When a group who has been completely repressed by society gains rights and becomes more mainstream, division starts to occur. In the 1980s and 1990s, the LGBT community came together after friends were dying due to AIDS. That togetherness changed the course of history.
Now that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders are a part of mainstream society (at least more than they were 20 years ago), the deep division and hate that exist within the community makes some members of the KKK look good.
Michael Musto, a man who was standing up for gay rights at a time when saying the word “gay” was like a swear word, recently wrote an article about the topic that has caused a conversation in the LGBT community.
“Too many times, we try to turn ‘community’ into ‘mutiny.’ Rather than embrace all the colors of the rainbow and j’adore every type of person that’s included in our patchwork, we turn on each other by acting superior to our brothers and sisters, treating the other LGBTs as somehow less deserving, ” Mr. Musto points out.
Musto gives examples of how gay men don’t want to be in the same room as “too fishy” lesbians, who feel that gay men are too sex-crazed. Trans people resent drag queens for having too much “male privilege.” He notes that bisexual people truly get the short end of the stick because the media hasn’t picked up on their visibility.
The fact that bisexuals are sometimes looked down at more than the rest of the LGBT community is well documented. Paris Lee from Vice explains why.
“That might be because, for years, bisexuality has been maligned as homosexuality’s no-good cousin-a sort of halfway house between straight respectability and full-blown gay-dom. Bisexuals spread diseases. Bisexuals can’t accept that they’re really gay. Bisexuals are greedy, confused, selfish.”
Of course, Lee doesn’t actually believe that, but a huge percentage of people do. A lot of people don’t believe “bi” really exists. Andrew Dice Clay, a comedian not exactly known for being a friend of the LGBT community, said something back in the 1980s that still sticks today. It was along the lines that there is no such thing as being bi; you either suck d**k or you don’t. It’s a line that gay people still use against bisexuals today.
In his article about the LGBT community, Michael Musto remembers how, as an Italian-American, he constantly heard his neighbors demonize Jews, Blacks, and others. They did that in order to elevate themselves. A lot of the hate was about self-loathing and Musto believes that is happening in the LGBT community today.
“Perhaps having grown up with shame about being LGBT, we exercise that feeling by lobbing prejudice against our own kind. Sometimes it’s a means of deflecting our own oppression by ganging up on our comrades.”
Perhaps one of the biggest results of progress in the LGBT community is ageism. Twenty years ago, it was considered a gift for a gay man to live past 40. Now, the men who fought for the rights of millennials in the LGBT are often ridiculed for being “too old.” Both Queerty and the Huffington Post recently wrote about the topic and, of course, received backlash from young gay men who said that they’re not being ageist, but believe that older gay men should “act their age” instead of trying to relive their youth. Of course, the notion of “acting your age” is very limiting in itself.
The conversation about intolerance in the gay community is something many believe needs to happen. Michael Musto wasn’t the first to write about it, but his article has really produced a much-needed firestorm on the topic.
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