Monday, May 14, 2007


Last week some asshole(s?) vandalized RU12, the queer community center. My initial reaction to the news was anger and confusion. Why do something like that? Throwing bricks through a window in the dead of night suggests cowardice. Throwing them hard enough to break windows and damage the interior of the building on their way down suggests a really strong arm, or some mechanical advantage. Perhaps I assume the destructiveness indicates insecurity on the part of the perpetrator because I’d only resort to violence if physically threatened. In the end, there is no reasonable reason to do something like that. I won’t try to find one.

But I will be angry. It pisses me off that the folks who work in the center can’t feel safe. It pisses me off that RU12 has to divert time and money from their work at building community and keeping queers safe to clean up after such jerks. It pisses me off that there needs to be a concerted effort to keep queers safe in the first place.

Saturday, Bill O’Reilly cornered Bill Lippert (a state legislator) in the statehouse and proceeded to act like, well, a school yard bully. Ostensibly, the ambush was because Lippert doesn’t back Jessica’s Law, a mandatory minimum for sex offenders. A glance at Lippert’s legislative legacy, however, reveals (shockingly) that he is as ready to throw the book at sex offenders as the next guy. So why the vitriol?

Not surprisingly, Lippert is a lightning rod for slime balls. Personalities like O’Reilly are motivated by ratings. Apparently some people get off on watching their acolytes sling accusations of moral degeneracy at, well, anyone to the left of Reagan. That Lippert is a gay man who *gasp* works for gay rights just adds to the fun.

Yup, you guessed it: I am still pissed off. Why is it still okay to lash out at people who seem different? I know I am not alone in my anger at these incidents. Clearly, however, such actions are still accepted by some. Otherwise they would have stopped long ago.

You could say there is a silver lining. Such blatant hostility startles homos like me,
people who have happened into a safe bubble in which they can be (almost) as queer as they please without fear of retribution. Maybe it even angers us to the point of action. But is that really a silver lining? I’d like to believe that the Bill Lipperts and RU12s of the world don’t need to be harmed for me to be motivated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sort of like - but then extremely different - me finding out there was a list going around at work containing the names of queer employees who parents of some of our students wanted to have fired because on their sexual-orientation. It is often pretty easy to forget up here in VT that, apparently, being queer means you're less suited to work with children, or that - apparently - trying to create a safe space and information center is still controversial enough to inspire bricks through windows. I'm not usually riled up (although maybe I should be?), but those incidences got me feeling pretty angry myself.

perhaps we should move to Canada. It's only a couple hours north and if we go to Ottawa we can skate on the canal...

Oh wait - is running away NOT the right attitude?

Am I supposed to be taking action then?