LGBT Activism Is Losing: The Growing Schism Between Homophobes and LGBTs

This week, gay rights activists showed that humans truly are all the same, regardless of sexual orientation. But they didn’t do so in a good way. What they showed was that all human beings are irrational, closed-minded, selfish, prejudiced and intent on revenge. Even gay rights activists. No matter what side of history a person is on, it doesn’t make them an inherently better person. It just makes them right about a single thing. Because if we as gay rights activists go around bullying and humiliating people until they’re forced to quit their job, then not only are we shooting ourselves in the foot, but it also makes it very difficult to see the difference between the gay rights activist and the homophobe.

Gay rights are winning. That much is clear. Within the past decade, the gay rights movement has made a staggering amount of progress across the entire globe, turning a very homophobic world into one in which a large amount of citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, is very strongly in favour of equal rights. The movement has shown how powerful it is when minorities and majorities rally together for those equal rights, and that’s a great thing. But now things are starting to backfire. It’s been happening for a while now, but slowly but steady, that progress is stopping. We’re disabling ourselves.

For instance, a few weeks ago, Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni accused the West of double standards, because we’re torturing Africa over gay rights while forbidding polygamy, something that is normal in Africa. And the man is right. Really, he is. Just think about it from their perspective. Why would we forbid polygamy? Now, I personally have no desire to be with more than one person at the same time, because surely one is already more than enough, but why don’t people have the option? Because it’s weird? So is homosexuality, according Uganda’s president.

But there’s more. What we’re doing right now is taking the moral high ground in the most cocky, pretentious and arrogant way imaginable. We think that we are better than them, and we don’t hide it. As much as that might seem fine from our perspective, for people living in Africa, we’re just that annoying person who decided to buy a hybrid and keeps bragging about it. Who can’t shut up about how amazing he is for being so considerate. And when that happens, you don’t go about buying the same hybrid and giving him what he wants. You’ll buy a fricking hummer. And then you’ll roll it straight over that tiny little car of his.

But we don’t seem to realise that that’s what we’re doing. When we publicly shame Brendan Eich into resigning just because he once donated a 1000 dollars to a campaign that failed, then we’re not stopping discriminating actions, but we’re punishing opinions. We are closeting the homophobes, making them keep those thoughts to themselves, hiding it, and growing stronger and stronger in those beliefs as the world around them seems to turn into a gay hell led by the devil. It makes dialogue impossible and widens the schism between the homophobe and the LGBT community.

It is irrational, and it will come back to haunt us. There is no evidence that Eich ever discriminated against anyone, and all he did was hold an unpopular opinion, one that he already didn’t share with the world. We persecuted a person who was supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and to the outside world, that is undemocratic and wrong. Like a lynch mob, we chased him through the streets, leaving all rationality behind. And of course, we don’t have to accept homophobic views. But we can at least, to some extent, tolerate them. We can let those people live their lives and that show that we truly do have the moral high ground, rather than just a big mouth. That is the least you would expect from a movement that is supposed to be fighting for equality.


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More related content from Dean Richards:

Western Tyranny and the Olympics: Stop Harassing Russia over its Human Rights Record

French Mayor Refuses to Marry Two Men, but is Fine with Two Women. Why?

Being Intolerant of the Intolerant is Intolerant


About Dean Richards

A young student with a passion for writing. Aspiring author and human rights activist, but I write about anything. "If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree!" New blog post every Monday!
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3 Responses to LGBT Activism Is Losing: The Growing Schism Between Homophobes and LGBTs

  1. Sally says:

    There is no theory, as far as I know, that anyone is born predisposed to be a bigamist. The laws against it are cultural and certainly open to criticism, but not from anyone who can claim that it is a genetic trait and their inability to practice it is denying them their true nature. Nor am I aware of bands of thugs harming and killing bigamists for their beliefs. Comparing the West’s denial of bigamists to the oppression and abuse of homosexuals in parts of Africa is very weak.

    Nor do I believe the resignation of the CEO of Mozilla is something worthy of our sympathies. Such positions are notoriously fragile and subject to the slightest whims of corporate politics. Making it sound like “he was a regular Joe fired from his job because of his personal beliefs and now his family will go hungry” is a bit of overkill. I doubt Mr. Eich will be filing for food stamps anytime soon.

    A corporate CEO is like a politician. He presents one approach, profile, and back story. If the times change is such a way that his resume isn’t the best for the biz, then he gets voted out. It was simply corporate recognition that it was bad for business to have someone so wedded to such a position. He gave a thousand dollars to try to stop gay marriage. No big deal in the grand scheme of things, but he was running a business that relies on the goodwill of millions of people who use the “product” to further their own inclusion. It is no surprise then that it is a very big deal to them when they find out he actively and personally pursues their exclusion. He was simply incompatible with the corporate goal of making everyone love them.

