Sunday, January 15, 2006

Exposing the Propaganda

Note to self: If you're going to regularly mention in both pleasant and not-so-pleasant language the Washington Blade, make sure to check it regularly.

Such was the case this morning when I went to check the site stats (thank you, Sitemeter), and found to my amazement that traffic was running quite a bit higher than usual, with several referral pages coming from the Blade. As it turns out, my "Exposing the Exposers" post had been featured on the Blade's Blogwatch section.

Of course, with more traffic comes more comments, and a couple of those have fallen into the, "Did you even read what I wrote?" area.

To whit:

Um, i'm gay and "at the core", my parents are my best friends AND I was never molested, didn't even have any sort of sex until I was 18. Oh, and my brother is gay too. Plus, our parents know we are gay and they love us just the same. See, not all of us are screwed up like you are in Texas.

To give any sort of validation to the idea that homosexuality is a product of molestation or dysfunctional parental relationships is utter trash. It is hurtful, it is indefensible and you should know better.

First off, I know exactly from where the commentor is coming. I myself was never molested, didn't have sex until I was 26, and my parents love me too -- a lot. Indeed, their first reactions to my coming out were straight out of the How to Blame Yourself At Home for Fun and Profit textbook:

1. "How could we have let somebody abuse you?"
2. "Why didn't we spend more time with you?"
3. "We must be terrible parents!"

Of course, the answer to those three points was "None of the above"; therefore, I think I can state rather unequivocally that neither having bad parents or being sexually abused as a child were the reasons that I ended up gay.

However, this is what I wrote, relative to his second point about "validating the idea":

Instead, what one should focus on is the extrapolations that (David, author of the book The Marketing of Evil)Kupelian makes from said quotes and from said facts; for instance, the whole "child molestation" thing can be rebutted by the fact that, while some gays were indeed molested as children and went on to molest children themselves, not all gays were, nor does everyone who was molested as a child turn out gay or molest children. Kupelian deliberately frames his argument in that case to push buttons -- obviously, no one wants to be called a child molester or be associated with them -- but in doing so, sets up an absolutist construct that can be easily and quickly refuted. Furthermore, it gives one the opportunity to point out that child abuse is a universal problem, not limited to "gay" or "straight", and that both sides need to work together to stop it.

The gist of that paragraph is that, while it is an unquestionably-true fact that some molested children turn out gay and some of these gay people who were themselves molested go on to molest other children, that is not sufficient evidence to say that child molestation causes homosexuality. If that were the case, as I pointed out, molested children would uniformly be homosexual, and all homosexuals would have been molested as children -- which is completely false. An absolutist construct, such as Kupelian makes, is invalidated by exceptions -- and there are exceptions. Thus, what I did was to validate one of the facts used in the argument, but refute the argument itself in the process.

What is frankly terrifying is that the commentor is so dead-set against the argument, he considers acknowledging one of the facts used in the argument to be true -- a verified, obvious FACT -- to be the same as validating the argument itself. THIS is what I mean when I say that the gay community is a prisoner of its own propaganda -- we are so desperate to maintain our facade and avoid ANY negative point or connotation that we completely deny reality. It would be utter lunacy to say that gays have never molested children or that no molested child grew up to be gay -- but admitting the obvious corrolary, which is that SOME gays have molested children and SOME molested children have grown up to be gay is "utter trash".

In short, the wingnuts have figured out that the gay community's biggest weakness is our utter inability to go off-script at any level. All they've had to do is find examples that clearly contradict portions of the script, and they can portray us as lying and covering up, because we refuse to yield or acknowledge anything that could be portrayed as antigay.

I, for one, refuse to be held hostage by this idiocy. Yes, there are gays who were molested as children. Yes, there are gays who molest children. Gays like my commentor who refuse to acknowledge this reality consider the manufactured "image" of the gay community to be more important than the facts. Wingnuts who try to extrapolate this into "proof" that all gays are child molestors are fools and liars who are hijacking the real problem of and battle against child abuse to suit their personal prejudices and are allowing MORE children to be abused by failing to confront the true issues involved.

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