LGBT People Don’t Have to be Nice

Once again, wise words from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.

It’s happened again. Well it’s never stopped
happening. Tumblr, where common sense goes to die and fail goes to breed
and thrive,
had a
rather reasonable post on what counts as allydom and what counts as
the actions of a decent human being
. And of course, we had a string of allies saying
how “meaaaan” they were and they’re alienating people etc etc
ad nauseum.

And then there’s Chris
Kluwe’s rather awesome response
to homophobic arseholery that should be embossed
in gold. And what happened? While most have cheered, I’ve seen people
gasping because of the swearing and disrespect. Really.
I think
his own words nicely sums that up
. Now I could even see the point on “cockmonster”
kinda, but swearing and disrespect? Seriously? Because the bigots bigotry
wasn’t already rude and disrespectful?

And, of course, in response to my criticism of
the raging bigots who keep occupying the equality’s minister’s seat,
I’ve been chided that I need to “calm down” and wait and
“engage” with the nasty homophobic bigots otherwise how will
we convince them to support us! Oh I am sabotaging us!

And I say fuck it. Yes I have been mean and nasty
which means, apparently, a load of people are now going to spit their
dummies out and no longer support GBLT equality.

Really I would question how much of an “ally” 
anyone is if they will decide that the entire movement of GBLT equality
– or, indeed, any equality movement – is no longer worth
their time or attention if one person who belongs to that group is unpleasant
to them.

Even beyond unpleasant – even if I were a rapist, a murderer,
a paedophile, a bad karaoke singer or someone who persistently knocks
on your door of a Sunday morning to try and sell you something – 
it is still patently ridiculous, enormously arrogant and exceedingly
selfish to dismiss an entire equality movement and an entire marginalised
group because one of them isn’t a very nice person. Really, this is
the bar you put on your support? This is the standard we have to meet
to be worth of equality? Absolutely impeccable behaviour from all of
us at all times?

This doesn’t sound like someone who cares over
much about equality or justice to me.

But, beyond that, I think being all kinds of unpleasant
is quite necessary to achieve true equality and to see who is actually

See, I want a equality, I want justice and in that
struggle I very much want straight people to support me. I want straight
people to have my back. I want straight people at my side. I even want
straight people willing to stand between me and the fire.

Full stop.

I don’t want a “but” there. I don’t want a “so long as” 
tacked on the end.

I don’t want people to support my rights – so long as I behave
I don’t want people to fight for my equality – 
so long as I’m nice and polite.
I don’t want my equality, my rights, my respect
as a human being, contingent on my playing nice and following certain
I don’t want to “engage” with people.
I don’t want to have a dialogue.
I don’t want to have to convince people I am deserving
of humanity.
I don’t want to BUY respect with praise and cookies
and headpats.
I’m not asking for justice, I’m demanding it.
Equality is not a gift to be given, it is a debt
that is owed.

I won’t “reach out” to people. I won’t police myself
to please people. I won’t justify myself. I won’t excuse myself.
I won’t conform to a measured level of acceptability. I won’t censor
myself. I won’t play games and jump hoops
Besides, you know when you get one of those bigots
who says “I have X friends?” I know we’ve all seen them and
I’ve definitely spoken about them before. But some of them aren’t
actually lying. After all, it’s depressing but we all know that every
equality movement in the history of mankind has those who are more than
happy to throw the rest of us under the bus. Internalised hatred, selfishness,
whatever the reason, we know they’re there and every community has
it’s words for them. Personally, I like “quislings” since
it’s a fun word, has sufficient history to be venomous and sounds
sufficiently silly to be dismissive as well.

But I’m not a quisling. And I’m not anyone’s 
“gay friend.” I may be a friend who happens to be gay, but
I will not be a gay friend. I will not be one of those who smiles when
you shovel shit at me. I will not be someone to play nice with oppression.
I will not say thank you when you smack me down. I will express myself
vehemently, angrily, passionately. I won’t excuse homophobia, I won’t
soft-peddle it, I won’t downplay it.

Because I don’t want to be a “gay friend.” I don’t want
to disrespect not only myself, but GBLT people in general by being the
“nice one” who “isn’t offended” or who “think
it’s ok”. I don’t – won’t – be used
as a weapon against people who share my marginalisation. And in this
straight privileged, heterosexist world that means I’m almost required
to say things that many straight people may find upsetting or, perhaps
more accurately, challenging.

Besides – have you ever heard the saying “if
you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention?” 
is important
. When the haters through bigoted shit then, sorry,
but raging fury IS appropriate. Not being angry dismisses the severity
of their actions. Being emotionless and calm can be an insult to the

I would like to see more anger, not more restraint.

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