Readers must wonder why I seem to be so cynical about the US political environment. I wonder about that as well. Am I just grumpy? An old coot? Perhaps, but I think the reason is that I come from the perspective of one who is an uninvited guest, and not a welcome one, in society.
Being gay or lesbian in this society is like being the being the black date invited by a white guest to a cocktail party, let’s say in 1970. They might be treated politely by most, pointedly ignored by some. They would certainly be aware that not a few resented their presence even if they were no longer free to call them the “N-” word at the party. And only recently protected by civil rights laws – and dependent on often reluctant officials to enforce them. They would have been crystal clear that the base of laws of the country were meant not to protect them but to enslave them, and the recent changes were at once profound but also quite fragile.
So the YouTube videos of the Sarah Palin and John McCain supporters who say they couldn’t touch Barack Obama without gloves, call him a terrorist and such – well to me the hatred is clear. And I know if the crowd is racist, the pitchforks are out for the sodomites as well. And when the churches are allowed to give tax-exempt money to roll back marriage rights in Califorrnia, I know if it’s successful more is on the way.
And who knows where it will end up? After all, I’m just an uninvited guest in this increasingly intolerant society.