wonderful and special they are for being an ally, and so they think they should tell me that they have dozens and dozens of gay friends who love them! And those friends aren’t mean to this straight ally like I am.
Whoa. Whoa. Hold up. Hold up for a second. You know other gay people? I thought I was the only one! I’ve never in my life met another gay person. I didn’t realize they were out there. And… You say… That gay person disagreed with me? But, I thought if we were gay, we shared the same hive mind, and wouldn’t develop separate consciousnesses until the prophecy of Cher was fulfilled.
A fun twist on this is when older, straight, self-proclaimed allies tell me about how bad things were for their gay friends in the 80’s, so I should just be happy now. Because I have no idea how bad it was.
Oh my God, you’re right. Whenever it’s possible, but not actual, that things could be worse, we should never concentrate on making them better. We should just be content. By that reasoning, my not having bludgeoned you to death is an accomplishment! Because that’s certainly worse than what I’m doing right now, so things could definitely be worse. And since things could be worse, you don’t have to be so intent on making me “better.” Go on, now, and be content with our relationship.
Whatever’s left of it. Because I’m not so confident that we’re friends. If I’m just some stamp you put on your neat card (The progressive card, the NALT card, the hipster card), I really don’t want much to do with you.
See, here’s the big irony. You’re arguing that you cannot possibly be wrong about something – cannot possibly be subjugating LGBTQ* folk – because of your proximity to LGBTQ* folk. And you’re giving out this litany of names of people who you saved from AIDS or something, which, in my mind, is kind of using them for your own benefit. They exist as nothing else than a card to play in an argument. Their identities are compromised because you want to prove how much you don’t subjugate such people. By doing such, you subjugate your “friends.”
I’m also confused why somebody would think playing that card does anything, given that a good portion of the general population is LGBTQ*. Why would you think that knowing somebody who identifies as such is so special? It’s statistically improbable that you wouldn’t. It’s statistically improbable that Christine O’Donnell wouldn’t. It’s statistically improbable that Fred Phelps isn’t. (Ooo! BURN!) Can you imagine in the 1920’s a bunch of men going around saying “I can’t be discriminating against women: I have a MOTHER!” So does everybody else, Sugar-pea.
This is even more ridiculous when you consider that proximity is not only assured, but is pretty much ineffectual. How many white people had black servants taking care of their children, but believed in segregation? How many men were married to women, and fathered daughters, only to be completely against women’s suffrage? How many LGB folks are there that resent Trans people for complicating their desire to assimilate more fully into a straight-approved, gender-rolled society?
In the end, playing your gay friend card is ineffectual.
It’s also really annoying. Take it out of the deck.