Alvin McEwen over at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters pointed out that Peter Heck, a guest columnist at One News Now is whining about all the gay celebrities that came out recently. Alvin wrote a wonderful response, explaining (though I hope to add to it) how coming out is not the same as discussing your sexual escapades, and I highly encourage my readers to check out his post. However, he left a lot of stuff in Heck’s column untouched, so I want to take a closer look at the column.
CNN host Don Lemon recently became the latest in a string of
high-profile individuals to “come out of the closet” and inform everyone
who would listen that he enjoys practicing homosexuality. Every time
this occurs, and we are treated to the seemingly endless litany of
interviews that applaud the recently outed individual’s courage and
fortitude, I’m left scratching my head.
The reason Peter is scratching his head is because he simply doesn’t understand what’s so courageous about coming out. I mean, sure, he’s writing a column for a “news agency” run by the American Family Association, an organization that spends a great deal of energy vilifying and dehumanizing QUILTBAG individuals. But surely, the fact that people like Peter actively encourage open hostility towards us wouldn’t make the thought of opening yourself up to such hostility a daunting thought, right?
But what really gets Peter is the fact that in his mind, people are telling him about their sex lives:
First, why do the very people who constantly tell us that what a person
does in their bedroom is no one else’s business, simultaneously find it
necessary to inform everyone of what they do in their bedroom? If this
is a private matter, Don, then let’s keep it private. Perhaps I’m the
only one who feels this way, but frankly, I don’t care to know what kind
of sex the evening news anchor is into.
Here’s the thing: I doubt Pete’s hypothetical news anchor isn’t telling Pete whether he’s a top or bottom. I doubt he’s telling him whether he prefers to do it doggy style or has a preference for the reverse cowboy position. That would be telling Pete about his sex life. And yeah, i can see where that might be considered inappropriate*.
But saying, “Hey, I’m gay.”** is not the same as discussing one’s sex life. Yeah, it tells you that if one is going to have sex, it’s going to be with someone who’s the same sex as the person speaking. But then, that same information is transmitted in different ways. If Peter casually “checks out” — or even just takes a second look — at a woman, he’s announcing to everyone present that he’s heterosexual and will probably have sex with a woman at some point in his life. Somehow I doubt Peter sees anything wrong with that. It’s just gays he has a problem with letting people know.
And let’s face it, I doubt Peter gets upset about wedding announcements in his local paper, either. And yet, those announcements make it pretty clear that the couple will be having sex. In fact, they’re probably having a lot of sex at the moment Peter is reading their wedding announcement, as they’re most likely on their honeymoon. And yet, Peter is okay with knowing that.
Of course, Peter doesn’t read a wedding announcement and immediately start thinking of a couple having sex. No, he thinks of everything that comes with marriage. He’s picturing that couple holding hands in public. He’s picturing that couple having breakfast. he’s picturing that couple making plans for the weekend or discussing how to pay an upcoming bill as they have dinner together. Because Peter knows marriage is about more than sex.
But to him, being gay or being in a same-sex relationship is only about sex. We don’t hold hands. We don’t cuddle while watching a movie on television. We don’t discuss our household budget or do any of that stuff. To Peter Heck, we just strip and get it on the moment we both get home. In effect, Peter thinks about gay people (and mostly gay men) having sex. He thinks about it more than most gay people!***
But then we get into Peter’s real problem: He’s a persecuted hegemon, and the fact that gay people are coming out and not immediately being tossed into prisons**** fires up his persecution complex:
Does anyone actually think that in the politically correct world of
American media there was any chance Don Lemon was going to be publicly
criticized amongst his peers for such a declaration? Lemon’s home
network of CNN has become notorious for their one-sided reporting of the
emerging face-off between homosexual rights claims of sexual anarchists
on the left and the rights of conscience for the traditional morality
crowd on the right.
Of course Peter’s argument is completely flawed. Peter and the company he keeps are not merely “expressing their conscience about traditional morality here.” Peter is out to vilify not only QUILTBAG people, but anyone on the “left.” He tars us all as “sexual anarchists.” This is not the act of a “proponent of traditional morals.” This is the act of an anti-gay propagandist. Even as he tries to claim victim status for himself, he cannot resist the urge to take a swipe — not to mention a false claim (apparently, dishonesty is okay with today’s “proponents of traditional morality) at those he sees as worthy of his disapproval.
But that doesn’t keep Peter from trying. He draws out how he and his fellow Bible-believing “defenders of morality” are the real persecuted people
If Lemon really wanted to demonstrate courage, let’s see him “come out”
in the media as a Bible-believing, born-again follower of Jesus Christ
whose faith teaches him that homosexuality is morally improper. Rather
than basking in the glow of the entertainment crowd’s unyielding
affection, he would be immediately tarred and feathered for his
draconian allegiance to discriminatory and prejudicial fairy tales
coming from an ancient, bigoted book.
The thing that Peter keeps ignoring — and hoping everyone else will ignore as well — is that he and his kind are not just saying what they believe. They are trying to make us agree with him, or at least let them dictate our actions based on what they believe. They’re trying to vilify, dehumanize, and even control and outlaw other people. That’s not standing up for “traditional morals.” That’s attempting to become a privileged oppressor.
The fact that Peter Heck cannot see the difference between these two things says a lot about him.
* Granted, I will be the first to admit that I’m perfectly happy to discuss my sexual preferences in certain social settings. I see nothing wrong with that, as I think having a healthy attitude and openness about sex rather than being all uptight and secretive about it. But that’s still a far cry of telling every random person I meet about these things.
** Or bisexual for that matter.
*** Please stop to think about how creepy this is. Peter Heck and people like him spend more time thinking about my sex life more than I do, despite not even knowing me. Quite frankly, the only person who arguably has any healthy reason to think about my sex life more than I do is my own partner. And I am not sleeping with Peter Heck.
**** I actually don’t know whether Peter believes that QUILTBAG individuals should be criminalized, but the people who gave him his platform do.