Sex, Lies, and Video Hate
I went to the most marvelous party—as gay songwriter Noel Coward once sang. It was the wedding of two dear men, one of whom was responsible for writing Delaware’s marriage equality law.
The moving ceremony was officiated by Delaware’s first transgender state senator, who handled the task with authority, love, and humor.
It was a joyous night, with a beautiful diversity of guests—all ages, genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. It was a love fest and a blast.
And I proved I’m clearly old, as I never even considered going to the after-party. My after-party was at Club Duvet. Z-z-z-z-z.
I went to sleep with a smile on my face and woke up to the horror of the Club Q murders.
I watched the story unfold, crying into my coffee, not understanding how this could happen again. I realized, beyond the gun culture and lack of mental health services, the true problem is the demonizing of minorities.
I’ve been alive long enough to have heard my grandparents and parents talking about the Holocaust. At the time, it was only a decade past a current event. My father fought against the Germans; my mother and her sister talked about the gas chambers in Yiddish, so as not to “frighten the kids.”
But I learned about it all, including devouring books, films, and plays about the gassing of eight million Jews, gays, Romas (gypsies), people with disabilities, and more. How could such a massive, inconceivable tragedy happen? We know the answer. It was facilitated by Hitler and the Nazis demonizing minority groups, fomenting hatred, and turning neighbor against neighbor.
And now, 80 years later, the same tactic is in wide and terrible use in our country. Right wing media spews lies about gay people and other minorities, without being challenged by the FCC or any other entity to assure us that that media is truthful. Outright lies have no place in legitimate news outlets.
Instead, some tell lies about transgender people in bathrooms, LGBTQ people grooming kids (whatever that means), children acting like cats as left-wing adults provide them with litter boxes at school, and kindergartener’s taught about sex acts. ALL LIES.
I want to work to stop the lies, but I feel powerless. How do I reach people who listen to the lies of conservative pundits and politicians? This column certainly won’t reach people who hear and believe the lies. If I were wealthy, I’d take ads on FOX NotNews, and entertainingly tell the truth. The Gay Agenda: breakfast, lunch, pick up dog poop, unsubscribe from a zillion emails, dinner, bedtime. No time for grooming (whatever that is).
But what do I do now?
By nightfall I had written to the Rachel Maddow Blog urging her to take on the issue of people only listening to opposing media and calling out those which lie. News should be reliably true. She’d do a great job with that.
Next, I wrote to the Cape Gazette.
I love The Cape Gazette because it has readers of all political views, a rare thing these days. Today I hope that eyes other than in my political bubble read this.
Five people died in a hate crime last week. None of them, or others who have been killed, were grooming anybody for anything, causing danger in restrooms, teaching kindergarteners about sex or any of the other outrageous lies found on conservative media or online hate speech. They were merely trying to live their lives, like the rest of us.
The shooters do the crimes but are pushed to violence by politicians and commentators demonizing minorities and making people fear them. Right from the Nazi playbook, the lies make good people turn on their neighbors.
Cling to your own political views about reproductive freedom, taxes, and policies, and I will cling to mine. But do not believe the lies spread by commentators and politicians gaining wealth and power by telling you to hate others.
Hell, I don’t know if it will be published [Ed. Note: It was; see Letters to the Editor, November 25], or if so, do a shred of good. But I had to do something. And I will try to do more to stop the lies. Stay tuned. I’m on a mission.
But simultaneously let’s live our lives, joyously, as safely as possible, kindly, and mindful that if an occasion arises, we work to dispel some of the demonizing lies.
Let’s have a Happy New Year, readers. I appreciate you all. ▼
Fay Jacobs is the author of five published books and is touring with her one-woman sit-down comedy show, Aging Gracelessly.