Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who's afraid of the big bad fag?

Beware gay men. They prey on your children. They tear your family apart. Bla bla bla.

I realise most of us grow up with friends and family members telling us things about the "sexually deviant", "morally corrupt", "promiscuous" people out there, around the corner, hiding in your closet (HA!) waiting to get you or your kids when you least expect it.

The fear and hate mongering serves two purposes. One, to draw and embolden moral boundaries of separation and distancing - which leads to the demonising of queer people; and two, continue the misinformation.

It must be established that in every community, there are always people who will prey on children. However, the queer folks get more of the spotlight. In these instances, I notice that queer perpetrators are further demonised for their sexual identity on top of their crime of perversion against children, while straight perpetrators just have the latter portfolio.

For a community that is relatively misunderstood, invisible and numerically small, it is all the more easier to create and maintain stereotypes. Puritanical moralists, who feel obligated to maintain their singular (or tribal) moral dominance, create their own monsters and demons to point the way to "goodness" and what is right. Once in a while, we will create the occasional moral panic as we parade our own creations of monsters in public to remind everyone of the rigid yet fragile boundaries of a brand of morality we take for granted to be universal.

In the army, most of us practise the H1N1 preparedness protocol of social distancing when we encounter effeminate colleagues. Of course, their presence probably threaten our masculinity, an assumed to be key ingredient for us Alices to being respected in this 2-year wonderland.

Speaking of Alices, we have grown men gossiping like stereotypical schoolgirls or middle-aged housewives as we ritualise our homophobia. We joke about being "ass-raped" and we puff out our chests in mock anger if our sexual orientation is questioned.

To an extent, we make something out of nothing. It is as if every gay and/or effeminate man have the uncontrollable urge to desecrate the sanctity of your unsuspecting posterior. But all these heterosexist moralising and ritualising have turned possible friends into straight-out villains.

I'm really puzzled. Why do we want to do this? What is the threat here?

How or in what way does a random gay person, among other queer people, threaten me?

Queer persons get beaten by their parents and/or siblings and/or friends, thrown out of the house, randomly ridiculed and scolded, as if they are threats to something.

Perhaps they are indeed threats. Threats to an order we are so desperately to upkeep. But for what?

As I am conscious enough not to start the Oppression Olympics, I think straight society is the threat to itself. It is a paranoid, defensive and uncompromising network of norms and discourses, unreflective and unwilling to reflect on itself.

I do not feel less straight in the presence of a gay man, a lesbian woman, femme, butch, futch (new word for me), a trans man, trans woman, genderfucker/blender, bisexual, pan-sexual, "try"-sexual, PAP-sexual. I don't feel threatened at all. I don't think these people threaten my family too. I have as must emotional, moral, spiritual investment in them as they have in me - probably none - so why should I bother judging and telling them what and how to be?

There is too much self-righteousness going around, that it is suffocating. It is time we stop the name-calling and spreading of misinformation, or rather, lies. We have become the pathological liars ourselves as we conveniently surround ourselves with stereotypes and misguided impressions/hearsay about the dangers queer people pose to our personhood and lives.

You don't need to create misinformation or put other people down just to feel good about yourself right? (Unless you are a politician belonging to the ruling party as that tactic would be justified in most cases.)

Why do we want to feel good about ourselves by pursuing external affairs when we can be spending the same time and effort addressing the internal issues we have with ourselves and our mindsets?

Honestly, ask yourself, when was the last time you felt threatened by a queer person? What did you feel or do or say in reaction to that? In what way do you think this queer person can make you a poorer person, or physically unsafe? (exclude gay man selling time share stuff of course)

When you talk about moral fabric, whose moral fabric are you talking about, or imagining to be so singular, so universal, so real, like society's vulnerable hymen?

When you talk about slippery slope, to what extent are you personally involved and invested in making this an incline in the first place?

Take away all these "external issues", and start focusing on yourself and what you have always been thinking, and ask yourself if you are personally threatened and how so.

I may be scared and wary of people, because some are deceitful, antagonistic, or downright malicious, not because they like women and/or men, or not because they feel they are a woman or a man or neither. Your sexual preference and gender identity poses no threat or harm to me. On the other hand, it is the misinformation and hate mongering that poses a lot of unnecessary threats and harm to everyone else in this place.

Boyfriend carrying girlfriend's handbag. Man holding man's hand. Woman lip-locking with woman. No threat. There's no bomb, no anthrax, no lawsuits carried out by Davinder Singh (if you're on the receiving end, it will be GG).

Well, if there are indeed threats (to image, "face", ideological membership to religious organisation/hierarchy, and other social constructs), please feel free to share. I must hear.


-ben said...

There is too much self-righteousness going around, that it is suffocating. It is time we stop the name-calling and spreading of misinformation, or rather, lies...

Speaking of righteousness...

(drum roll)

George Lim is back!


It is time we took serious heed of the axiom: 'Righteousness exalts a nation.'


Sam Ho said...

nice, george lim heng chye is the best. seriously, he's so fundamentalist, he'll make a good terrorist.