Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What Has Happened to Tolerance and Diversity in the Gay Community?

For those who read this blog, you all know I never get into politics with regard to my personal political beliefs. I'm not a politician and I'm not running for office. I write fiction and my goal is to entertain people...readers...regardless of what their political or religious beliefs are.

If I write about politics in my books, like I did sometimes in the Virgin Billionaire series, I balance conservative views with liberal views. One of the interesting dynamics between Luis and Jase in the VB series is that Luis is a very liberal gay man and Jase is a very conservative gay man. And they fell in love and lived happily ever after.

And that's how it works in real life, too. Not all gay men and women are liberals, and not all are conservatives. Personally, I have not embraced the Q in LGBT yet, and I'm not sure I ever will.

Even though I don't agree with my ultra conservative gay friends, I still respect their views and I don't shun them because they are conservatives. And when I see this happen, I have to wonder whatever happened to tolerance and diversity within the gay community.

This past weekend Tony and I went to a BBQ at a friend's house and the topic of politics came up toward the end of the evening and I gave Tony a look and said, "It's time to go home and feed the dogs." Dogs are a great excuse at times like this. No one can fault you for taking care of them. Only this time the dogs could have waited and it wouldn't have killed them. This time I wanted to get out because one of my ultra liberal gay friends started in on politics and I saw one of my very good conservative gay lesbian friends ready to explode.

And she did explode, and I'm glad I wasn't there to see it. But what truly bothers me is that she's not allowed to have an opinion and everyone else is. She believes in all the things my liberal gay friend believes in as far as equal rights go, but she's more fiscally conservative. I'm not a conservative, and yet I value what she has to say. And she's not always wrong. What bothers me even more is this e-mail she sent me about how she feels. She wasn't addressing me personally. She knows I respect her opinions. It was a mass e-mail to many people who haven't been respecting her opinions. Frankly, it's starting to cross into bullying.

Don't send me any political jokes please. I have no intention of reading them.
I'm sick of the double standard of let me tell you all about my choice but I don't want to hear about yours.

This is a truncated version of the e-mail, but you see where I'm gong with this. While I don't agree with everything she says, I do believe she has a right support any political candidate she wants to support. And I respect her for doing this.


Anonymous said...

Tolerance does not have a political direction. Tolerance is realizing we agree with some and disagree with others and being OK with it. What I see among many so-called "tolerant" people is an "I'm right and you're wrong" mentality which is actually intolerance. If anything "we" are an intolerant society regardless of political persuasion. For example, calling people bigots and homophobes because they oppose same-sex marriage happens all the time, but the fact is that some Christians do oppose gay marriage, but are not therefore homophobic. It is their right to express that, but the response they get is histrionic. Imagine if we all just put it out there and told the truth: "I am an intolerant person. I don't tolerate..." because we ALL have things we don't tolerate. "Intolerance" is neither a positive nor a negative. It only becomes negative when one inflicts that on another person. It can be a positive if we are fully aware of how we are intolerant and realize it is a filter through which we see and process. That is a form of liberation actually.
Matthew Darringer

ryan field said...

This is one reason why I stay out of it all. I happen to believe that all politics is corrupt, calculated, and designed to create intolerance in order to divide people. If that wasn't the case we would see more bipartisan politicians. And we don't see that.

JoeM said...

While I agree the way you relate your opinion on politics is key I do think political conversations are important and I have to also say that the gay community has and continues to be attacked by the "right" and the Republican Party has endorsed those attacks. Of course we are angry. If me speaking out against this makes me "intolerant" then so be it. I will never "tolerate" being treated "less than" simply due to my orientation. For the gays and lesbians who define themselves as "socially liberal" and "fiscally conservative" you may want to figure out what is more important; your basic human rights or your wallet. To me it is crystal clear. To those saying those who oppose same sex marriage aren't necessarily homophobic or bigoted I challenge you to define the person who feels black people should still be at the back of the bus as anything other than a racist. It's the same thing.