Jul. 28th, 2006

ciroccoj: (equality)
So, [livejournal.com profile] linaelyn told this story about a bunch of (rather startlingly secure in their sexuality) teenage boys playing "I'm gayer than you" at a public pool. It brought to mind one of my fonder memories of Kingston, where I lived for eleven years after high school. Kingston is... well, I love it to death, but it's not exactly a screaming hotbed of social progressiveness. Other than Queen's University, the rest of the city is mostly very white, very working class, and fairly conservative. And when I was there the high schools basically fell into two groups: KCVI, right next to Queen's, where the sons and daughters of Queen's profs attended and where you were likely to find student groups like the Gay-Straight Alliance, and... everywhere else. Where you would not.

So one day I'm on the bus and we stop near QECVI; tough school, many many children of federal inmates, because Kingston's two main industries are higher education and prisons. A bunch of 6-8 little hooligans of both sexes get on. Oh, goodie, I think. Black clothing, a ratio of one cuss for every five words spoken, at least one of them sporting an article of clothing with an obscenity on it, tough, sullen expressions. They settle near me, oh how nice. Start chatting about cutting class and drowning kittens. Oh - no, sorry, they were actually talking about a great pizza place, but, you know, I expected the kitten-drowning anecdotes to start at any moment. They were just that kinda crowd, you know?

And then one of them says something about gays. And I sink down into my seat and brace for the bashing stories to begin and the F'in' Faggot this and M'f'in' Queer that to flow thick and heavy.

And then I actually start to pay attention.

"Yeah, and it's like, his own mom's like mad at him. Like, yeah, sure, bitch, he's just doing this to piss you off, right."

"Oh, I know! Fuckin' stupid!! And like he's got kids in school givin' him a hard time, too - like, get a life, you know? I hate our fuckin' school."

"Fuckin' what's the matter with people? Like, he's just gay, what's the big deal?"

"Yeah, I know! My cousin's gay, and you wouldn't believe the shit he's had to put up with. It's like, yeah, OK, we got it, he likes having sex with guys! But it's not like he's gonna wanna fuck you, 'cause you're a loser anyway, so shut up!"

"Shit, man, people are such fuckin' idgits."

"No shit."

I still get warm fuzzies when I remember that conversation. It wasn't a huge deal, and I doubt any of those kids went on to become politically active champions of gay rights. But it was still nice to see that, even in conservative Kingston in the mid-nineties, there were people you wouldn't expect to be accepting or open-minded about gays, who were both.

Yeah, so I was thinking of that the other day, both when I read [livejournal.com profile] linaelyn's post and when I read this:

'I'm not anti-gay. I'm pro-artistic integrity.' )

...so, yeah. I dunno, I can see her point, but there are so many holes and flaws in there that I don't even feel like taking them up. I just start to dither between "wholesale appropriation and basic, fundamental changes that [slash] writers make to characters that aren't theirs" and the 'moral army guys can't be gay without resigning' and "there's no other character change that has an entire genre devoted to it" and end up with a muddled mess of "but-but-but"'s.

Though I must say I'm tempted to make myself an icon with the words "I'm not anti-gay. I'm pro-artistic integrity." Wouldn't know what to use as a picture, though.

Oh, and this is cute:


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