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Skewed eye for the queer guy

“He didn’t give you gay, did he?” – Homer Simpson

Yeah, that’s pretty funny stuff to most of us, and certainly one of Homer’s more memorable lines. But the words only illustrate the ignorance of his stereotypical masculine response to homosexuality in general.

Let’s face it, we are in the middle of a universal acceptance concerning a way of life that only a decade ago was still deemed an abomination by a very vocal majority.

Although progressing steadily for the last few years, Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” TV silliness has thrust America’s homosexual community permanently out of the closet.

For some, our nation’s cultural footing has stepped up overnight from “Don’t ask, don’t tell” to the new tread, “It’s IN to be OUT.”

For the rest of us, we have the boob tube to thank for such contemporary classics as “Queer as Folk,” “Six Feet Under,” “It’s All Relative,” and my personal favorite, “Will and Grace.”

Even that East Coast bastion of quintessential conservativism, The New York Times, has begun featuring same-sex weddings within its hallowed pages, while the Supreme Court gave Texas gays the right to get a little bit closer without being arrested.

There seems to be a huge cultural shift for emancipation of a gay lifestyle and I, for one, think it is about time. Witnessing Madonna planting a french-styled lip lock on Britney didn’t exactly ruin my night.

“I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals flaming!” – Homer Simpson.

OK, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far, but the point for me is the freedom to congregate in an artificial community referred to as “gay” is no different than the freedoms enjoyed by communities of Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, etc. They are all one big Confucius mess, yet each has as much right as the other – under U.S. law – to exist.

But you don’t need a constitutional right to be gay any more than you do to be an Episcopalian bishop (you know, now that I mention it, as of a few weeks ago, you can be both without breaking any American laws whatsoever).

Anyway, imagine a show called, “Catholic Eye for the Muslim Guy,” in which a quintet of stylish Catholic men with the best of intentions sincerely attempt to make over – thus converting – a willing Muslim fanatic complete from left brain to right brain. It would become America’s newest reality ratings grabber, as long they kept the studio location a secret from potential terrorists.

Would we be outraged, or would we simply accept it as another cultural shift toward a kinder and gentler new world order? If we can accept one, why not the other?

For that matter, I cannot remember a single instance of an innocent bystander ever being murdered in the name of “fashion.” At least gays are peaceful.

Imagine Judge Moore in Alabama constructing a slab of concrete in his courthouse lobby inscribed with the 10 rules for morality according to the latest “gay lifestyle” manual. I don’t think the concrete would have time to dry before being smashed to smithereens for the FOX News cameras.

A long, long time ago, in a spousal relationship far, far away, I had a gay brother-in-law. Just like the Bible-belt Baptists in the 1970s, I had a skewed eye toward not only their lifestyle, but their intentions. Eventually I matured and learned to accept him and his friends, finally getting past my own juvenile fears and misconceptions.

Along with the help of parents and family, society teaches us how to be moral and ethical with or without religion or any particular way of life. But if you so choose to be a certain way, be all you can be. Be whatever you want to be.

In other words, gay people are fine with me. Same goes for those following Taoism, Sikhism, Judaism, or even Sitchinism (they believe we are alien hybrids). Just don’t use me or my family as a target, your affiliation or societal classification as a weapon, and we’ll continue to get along just fine – as long as everyone keeps an open mind.

“He’s a lumberjack and he’s OK …” – Monty Python.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.net


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