There's a cop-out I see come up fairly often, among homophobes, that I'm feeling the need to address. Because they don't want to be rightfully seen as the hateful fucks they are, they try to "soften" it - you all know the drill. "Love the sinner, hate the sin," and all that crap. I see that one a lot. But there's another one I see a lot, too. "It's nothing personal." It's a variant on LTS,HTS. "It's nothing personal; I don't have a problem with you as a person, I just can't support your lifestyle." That's one I heard a couple of times in that one awful class period, the purported separation of hate for a person from hate for their sexual orientation.
And it is, flatly, pure Grade-A bullshit.
To anyone who has ever said this - for example, Oklahoma City Councilman Brian Walters, whose quote of "It's not personal. I don't hate these people. It's just a moral conviction; I cannot support them" inspired this post - let me say it simply so you can never say you misunderstood.
This is never not personal.
It cannot ever be not personal.
For you, sitting high on your good fortune to be born with a sexual orientation widely accepted and promoted by the culture you live in, it's not personal. For you, who has never been challenged or threatened or had people insist that you "chose" to love who you love, it's not personal. For you, who never faced being thrown out of your home and family, harassed, taunted, even murdered for loving who you love, it can be not personal. For you, to whom the laws provide support and encouragement in your establishment of a family, it can be not personal. For you, who have never been accused of "shoving your preferences in other peoples' faces" for the simple act of holding hands, or kissing your partner on the cheek, or even just talking with coworkers about going to the movies with your partner over the weekend, it can be not personal.
But for those of us who are queer in one flavor or another, it is always, inevitably, unshakably personal. You are not, with your half-masked hateful words, attacking some nebulous, hypothetical "lifestyle". You are attacking us. You are telling me that the love I felt for my ex-girlfriend wasn't real, or was somehow bad, wrong, deviant, immoral, etc. You are telling the children of LGB parents that their moms or dads are bad people. You cannot speak out against such a core identity as who one loves and partners with, without speaking out against the people who hold that identity. These are not separate or separable things. Yes, we are more than just sexual orientation, but that orientation forms a deep and abiding part of the whole, and you cannot extract it to attack without hitting the person around it, too.
So please. Stop trying to pretend you'd like us as people if only we wouldn't be so very gay at you. If you're going to hate us, be honest and hate us. The compassionate face you try to put on it is not compassionate at all, and it's not fooling anybody.