Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is the LGBT Community Hurting Itself in its Reaction to Ken Mehlman Coming Out?

To all my readers...the following post is one that I have been thinking about for some time now; it is a post which events of today and yesterday make it very very important that I post it. Please note that if you object to language usage then I would not read any further...I myself will not be using any, but I will be quoting people that are very fond of expletives. 

What makes us as the gay community stand out against those who strive against marriage equality, or equality for LGBT people in general? What type of attitude do we want to convey to the public at large? There seems to be alot of discussion and controversy in the LGBT community over how to deal with our opponents (or former opponents); do we combat the anger, hatred, and bigotry of our opponents with peace, love, respect, and forgiveness? Or do we instead stoop to the same low that they stoop to, and respond with anger, resentment, bitterness, and hatred of our own? I think that the responses in the LGBT community to former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman coming out yesterday are very very telling of how many of us choose to deal with such individuals. 

From the popular blog Joe.My.God. here are some comments on one of Joe Jervis' pages about the situation...

1. Oh, he's "gosh-darn sorry about those eleven states"!? This changes everything! I totally forgive him now! NOT! BURN THIS FUCKER AT THE STAKE! Nobody wants you around anymore you worthless coward. Go ahead and get it over with, Ken.
2. Slime Slime Slime, self hating "queer"  Sorry He will never be welcome in my community.  The harm he and his party has done cannot be measured  and I am shocked he has any friends.  Once a rat always a rat.  I wouldn't trust him farther than I can spit!  
3. Thanks for keeping this front and center Joe. We should not make it easy for this monster to join our ranks.
4. Stupid-Self-Loathing-Piece-Of-Shit. Just crawl off into a deep, dark hole and die already.
5. Rot in hell with your fuckbuddy Dumb Dubya you miserable FUCKWIT! 
And these my friends are just some of the comments on the JMG page. And though I realize that JMG readership does not pertain to the entirety of the LGBT community, I feel that the undercurrents of anger, bitterness, resentment, and hatred on that website (within some of the commenter's) are symbols of a bigger problem within the LGBT community.

To often we allow such anger and resentment to slide, because we tell ourselves "we have the right to be angry, because those people are persecuting and oppressing us". I have bought into that argument, yet does this attitude work? Does reveling in our anger against our oppressors actually accomplish anything? Yes it may feel good at the time, it may release some of the strain that we have to deal with in our hearts and minds, but is it productive in the grand scheme of things? Does our anger and virulent hatred against our opponents turn off the moderates instead of welcome them in?

Would any of us join in an angry protest in front of a church, yelling slurs like the fuck, cunt, bitch, piece of shit? Would any of us scream at the top of our lungs that these people are not deserving of any sort of life, and instead that they themselves should rot in the pit of hell?  No, we would not advocate doing such a thing, because that would make us no better than those "Christians" who oppose marriage equality and do that to us. Yet once we step into the realm of the online world, somehow that makes our insults and bitterness ok and acceptable, because we are angry and we should express our anger. Somehow the online world gives us the freedom to throw around racial slurs, homophobic comments, and expletives with no abandon? When I go onto anti-marriage equality websites to just read articles for this blog, I am amazed by the ignorance exhibited in their own comments section. People who are against us calling us names that I will not even repeat here. Yet I go to websites like JMG, and we are doing the same. I have had to delete comments on this blog because people have used it as a medium for angry diatribes; diatribes that have no place in a professional and respectful discussion.

Am I saying that we cannot be angry? Of course not; as my readers know, I am one who states things as they are very plainly, and sometimes even with a touch of anger. Yet should we use our anger to attack others? Absolutely NOT!! For to do so makes us no better than our opponents, and actually hurts our goal of equal rights. Our goal is to show the world that we are deserving of our rights (as sad as that statement seems), and anger, bitterness, and hatred do nothing to further that goal, it only alienates those people who would possibly come to our aid.

What do you all think about this topic? How should we deal with those who fight against us? How should we treat those like Ken Mehlman who want to be on our side yet have a "past"? What is the appropriate response? Your comments are appreciated...just remember be respectful.


  1. Love it! Many in the gay community seem to forget that we are all on different journeys and not everyone gets to the same place at the same time. Who knows what has been going on in Ken's mind and what has kept him in the closet so long expect for him and those close to him. Most have went through at least a small amount of self-hatred and internalized homophobia, but seem to forget very quickly once they have reached a place of contentment when it comes to others struggling with their own sense of identity and sexuality. Yes, Ken Mehlman has directly had a part in hurting the larger LGBT community and for that he should now be doing what he can to make things right. But grace is definitely lacking is the overall response and just like many get mad at the church for shooting their wounded (and rightfully so) the gay & lesbian community is doing the same in this situation.

  2. This whole situation reminds me of Saul who later became Paul in the Bible. Talk about a change of focus and direction!

    I am not sure how I feel about Ken and his past, but I do know that the freedom he has experienced since sharing truth with himself and others will eventually pay dividends in his own life.

    How fickle and childish we sometimes are and how hurtful our words can be. I have been challenged lately to speak love, peace and blessing over my friends and the people I come in contact with. Our words carry much weight and ones spoken well, at the right time, all too often help shape and encourage people. The converse is true as well.

    I am intentionally making choices each day to build people up with the words that I use. The tongue has a lot of power. Too many times I use it wrong, or fail to speak up due to my pride or insecurity.

    I refuse to be like those who oppose me. I decide to not stoop to those means. The frustration and aggression I sometimes feel due to past hurts and injustice have no place in my life to root and grow. It is not easy, but it is good.

    I do not know what Ken is going through, but this decision has not come at an easy price. Many of his past choices and actions were probably based in his own struggle and path towards self acceptance. The best that I can do is watch and wait. Actions will always speak louder than words.

    I cannot condemn someone who has found truth and shared it. If others in my life had not forgiven me for my past, I would should live in a dark and lonely place. Time tells.


    Jude 22


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