Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We're Better Than This

In yesterday's post, I wrote about the opportunity we have to change our experience as gay people by changing our perception and our resulting actions. Here's a perfect example of how we can do just that:

At the risk of giving this more publicity than it's already received, Advocate.com reported on Friday that Victoria Jackson, who performed on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" from 1986 to 1992, wrote an op-ed piece for WorldNetDaily.  Among other things, she said last week's kiss on "Glee," between Kurt and Blaine, was "sickening."

Today, the Daily News on Advocate.com included a segment of video from "Showbiz Tonight," in which Jackson defended her position as a Christian, quoting Bible verses, connecting homosexuality with immorality, and claiming there are no safe programs on TV for her teenaged daughter to watch.

As you might expect, Jackson's comments generated angry reaction from gay people and those who support us.  Many took what Jackson said personally, commenting she's a has-been, her voice is irritating, and calling her a nutcase, a sow, and a bitch.  Other comments went into much more detail, attacking her, her version of Christianity, and her interpretation of the Bible.

In other words, gay people did what they always do:  overreacted and went for the jugular.    

Here's where we went wrong on this matter:

1).  Advocate.com should never have reported news of Jackson's comment, or included a video allowing her to justify herself.  Many other publications, online and otherwise, including WorldNetDaily, with no LGBT affiliation, are fine places for Jackson to express herself, if they so choose to report it.

I don't see the point of giving Jackson a forum in a publication that's supposed to support and celebrate what's special, unique, and noteworthy about LGBT people.  So we can become angry again over the same issues thrown in our faces countless times in the past?  So we can attack Jackson and make ourselves look like fools?

To me, giving her this forum is the equivalent of African-Americans giving white supremacists an opportunity to spew their hate.  What's the point?  Why do it? Who does it serve?

2).  We should never react the way we typically do unless there's a direct threat to our safety, our welfare, or our rights.  In the grand scheme of things, will Jackson's comment mean anything to us? Will the fact she thinks Kurt and Blaine's kiss was "sickening" change my life?  Will it change yours? Of course not.

Tomorrow morning, we'll get up just like we did this morning, and we'll go about our lives like we always do.  Over time, circumstances for LGBT people will continue to improve, just like they have for decades, and Jackson's comment will have no bearing on that.

So why do we pay attention to dreck of this nature?  Why do we allow someone like Victoria Jackson to get to us?  Is this really a battle worth fighting?

During the final year I worked for a major financial institution in Canada, I heard an expression continuously.  Especially for those of us who were in positions of authority, it came up when we complained about all the changes we had to adopt and sell to our staff, all the pressure we were under, all the unrealistic expectations of us.  And that expression was this:  "It is what it is."

So it is with people like Jackson.  They have always been there, and they will always be there.  They will always believe they're on the right side of God.  They will always take a position of superiority based on their understanding of Christianity.  And they will always think it's in our best interests they change us.

Just like everyone else, gay people want to be accepted and liked by everyone? Wouldn't that be nice if it could happen.  But it won't.  Not as long as there are people like Jackson.  So why bother trying? What's the point?

I see a lot of time and energy wasted when we succumb to that knee-jerk reaction toward people like Jackson.  Why not focus our precious time and energy on something constructive, something that will do us good, something that will elevate us to a higher place.  

You can take the gay experience to the next level--one of greater consciousness, greater personal awareness, and greater fulfillment--by ignoring the Victoria Jacksons of the world.  Their opinions don't mean a damn.  We're better than getting angry and sending hate.  You know it, and I know it.  So let's stop doing it and get on with what's really important.

No comments:

Post a Comment