Monday, February 06, 2006

Scapegoats -- America's Big Dirty Secret.

Lately, when speaking with people who are afraid of or uncertain about their LGBT fellow human beings, I've found more confusion and fear than real hatred. I've been approached by folks from bikers to housewives and always with the same questions:

Again and again, these people have been sexually abused by some family member. They ask me if their dad/brother/uncle was gay. Does that "make them gay" for submitting?

I explain to them that these attacks are by sick people, not part of a normal loving human relationship. That they have nothing to do with whether someone is gay or not. That sex is for consenting adults. That nobody is either gay or straight or in any little box based on one forced moment.

But I'm beginning to seriously wonder -- is the LGBT community being scapegoated for the attacks of so-called "straight" family members? Is the hatred and fear of LGBT citizens based less on biblical texts -- and more on sexual child abuse?

Is the attack on the LGBT community just a cover for America's dirty big secret of child abuse?

For some reason complete strangers open up to me about this. All the time. It's heartbreaking, to hear what their relatives did to them, and the pain they're still in. Sometimes they speak to me in code. Sometimes -- with the help of alcohol -- the language is very plain.

In every case, the victims hunch over tables or sit in cars and whisper intently to me, as though I'm the first person they've ever been able to tell this to, and they know I won't betray them. They all blame themselves, like there was something they did to bring on the attack.

Sometimes they get very intent on what "gay people do" or what a gay person "really" is. I try not to get too clinical. One very church lady got into an intense discussion of what transexuals are and do. There are a lot of hang-ups about sex roles, but there's also a deep interest in the true story, rather than the propaganda.

(I get this concerning all sorts of things, including the war in Iraq. Again and again, I've seen an American pull den deutschen Blick -- the German glance -- what the Germans called it when you looked over your shoulder before talking in the Third Reich. I even had this happen at a pro-war rally, when the marchers could get away from their fellows and hiss whispered questions at me. How many damn things are we whispering about in this country?)

The guys who jump these kids are always "straight" (whatever that EVER means). "Normal" Americans. And they're letting the gay community take the rap for them. Not only abusing kids, but hiding behind the LGBT community. Bastards.

A friend's comment: "I had a friend who was homophobic, years ago, who seemed to think that all gay males were pedephiles. The reason this came up for discussion was that Robert Reed of the Brady Bunch had been outed. My friend immediately made the jump to: "I'll bet those poor kids on the show were all abused by him". I was dumbfounded. So yeah, I think you may be on to something."

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