Don’t Follow the Human Rights Campaign Down Another Rabbit Hole
It’s now four years after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a moment that represented the culmination of hard work by groups like the Human Rights Campaign. At the time, I was still in the service. I’d seen a lot. I was outed in my unit. I stayed in and got an honorable discharge. But I knew that there was much more to the story than just pulling back DADT so that gays could serve openly. I knew that the vast majority of gays in the military wanted their sexuality kept secret — because they feared other gays’ sexual aggressiveness.
This was the problem that they didn’t want to talk about on DADT. The Human Rights Campaign received boatloads of money to push for the repeal based on one narrative: Patriotic gay wants to serve but bad evil homophobes force him to lie.
That story was actually not representative of a lot of gays in the military. In the Pentagon survey released on December 1, 2010, it was established that only 15% of gays in the military planned to come out of the closet. The rest didn’t want to be out in their unit. Why? Because they didn’t want to be an open target for other gay men to rape.
And no, I don’t mean closeted gay men of the American Beauty-suppressed-homophobe-Marine variety. I mean out of the closet, bells and whistles, homosexual men who flaunt their identity and want a nice piece of meat to enjoy. If you are in the military, and you are gay, and you are open, those other homosexuals can use physical force and lots of other forms of coercion to force you to have sex with them.
So a classic DADT story was there, but not noticed, and it differed from “Patriotic gay wants to serve but bad evil homophobes force him to lie.” It went like this: “I was outed, then I was raped, then I wanted to leave, so I used DADT to get out.”
The Human Rights Campaign and other gay rights organizations refused to believe, let alone acknowledge, the latter narrative. People like me were vocal and posed tough questions in 2010: What protections are there for people who are outed through gossip and then targeted for rape? CAN THEY LEAVE?
I got lots of runaround answers, always loaded with a lot of “don’t be stereotypical” BS, as if only a neanderthal would picture gay men raping other gay men. But the bottom line was, no, you cannot leave. The loophole is gone. And the reality is that most people who left under DADT wanted to leave, something that the Human Rights Campaign and others failed to acknowledge.
In the midst of the controversy in late 2010, I posted on the blog I was running (now defunct), that the repeal, if carried out without precautions or a loophole option for men who get raped, would wreak havoc on gay men’s lives. More of them would be raped, more would commit suicide.
It’s four years later now, and I was right. Read this.
The Human Rights Campaign is not talking about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell anymore. They’ve moved on, flush with money, drunk with their power, elated with their political ADD. Now they are onto a new shiny object, since they are winning gay marriage in the U.S. hands down. Now they are focused on a neocolonial project that involves supposedly protecting LGBT rights overseas from American oppressors. They’re wandering into global gobbledygook and prattling about countries and cultures they do not understand. It appears to be their next big plan.
So they need a narrative, again. And they need to ignore some narratives, again.
The narrative they want now is, “Family-values homosexual couple just wants to give a child a loving home, but evil American bigots are going to stop them.”
This narrative is even flimsier and more far-fetched than the patriotic gay soldier being “kicked out for being gay.” At least there were a fair number of people who were kicked out of the military when they were outed as gay.
But the notion that people need to let gays get married so that they can give children loving homes is complete fiction from top to bottom. There are no children anywhere in the world who have two dads or two moms. Every child has or had one mother and one father. There may be stepparents, law guardians, mentors, what have you (and there are rare cases where children are adopted), but in zero percent of cases do two people of the same sex exist in relation to a child in the same way that a mother and father exist in relation to a child. Somewhere, in living time or in a graveyard, there exists a third-party who is part of the child’s identity but not part of the home. And 100% of the time, one of the two gay adults is at best a stepparent.
So there are lots of other narratives now that the Human Rights Campaign does not want to address. Like this:
“Dad ran off with a man and then went to court to take me away from Mom. Dad’s new boyfriend wants me to call him dad too but I just can’t.”
“My dad was an anonymous sperm donor. I think about who he was all the time. The mystery bugs me.”
“My two dads bought me from my mother, who sold me. I hate her for selling me. I hate my dads for buying me.”
“I am Asian but I am being raised by two white men in a high rise who want me to call them dad. They say they got me from an orphanage in Vietnam. One day I will go and find my mother and father, and I wonder what to say to them.”
Those are all painful narratives. There is affection involved in them, yes, but deep pain. And in all these narratives, the pain is tied to decisions made on the basis of what gay adults wanted. So the gay adults in these latter narratives are abusing their power and by extension abusing children.
The Human Rights Campaign does not want to deal with this, anymore than they wanted to deal with the problem of gay rape in the military. So they go after people like me with a vengeance. In fact, they have moved into the realm of Internet stalking by putting up a page that says I should be “on notice” for their harassment and violent threats.
They are having a much harder time with this issue than with repealing DADT because back in 2010, lots of other people did not want to talk about gays raping gays in uniform. The military didn’t want to acknowledge it happened. The gay victims were largely silent out of shame. Conservatives did not want to know that was happening in the military. And many military people hated the idea of someone using DADT to get out, because they hated the idea of anyone leaving the military willfully.
This time around, it’s harder for HRC. Internationally, their notion that they have a right to have children is not convincing people. They are hitting massive roadblocks in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The alternative narratives are harder to suppress, because people have obvious questions that can’t be silenced so easily.
So this can go one of two ways. Either the general public repeats the error they made in 2010, and they give the Human Rights Campaign everything they want, only to have a massive mess to clean up later. Look at Senator Gillibrand from New York. She was gangbusters about repealing DADT, and now she has to work on a sexual assault bill for the military, without acknowledging that she is largely responsible for the problems caused by the hasty and sloppy way DADT was repealed.
In this case, the scenario goes like this: The HRC succeeds in whipping up outrage at me, trying to link me to people with whom I have almost nothing in common, demonizing me to the public, with the goal of silencing any doubts about “gay families”; they get everything they want, including untrammeled surrogacy and birth certificates with two moms or two dads issued on demand; in ten years, everyone has to clean up the mess left by shattered family bonds, a trade in child trafficking, and people’s lost heritage.
Or there is another scenario: The public learns the lessons from the repeal of DADT. They stand up now and look seriously at children’s rights. They apply children’s rights across the board, to oppose abuses by gay or straight people. They avoid the pitfalls of history.
The choice is yours. I will say nothing more about the Human Rights Campaign and its hit lists. I have things to do.
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