In response to New York’s recently introduced marriage equality bill, the so-called National Organization for Marriage got a bunch of pictures of black people and some guy who sounds like Foghorn Leghorn to repeat the same lies about indoctrinating schoolchildren that they ran in 2009. They accuse us of exploiting children and in response we say, “NOOO! We’re not gonna make kids learn about homosexuality, we swear! It’s not like we’re trying to recruit your children or anything.” But let’s face it—that’s a lie. We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it.
The battle over Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay Bill” has made this most apparent. Why would anybody get all up in arms about punishing teachers who mention queers in the classroom unless we wanted teachers to do just that? In response against the bill, FCKH8 hired some little girls to drop F-bombs in their online PSAs and gave out hundreds of “Don’t B H8N on the Homos” t-shirts, wristbands, pins and stickers to school children in front of TV cameras. Recruiting children? You bet we are.
Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?
Remember, Prop 8 passed along age lines with the very old voting largely in favor of it. The younger generation doesn’t fear homosexuality as much because they’re exposed to fags on TV, online, and at school. And I don’t know a single lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person who wants that to stop. I for one certainly want tons of school children to learn that it’s OK to be gay, that people of the same sex should be allowed to legally marry each other, and that anyone can kiss a person of the same sex without feeling like a freak. And I would very much like for many of these young boys to grow up and start fucking men. I want lots of young ladies to develop into young women who voraciously munch box. I want this just as badly as many parents want their own kids to grow up and rub urinary tracts together to trade proteins and forcefully excrete a baby.
I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Hell, our opponents even do the same. Yes, they regularly appeal to parents, older adults, and “values voters” through their advertising but they also provide organizing materials so students so they can challenge queer acceptance on their own “Day of Dialogue.” The old Day of Dialogue website even contained a press kit so student organizers could alert the local media to come and cover their campaign. Anti-gay opponents are already unabashedly indoctrinating our children with the church and conservative politicians on their side and they make no bones about it.
Sure, they blow the few instances of parental disagreement over queer education histrionically out of proportion, but we do our opponents an even greater service when we trip all over ourselves promising not to mention queers in front of the kids when in fact we’d love to. And because we hide from this very basic fact and treat it like something to be ashamed of, we end up with watered-down unemotional pleas for equality like New York For Marriage Equality’s incredibly weaksauce ad:
Committed, loving relationships! Wedding vows! Until death do us part! We just wanna be able to say “I Do!” Forget the thousands of social benefits that regularly screw over queer people without marriage equality. Forget that marriage equality states have lower rates of queer youth and teen suicide. Forget that not educating our kids about queer issues makes them ignorant, hateful little morons. All that doesn’t matter just as long as Mary Jo Kennedy and Jo-Ann Shain can sit on a couch with matching glasses and haircuts and dispassionately discuss semantics.
Do you really think Mary Jo and Jo-Ann are gonna convince a bunch of parents who have just seen NOM’s scary ad that schools aren’t gonna teach their kids about gay fisting and anal sex? So what if NOM’s ad is full of lies and distortions? You know why they keep using those same tired old lies? BECAUSE THEY WORK. And if we plan on responding to scare tactics about indoctinating kids and outlawing religion with polite lesbian discussions about commitment, we’ve already lost.
How about this? How about we accept that we want kids to think better about queers and then create ads—with tons of verifiable supporting evidence—that just plainly state that denying marriage equality ruins people’s lives? That would at least be honest and a heck of a lot more compelling then this fearful mincing we’re doing to the tune and delight of our foes.