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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