In defense of homophobic people, we queer folks are pretty influential on society … Wait, no, that doesn’t comply with what I wanna say. Here’s the thing: kids are excitable – VERY excitable – and they pick up everything they see, hear or come in contact with. And we gay people, as you may know, are rather fabulous and stand-out-ish. When closeted, we blend in fairly well with other “normal” folks, but once we’re out … Mm-hmm, honey, we gon take over the world! We live some sort of an experimental, adventurous and “alternative” lifestyle. Everyone knows that, but when children – or young adults or mid-teenagers – see us, we fascinate them greatly. It just hit me today coz I saw a ton of kids at the ballet today – on stage and among the audience – and this middle-school/high-school boy on the subway.
The New York City Ballet’s dancing The Nutcracker; it’s a holiday classic performed during the holiday season in America’s most tourist-attracting metropolis, so it was crowded and parents bring their children – ages between 4 and 12, I presume. And, by the way, just why the hell is George Balanchine, the choreographer, more glorified than Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the composer, in the production? They advertise it everywhere as “Balanchine’s The Nutcracker“. Tchaikovsky wrote the music, bitches, and somebody else could’ve choreographed it. It feels so wrong to me. Maybe composers write ballets with a choreographer in mind, or choreographers commission ballets to composers. Anyways … I decided to suit up for the ballet and on the jacket I had two ribbons: the AIDS awareness red and the LGBTQ pride rainbow. I love them, their ability to symbolically deliver a message without me having to say a word and I decided to wear them also. And I also had nail polish on – black, silver and glitter (Christmas decorations in the dark of the night imagery kinda thing) – and I just got a flaming new haircut.
So I headed to the Lincoln Centre, just like that. It’s New York, and what not? So, I got a lot of approving nods and smiles from adults and senior citizens. Children – oh my god, I love children – they would stand and stare at me. When I notice them, I say hi and they say hi back. And they just keep staring. They’re so awkward and adorable. I’m pretty sure most 8-year-olds wouldn’t know why I have coloured ribbons on my jacket, but they can make something of my hair and my nail polish and how I carry/present myself. They like it or, at least, are curious – particularly because of the conspicuousness and non-conformity. I love the beady-eyed startled look on their little faces when I catch them staring at me. It’s as if they’re watching the Disney Cinderella when the Fairy Godmother does her bibbidy-bobbidi number. “How come this man in a full suit have colours on his nails? Woh!” I like that kind of attention, heehee! And another good example is the scene from the Nutcracker itself, when Herr Drosselmeyer brings out the Nutcracker. It’s a never before seen thing to them and they were so excited and thrilled to see what it could do.
On the way back to my place, on the subway later in the evening, I sat next to a 14/15-year-old boy with a skateboard, a backpack, an iPhone and a maths textbook. He introduced himself to me and showed me a picture of a friend on his phone, whom he claims to be an exact younger replica of me (visually). And that was surprisingly true – Asian, round/square-faced, hair-dyed blonde, but without glasses. He wanted to take a picture of me to show that friend, and I let him. And he decided he wanted 2 more – one, of my nail polish and another of me standing up as we were getting off at the same station. He said he wanted “the ribbons and everything”. I must’ve looked really old to him; I had a full suit on and I was carrying a bag from the Met gift shop. I didn’t ask him much, or complain or anything – coz I didn’t want to sound like a creeper and I didn’t want to look too happy with the attention. We weren’t exactly in the city – not Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or Bronx – and I was probably a strange sight to this kid. And my striking resemblance to his friend pushed him to talk to me. And he certainly had an appreciation for my ribbons – which made me proud, coz this means I was able to (re)connect a young mind to 2 crucial social issues of modern day society, HIV/AIDS awareness and LGBTQ pride/rights.
So, back to the main topic of influence … Children/young minds absorb whatever they are exposed to and internalize it as appropriate and acceptable. One thing for sure, that’s how I learnt my English. My sister and I used to watch Disney cartoons over and over and over again till we’d memorized every single scene, every single song, every single line. And that’s how I learnt to swear also, pppffffttttt! I remember reading statistics that children who’d been exposed to domestic violence in their household tend to grow up to be abusive toward their partners when they grow up. If your head registers that hitting somebody is ok, you’re gonna hit other people, too. Well, there you go.
