This Monday a court in Ryazan, Russia, fined Nikolay Bayev and Irina Fet 1,500 rubles each (about $45 US each) for organizing a protest against homophobia. The two were charged with “popularizing homosexuality,” under a regional law banning pro-homosexual propaganda. The judge also ordered the posters proclaiming “Homosexuality is normal” and “I am proud of my homosexuality” to be destroyed.
Though, speaking only for myself, I am no more proud of my homosexuality than I am of my metabolism or shoe size, I respect the message of “pride,” while generally finding it mildly embarrassing—not that I lack self-respect or am, to even the tiniest extent, ashamed of or inhibited in my man-lust; I blush rather at the thought of feeling pride for something that is neither an accomplishment nor even a matter of slightest effort on my part.
I’m homosexual … just lucky, I guess. No, please, stay seated.
The phrase “popularizing homosexuality” makes me smile, though, and it is something I have perhaps not given enough effort to—my copy of the “homosexual agenda” having not yet arrived in the mail.
While failing to bring much mass appeal to homosexuality, I certainly have done my fair share in making it available to all … more so in my younger years, though, than recently, but I don’t like to brag.
Has homosexuality ever been popular? Well, sure, among homosexuals, but taking nothing away from some genuinely popular—though typically flash-in-the-pan—crossover lez and gay celebrities, none has ever been as popular in the mainstream as heterosexual celebrities. My experience has been that the only people more mesmerized by homosexuality than us homosexuals have been the perpetually sweaty and rather dim-witted defenders of traditional family values.
If smiling more, expressing genuine interest in others, and being sensitive to other people’s feelings were in fact keys to popularity, you’d think the gays would have outstripped the evangelicals quite some time ago.
I ask you: have the Christians ever created a TV show in which a crack team of bible-believing fundamentalists gives a makeover to some poor slob of an atheist who’s so far been unsuccessful in interjecting his worldview into state and federal laws, the currency, and bankers’ holidays? I think not. Christians, however, have succeeded in all the above and still win martyr points for suffering persecution at the hands of all-powerful secular humanists.
Also, have homosexuals ever boycotted a company sponsor of a TV show that once featured—briefly, and with agonizing self-consciousness—a kiss between a man and a woman? Do homosexuals picket high-school productions of Hello, Dolly! for its flagrant glamorization of the heterosexual lifestyle? Are jail terms ever reduced after the accused pleads “heterosexual panic,” vindicating some heinous violence on the basis that he or she was motivated by fear of being perceived as straight?
Short answer: no.
What would it take to make homosexuality popular anyway?
Well, first, you would have to take out the sex part, because a majority of those who have no kind words for us pervs have serious icks about sex in general, even the normal kind between wife-beating husbands and pill-popping wives. In favor of this approach, sexless homosexuality has proved moderately successful in the past in slightly increasing the likeability of certain non-threatening gays and lesbians, like Paul Lynde and Nancy Kulp, who then become figures of fun and ribbing and against whom some straight people like to measure their superior virility and sophistication.
Next, you might want to change the bible. Get rid of the passages about sodomites, men lying with men and women with women, and effeminacy, which invariably lead to talk of stonings, fire and brimstone raining from heaven, and pits of eternal darkness and gnashing of teeth. You can leave the passages on the abominations of eating shrimp and pork, injunctions against touching (much less fucking) during menstruation, and hating one’s own father and mother to be a true follower of Christ, as apparently these can be explained easily by understanding that they apply only to earlier dispensations or the mistranslation of Aramaic prepositions.
Finally, you will need to pretend that conservative Christianity is as valid and important as it ever was, despite evidence of decline in the past three or four years. You will also need to learn to remain politely mum about the states of Vermont and Iowa … and probably don’t mention that Massachusetts, the first state to legitimize homosexual marriage, has retained for several years the lowest divorce rate of any U.S. state. Sexually tolerant and progressive countries like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland have no higher divorce rates than less liberal nations … and marked increases in marriage. Well, so much for threats to the family and the institution of marriage.
But facts can be a messy business when you’re aiming for popularity, so by all means, spare the homophobes’ prejudices and delusions—they’ll like you better for it. As a rule—but, sadly, not invariably a fact—nut cases rarely persecute and kill the people they like.