On lifestyles, agendas and recruiting
Ever since the extremists have taken hold of the Republican Party for good, we’ve had a new influx of fear mongering about “the gay agenda.” Hey, I’m down with that. Some of what my fellow queers have in their “to do lists” scares the living daylights outta me, too, although none, that I know of, is hellbent on destroying the institution of marriage or indoctrinating children into the gay lifestyle.
And that’s another annoying thing. The gay “lifestyle.” What the hell is that? As comedian Liz Feldman so aptly put it,
It’s very dear to me, the issue of gay marriage, or, as I like to call it, “marriage.” You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car, I didn’t gay park it.
Yeah, and I like to grill out. I don’t gay grill. I also read a lot, but I don’t gay read. I just read. I just grill. I just park the car. I just have lunch. And were I to get married (which, incidentally, is not something I would do), I would just get married.
Maybe that’s why I don’t like nouns. They get adjectives attached to them. I don’t like to call myself a writer, because it too often gets “gay” or “lesbian” or “political” or “bad” attached to it. Yes, I am a lesbian, and yes I am a writer, but the two aren’t very related, you dig? I prefer to say I write, because that’s something I do. I am a lesbian, and I write. Verbs, they get adverbs attached, but it’s not the same. I do, actually, gaily write sometimes.
I’m fine with being a lesbian, because that’s something I am, not something I do. It doesn’t come with a lifestyle or an agenda. It just signifies that I’m gonna find intimate companionship among members of my own gender, if, of course, you buy it that there are only two, but that’s a whole ‘nother column.
A lifestyle tends to be something chosen. You know, like living in a cabin on top of a mountain or living in a cute little house on the beach and all the attendant lifestyle matters that come with those choices. But I could be gay or straight living on top of the mountain or on the beach, and very little else would be different. Oh, sure, maybe I have more k.d. lang on my iPod than the average heterosexual woman, but so what?
Being a vegetarian is another lifestyle choice, as are having an iPod and dressing in drag. So is religion. Yes, religion. Religion is 100 percent a choice, and your choice about that is 100 percent protected by the constitution, unless you’re Muslim. Of course, it doesn’t actually have a Muslim exclusion clause, but it’s the standard interpretation among the otherwise strict constructionist extremists who think the constitution only deals with things that were available and in use in the late 18th century. Except of course for Rick Perry, who thinks the Constitution was written in the late 1500s.
But religion. Man, that’s a lifestyle. This group doesn’t eat meat, that group doesn’t drink coffee, this group doesn’t dance, this group doesn’t drink alcohol. And all the groups think they’re right, and everybody else is wrong.
I happen to think that as well. I’m right, y’know, that religion is quite possibly the source of all our problems, right after money, although religion and money do tend to go hand in hand. For some, money is religion. But the whole idea of an invisible god … well, let’s just say there are an awful lot of contradictions. And then there’s the deification of human beings. That’s a little much in my book. I bet I could get a buncha fools to follow me around and then declare I’m holy if I gave them enough wine and fish. I’m just sayin’.
But religion, man. Those religionists like to say we queers “recruit.” Seriously? Please. But what the hell is proselytizing if not recruitment by an unspellable name? And what about all this religionist effort to impose some arbitrary “moral” code on us all if not an agenda? And don’t even get me started on what’s “moral” and what’s not after the state of Kansas decriminalized “light” wife-beating.
See, I’m thinking all this bullshit about the “gay agenda” and the “gay lifestyle” and “recruiting” is just one big example of projection, because nobody does those any better than unthinking religious fanatics.
Now, I know that not all adherents of religions are like that, nor do all religions require stupidity as a prerequisite for membership. Buddhism, for example. In my limited experience with Buddhism, actually, I tend to think of it as less of a religion and more of an experiential philosophy. There really aren’t any deities to speak of, just as far as I can tell some interesting symbolic characters, some guy who lived a long time ago known as “the Buddha” who told everybody he taught not to believe a word he says until they’ve experienced it for themselves and a bunch of really peaceful, calm practitioners, some of whom have experienced more of what the Buddha talked about than others and spend a lot of their time teaching what they’ve learned. And saying not to believe it unless you experience it for yourself.
Not at all the same as some of the Christianists who encourage others to experience Lord Jesus in their lives and who, in my humble opinion, are just a tad bit delusional about what that experience was.
It is a bit of a lifestyle, although unless you consider peace and harmony with the universe an agenda, there’s not much of one of those. I know, some people do, mostly the aforementioned religionists. Me, I tend to think of peace and harmony with the universe as The Way Things Were Meant To Be before humanity got a little carried away with the free will thing.
I do have a personal lifestyle. It involves reading a lot, watching cop shows On Demand, being outside as much as possible, keeping my car in decent working order, keeping the cats fed and their litter boxes clean, some travel, staying up late because I work late, visiting friends and seeing the Buddhist Girl, who tells me not to believe a word she says unless I experience it myself, as much as possible. Oh, and gadgets. I love gadgets. And coding, which is poetry. I also like flying kites and running radio controlled boats. Very little of that has anything to do with my being a lesbian.
I also have a personal agenda, or, as I like to call it, ulterior motives. Those have nothing to do with you and never will. Some are directly connected to my being a lesbian, but again, not gonna mess with your life.
That whole “agenda” and “lifestyle” idea is just so foreign to me, really. It makes no sense, complicates things way too much. Involves too many people sticking their noses in things that have nothing to do with them. I’m not particularly fond of marriage, so I’m not gonna do that. Maybe you do like marriage, but don’t like gay marriage. Fine. Don’t marry someone of the same gender. Problem solved.
And please, don’t gay park your car or have gay lunch. It’ll just confuse people.