The thing with “homophobic” people wanting to regulate the “homosexual behaviour/lifestyle“, especially in public settings (like schools) is that they are afraid our way of life – which, I will tell you, is more than, although seen primarily as, sex – is gonna influence them and/or their children. Their concern, as far as I can tell: If homosexuality (queerness) is alright, our children might decide to take it up and everyone would turn gay and wouldn’t make babies anymore. We humans are going extinct, argh! I guess that’s more of the case when some people ask for there to be no in-class discussion of sexuality, no GSAs at schools/colleges, or to keep our business “in the bedroom”. But, as those folks have come to notice, we queer folks have more than bedroom business in our lives, and they feel the need to restrict or regulate other stuff also. They resort to traditional standards and stereotypes of what a man or a woman should be like, how they should behave and so on. If a man behaves like a real man and if a woman behaves like a real woman, there’s no reason for them to not become a traditional couple.
But, really? Do you wanna do that? You’re just imposing the extremes of masculinity and femininity and stereotypes on people. Those two polarities exist because there are many variants in between – and gender expression isn’t even necessarily related to sexuality. It’s a lot of work, and more importantly, it doesn’t work. Even if your heteronormative scheme of keeping the human race alive … um, what am I talking about? There are 7+billions of us cramped on this planet already and that’s way more mouths that we can feed at this point. What if homosexuality is nature’s own little way of population control? And put that aside, your scheme to reinforce gender stereotypes is going to end up pushing only men to go out long hours (away from wife and children) and work and confine women to the kitchen and household chores. That doesn’t sound fair to either gender, does it?
Let’s think about the alternative: queer liberation, ermahgerd! We will influence your kids but they won’t turn gay – not all of them, coz some of them would turn out to be – not because of us, but because they’re destined to be. But the good thing is, because of us, because of the variety of examples that we queer folks have set, they won’t have much problem fitting into society as presentable human beings.
- Just because they have penises hanging between their legs, boys won’t have to play sports, grow up to be 6 feet tall, get laid before graduating high school or act as if they can’t feel emotions.
- Just because they have boobies, girls won’t have to put on make-up, wear a dress, strut on heels, make sandwiches or raise children alone. It’s liberation not just for queer people, but for everyone.
You can be whatever you want to be – and you don’t need to give a fuck! Do what you want, set your own standards. I live that life. It’s more beneficial to the economy also, lemme tell you. Any kind of product that was previously marketed at a single gender can be marketed at the others: tuxes and sports gear for women, cosmetics and fashion accessories for men – well, that’s gotta sell a lot.
Some people are afraid of this queer liberation business because they know it’s gonna make a sudden big splash and change a lot of things in society. They don’t know if the change is gonna be good or bad – but I see it as good – and they aren’t ready to get out of the comfort zone yet, the zone of “traditional values”. Here, I’m not talking about the absolute crazies – the Westboro Baptist Church, Rich Santorum, the Bachmanns or the Pope. The ones I’m talking about are those who often silently or quietly disagree. Then they get the blunt “homophobic” label from the liberal public, barely ever knowing why. I’d just say they’re conservative and are thus a little slow (or too slow sometimes) to embrace change. They just need a little more education. And yes, they’re relatively more open and friendly to ideas of change than to change itself.
So yeah, non-crazy conservative folks, let our ideology (of queer liberation) manifest you first. You’ll warm up to it, I’m sure. Then we can be openly gay and express ourselves the way we like – anytime, anywhere. And yes, your children will be influenced and maybe even you, more or less, but all in a good way. Don’t worry about human extinction. We even survived the Maya apocalypse and we won’t be dying out anytime soon, I guess. If there’s an almighty God, It sent us queer people here for population control and to take care of those youngsters straight couples had but weren’t able to take care of. Let us do our God-assigned job. There’s no bad influence.