Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The LGBT Community is Not Required to Earn Their Humanity

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky.
Sometimes the same theme drags itself across my threshold several times in a month. Eventually I snap and have top rant about it. Well this has been dragging itself around for a hellaciously long time and is getting on my very last nerve. Actually it's been kind of a rough few weeks with a large series of cluelessness dragging across those last nerves. Including repeated annoying incidents of people demanding I do/say/think/be something in order to encourage people to accept GBLT equality.

I have spoken before about Equality and Justice being things that are owed - not things that are given. When straightness concedes our humanity and our deserving of equality and safety that is not a gift or grant - it refraining from maintaining a wrong. You don't thank someone when they stop hurting you.

So, I say again, if you fight for GBLT rights or even make pretty speeches for GBLT rights - you are not giving us gifts and presents. No, really.   
This means I do not owe you anything.

Not just "gratitude."

It means I do not have to praise you, exult you, genuflect to you or thank you. My humanity is a given. Accepting me should be normal not noteworthy

It means I don't "have" to be your fan. I don't have to listen to your music or buy your CDs or watch your film or TV show. I don't have to patronise your shop, buy your products, wear your clothes. 

It means I don't have to give something back to you because you acknowledged my humanity. Basic human decency is not owed a reward.

It means I don't have to support you when you do something silly, I don't have to like you when I find you unlikeable, I don't have to laugh if I don't think you're funny and I don't have to be your friend when you're a stranger.

If I fail to do any of these things I am not being disrespectful and I most certainly am not being ungrateful.   

And, on that note, I will not BUY my humanity from you. I will not work for you to have my humanity acknowledged and I will not justify my humanity to you.

I don't have to work for your charity, attend your church, give you freebies, say nice things about you or otherwise give time, money or labour to your for you to acknowledge my humanity.

I don't have to prove myself a good person, I do not have to justify myself, I don't have to maintain a code of conduct, speak softly, be polite for you to acknowledge my humanity. I don't have to "reach out to you" or encourage you or attract you or direct any pleas your way.

I don't have to explain myself to you, I don't have to provide lengthy self-analysis for your perusal. I don't have to answer personal questions. I don't have to tolerate personal questions. I don't have to submit my life

I don't have to pander to stereotypes, I don't have to live a certain way, I don't have to refrain from living a certain way, I don't have to fit your ideal of what I should or should not be. I don't have to play for your amusement

I don't have to condemn every bad thing done or said by a GBLT person ever. I don't have to play "good gay/bad gay" with you. I don't have to chide my own people or police my own.

For that matter - I'm not going to excuse you either. I don't have to take into account your background, your culture, your age, your religion, your upbringing as some kind of justification for your homophobia, as some kind of excuse for your homophobia or as some kind of reason why I should have to work to prove my personhood to you. I am a human being as such I am worthy of your respect. This is not an advanced, complicated concept. 

In short, I am not in debt here. I am not asking for gifts. I am not working to "earn" my humanity. I am gay and I deserve equality, justice, acceptance and respect. SIMPLE AS. End of story. 

If you need something from me to accept that, if you need me to do something for, to, with or at you for you to accept this then you are a homophobe. Pure and simple.