1【 以下文字转载自 QueerNews 讨论区 】
发信人: XiaoxiaoH (handle every second), 信区: QueerNews
标 题: The Big Lie: 'I Love My Gay Friends, but I'm Voting for Romney Anyway'
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sat Nov 3 13:43:41 2012, 美东)
节选，“I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They
all say they're voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous
and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights.
Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, "My
taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the
sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the
hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your
right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth,
and your very personhood." It's like voting for George Wallace during the
Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You're still
complicit. You're still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural
homophobia. You don't get to walk away clean, because you say you 'disagree'
with your candidate on these issues. ”
Nice article, shared it on my facebook
How Facebook, Famous People, Gay Marriage and 9-Year-Olds Can Help Us Talk
Our Friends and Family Out of Voting for Mitt Romney
Irony is defined as "the use of words to express something other than and
especially the opposite of the literal meaning" or "incongruity between the
actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result."
If I hear one more person explain how, even though they believe in gay
rights, they're voting for Romney, I'm going to lose my mind. We need to
find ways to reach these people who say they love us and call us friends.
With about a week before the presidential election, I am finding myself in a
world of people tragically unaware of the irony that surrounds them. It's a
dangerous irony, dangerous for us all, because unseen (willfully unseen, I
wonder?), it may lead us to elect a man who so many out there believe will
save us when in fact he may only take us deep into the ruin we've been
escaping, and at the high cost of decimating rights for gay people, women,
the poor and immigrants. A Mitt Romney presidency is just the tip of the
Perhaps it's because I'm a poet by occupation that I'm especially sensitive
to the pull of irony and, as in the case I'm about to discuss, how, when we
mistake irony for the truth, we risk digging our own graves (or at least
inviting our children's shame). Let me explain through a story. It's a story
that has deep relevance for all the gay and lesbian people out there
wondering how they can convince their family and friends not to vote for
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
The story begins, as perhaps too many stories do nowadays, with two posts on
Facebook. Perhaps you've read and/or reposted them yourselves. They've just
recently gone viral, and for good reason. They are both from lauded theater
folks who are gay, and they both speak directly to friends and loved ones
who may vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Below I share the most salient
moment from each post. The first is from Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning
playwright Doug Wright, who said:
I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say
they're voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-
formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine.
Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, "My taxes
and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity
of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital,
your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to
inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your
very personhood." It's like voting for George Wallace during the Civil
Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You're still complicit.
You're still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You
don't get to walk away clean, because you say you 'disagree' with your
candidate on these issues.
The moment I read this I felt that it encapsulated feelings and ideas I'd
been stewing in for weeks. "Yes!" I shouted at my computer screen. "I want
you to face me! Tell me these are your priorities!" Can you imagine the
cathartic moment? But more importantly, think about all the people who might
not vote for Gov. Romney if they knew they had to look their gay and
lesbians loved ones in the eyes after they did so.
Moments later I found this open letter from Broadway star Max von Essen. He
writes to his fiends and family:
I know there are important issues involved in this campaign. I know people
are suffering and the economy has not improved at a rate we all wish it
would. Yes, people are suffering but the gay and lesbian community has been
suffering for hundreds of years and I am so tired of it. So tired of feeling
that I am less than. So tired of knowing I have friends on here who will
vote for someone who will keep me a second class citizen for my entire
He goes on to make a plea for a vote for President Obama, of course -- and a
request that anyone voting for Romney remove him from their Facebook
friends list. Again, I was filled with the feeling that this needed to be
said, that family and friends needed to be warned just what their votes
would mean for those of us in their lives still desperate for our equal
rights to love, acceptance and fairness. "If you want to be my friend," I
wanted to shout, "you need to face me and explain your support for a man who
said in 2005, "Some gays are actually having children born to them. It's
not right on paper. It's not right in fact. Every child has a right to a
mother and father.''
In a heady bliss at seeing my feelings so perfectly put into words by these
men, I posted them and waited for my friends to rally around me. And they
did. In fact, one friend posted the items on his page, as well, to which one
of his "friends" posted a response something like this (I'm paraphrasing,
because I'm sure I don't have her permission):
Dear friend, I hope you know I have absolutely no issue with gay marriage...