    It is not “undemocratic and wrong” to criticize Mozilla for having him at the helm. He is still a fat cat who can support all the conservative causes he wants, and will likely have no problem maintaining his quality of life. “Innocent until proven guilty”? Guilty of what? He broke no laws and wasn’t convicted of a crime. Yes, we punish opinions. We punish by telling them we disagree with them. If you are proud of your opinion then you won’t care. We punish opinions of corporations we disagree with by boycotting their product. We punish opinions of politicians we disagree with by voting them out of office. Mr. Eich wasn’t punished for having an unpopular opinion – Mozilla was. The reaction was to get rid of Mr. Eich in order to change the public perception of the corporate opinion. He could have just as easily been ditched for slumping ad revenue.

    But of course, your point about some gay rights crusaders harming the cause is absolutely true. As with any great social movement, many will weaken the movement with their own hubris and strident tactics. The cause keeps moving forward despite the participation of those we would rather stay home. Trying to settle down the overbearing few will likely do more harm to the movement than help it. Sometimes it is the loudmouth asshole up front offending everyone that finally gets the right person to look up, or the ship to finally change course a little. We never want to be seen in the same photo as that guy, but really we are glad he was there to get the attention we needed.

    As the bumper sticker that quotes someone famous I can’t right now remember says “Well behaved women rarely make history”, so it is true with gay rights activists. Polite and orderly would certainly see the change eventually, since the tide is turning anyway. But How long do we want to wait?

    Thanks again Dean, for making me think.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m having a hell of a week unfortunately, so I’ll keep this very short:

      ” I doubt Mr. Eich will be filing for food stamps anytime soon.”

      Aren’t you then saying that we have to treat him differently because he has money? Something you would have disagreed with in pretty much any other context? We cannot treat famous people differently when it winds up negative for them and the next moment complain that they get special treatment when something positive happens. CEOs are humans too, and therefore, they should be treated as humans. Otherwise we’re only widening the schism between the rich and the poor.

      “he actively and personally pursues their exclusion”

      I’ve read this sort of comment multiple times, but it’s just plain wrong. And I don’t use the word “wrong” very often. He did not actively and personally pursue their exclusion. He donated a 1000 dollars, which is pretty much the definition of “passive political participation.”

      “Polite and orderly would certainly see the change eventually, since the tide is turning anyway. But How long do we want to wait?”

      I don’t think it’s a question of waiting. The kind of activism you’re praising is the kind we needed when gay rights weren’t on the agenda, but now that they are, such activism is harmful. If we went with the polite and orderly way, we’d see progress. If not, we’ll only see progress within the group of people who already accept gay rights, but we’ll see more illegalising and death penalties for gay people coming in the rest of the world. Radicalisation leads to radicalisation, so if the LGBT activists do radical things, the opposition will become more radical as well. In North-America and Western Europe, that might not matter much because the opposition has become a minority, but in Africa and the Middle East, that is a major problem.

  2. Sally says:

    I disagree. I firmly believe that donating $1,000.00 to a political cause is an active and personal pursuit of that cause. It may not be as active and personal as knocking on doors or writing op-eds to newspapers, but here in America, giving money is about as active and personal people get about things. I gave $100.00 to Obama’s first campaign and I felt very actively and personally involved. The fact that Mr. Eich is a CEO of a major corporation tells us that he likely doesn’t have a lot of time to knock on doors or write essays about his political beliefs. And as our Supreme Court has ruled, money is speech. And no speech is louder than political financial contribution.

    So when we learn that someone reached into their pocket and put cold hard cash on an idea, we rightfully presume they own the idea – they embrace it – they support it actively and personally. What more could they do? Donate a kidney?

    Passive political participation? Perhaps everyone in your country routinely gives a thousand dollars to causes just for passive participation, but not here. I would define passive participation as simply voting, and nothing more.

    We should treat him differently because he is a CEO, yes indeed. As CEO he represents something much bigger than the individual. If a tech employee of Mozilla gave a million dollars to a cause, it would not represent the corporation’s posture on the cause. It is Mr. Eich’s title and position that makes it different, akin to a political post, as I said in my first response. And also akin to politics, it is subject to the political mood of the moment. To deny that his political activism means more because of who he is, is naive. CEO is not a regular job, and the same rules do not apply.

    We clearly see the world differently.
    But that’s okay. The beauty of it is we are allowed to be wrong and still keep talking.

    Cheers! – Sally

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