One of the hardest things about being gay in today's world is that most everything in your life is just fine until some stranger you don't know insists that it is not.
I was feeling just dandy until a news site I came across a column by some stranger named Pamela Grothaus of Naplesnews.com, incensed that gay people insist on being honest about their sexuality, writing, "I don't think I have ever met a homosexual who didn't inform me of his or her homosexuality within minutes of our introduction" and accusing gays who come out as volunteering a "tawdry bit of information."
After the predictable backlash ensued, Grothaus published a follow-up in which she proudly doubled down on her bigotry:
"Incidentally, I am also intolerant of illegal immigrants, terrorist Muslims, militant blacks a la Reverend Wright, baby-killing abortionists, and socialists. I'm not too crazy about unions, feminists, or most politicians, either. Each of these groups -- in addition to the homosexuals stated above -- is in some way a threat to our nation and/or our morals."
At least the website contains this face-saving disclaimer: "This blog is contributed by a member of the Naples community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with Naples Daily News." In other words, this woman has no credibility, but we're publishing her here anyway just to annoy you.
So some bigoted wingnut in Florida hates gays, what else is new? I went on with my day, until I read that some stranger named Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association stated that the government needed to regulate homosexuality like they regulate cigarettes: "If a case can be made that cigarette smoking should be made illegal, a far better case can be made for making homosexual sex contrary to public policy, as it was in every state in the Union until 1962."
Then I read that some strangers from the "God Hates Fags" church were protesting Elizabeth Edwards' funeral because, well, they just were.
Then I read that some strangers at the Family Research Council, a right wing lobbying organization that has little to do with families or research, object to being labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), despite making statements that gays should be exported from the country, gay sex ought to carry criminal penalties, and this whopper: "Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers... homosexual soldiers basically had no limits [to] the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict."
What, now we're like the Nazis? Really? Then someone from an organization called... oh, never mind. It never stops.
And then, of course, there are the endless cases of teenagers going about their lives with no problem until they are needlessly bullied by bigoted teens.
One thing is for damn sure: since the election of Barack Obama, a president who sees being gay as about as controversial as wearing white after Labor Day and who is actually trying to help put an end to state sanctioned discrimination, the bigots are coming out of the closet faster than pastors on a gay cruise. People proudly wear "Right Wing Extremist" T-shirts. Organizations named "Hate Groups" by the SPLC proudly proclaim that they need to "hate more." Tea partiers carry signs of Obama in African getup or Nazi regalia. Conservatives respond to the possible repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" with rage, lies and misinformation. Proponents of Proposition 8 in California warn of Armageddon if gays are allowed to marry.
These people are constantly screaming that gays are not normal and a threat to the family, to society, to children, and Planet Earth. Here's what is not normal: obsessing to the point of rage about the sexuality of others. That's not normal. A normal person doesn't care. A normal person is secure enough in their own sexuality that a gay person's honesty doesn't affect them one iota.
Trust me, these people think a hell of a lot more about homosexuality than I do, and I'm gay. It never even enters my mind until one of these strangers reminds me of it. What is the matter with them?
Despite the level of equality achieved for gays, this amount of open, proud bigotry is more than I have ever witnessed in my lifetime, and it's enabled by well-funded organizations and even elected officials. Nobody needed to publish an idiotic column by some nobody in Florida, but they did. No one needs the social advice of a hate group, but they make news anyway.
I'll tell you what they are really afraid of: their kids are going to grow up a lot less bigoted than they are. Maybe it's time for open and proud bigotry against bigots.
And maybe gays should just stick to reading about home improvement, movies or the Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills just so we can survive the day.