But I am voting for Mitt Romney because I'm thinking about my children,
their future. I want my kids to have a job when they grow up and I don't
want them to be in debt. We need to give Romney a chance to do what Obama
hasn't been able to do.
I responded by pointing out what I saw as the first of our ironies in this
story: that Obama has been thwarted at every move by a happy-to-admit-it
obstructionist Congress, inherited a problem so large we're lucky we've made
any progress at all, and had to deal with Greece and the EU and other
realities of globalization that make completely fixing the economy in four
years a ludicrous expectation.
Here comes irony number two, folks. This mother then proceeded to play the
victim. My one comment (as far as I can tell) sparked this response (again
paraphrasing): "Everyone is piling on me for having an opinion, but remember
I never did that to you." And here's the best part: "Like all of you, I am
a U.S. citizen and have the right to my opinion." Putting aside the fact
that there was no argument put forth that threatened her right to an opinion
, I was struck by how quickly she became the victim, how it was her rights
being trampled. Folks, this is irony at its best! This was her sentiment,
expressed in a comment on a gay friend's heartfelt post about how he is a
second-class citizen, literally, not in some victim fantasy.
But let's rewind a bit. Let's give this Facebooking mother with gay friends
a fair look. She says she's doing this for her children, for their future.
But when we open that door, what are we inviting in? Again, putting aside
all the economists who say Romney's math simply doesn't work, let's give her
the benefit of the doubt. As a nod to the talented gay men of the theater
who began our journey, I offer my own piece of dialogue, albeit one meant to
make a point, not to be poetic. Let's go 15 years into the future and
listen in on the conversation I imagine between this mom and her kids.
Daughter: So, Mom, who did you vote for back in 2012?
Son: We heard today in school that gay people back then couldn't marry. That
seems so ridiculous.
Daughter: One of the presidential candidates even publicly admitted that he
would keep rights from gay people. A lot changes in 15 years.
Mom: That candidate was Mitt Romney. I voted for him because he was going to
make your economic future bright.
Son: But what good would that future be if it was based on inequality, if
people like you voted for someone like him?
Daughter: I don't want to know that you did it for us. Then it's worse.
Son: You raised us to be better than that.
Daughter: You voted "for us," but you raised us to be the kind of people who
would be ashamed of you for doing that.
It's a clunky scene but, as I see it, a brutally real possibility -- maybe
not kids speaking these words, but it's not hard to imagine that that's how
many will feel. The excuse that "it's for the kids" is an excuse that will
haunt the one who resorts to it. If we raise our kids right, they will hate
us for our weakness in this moment. This, for me, is one of those truths
that, once someone makes them clear to you, are so profoundly unarguable
that you feel their impact in the core of your being.
So where does all this irony get us? It should crystallize for us in the gay
and lesbian community how to frame the stakes. And the stakes are high! (
Imagine what the Supreme Court will look like if Romney is elected!) More
importantly, we need to make clear to our friends and family what the stakes
are for them. The stakes are our relationships with them, our continued
willingness to meet them without rancor, to feel like part of the family, to
not wonder how a slight decrease in their yearly taxes could mean more to
them than we do. Those are pretty grim stakes.
I want to leave you with one final bit of irony. My best friend in the world
recently shared this story with me. His 9-year-old son recently declared
that he would no longer be in the Boy Scouts. Why? Because his godfather (me
) and my fiancé were gay, and the Boy Scouts wouldn't allow us in if we
asked. That was unfair, he said. That wasn't right, he said. He made this
statement unbidden by either parent, out of earshot of either my best friend
or his wife, in fact. And he did it because even 9-year-olds (or especially
9-year-olds?) recognize irony: How could he be part of a group whose values
declared one thing but in practice showed the opposite? It's a question we
all must pose to our friends and family. And we don't need to be Broadway
stars to do it. We have a week left. Share your feelings with those who love
you, and ask that they do the right thing. Tell them that the future they
think Romney will give them comes at a cost, sadly. And it might not be
their friends but their very children who ask for their money back.
Christopher Hennessy is the author of a book of poetry, Love-in-Idleness,
about growing up gay and finding love, among other things Mitt Romney no
doubt finds undeserving of his respect. Next year in Boston he will marry
his partner of over 10 years, and he is praying that Obama will win on Nov.
6 so that he won't have to worry about what will happen to his marriage in a