LGBTQ+ existence has long been pitted as a culture war where the bejewelled combatants assail everyday ways of life, hurling gay grenades down the halls of institutions like American congress or men in leather pants and harnesses are kicking in the doors of middle England to convert your children.
There is no war, and it’s time to quite literally put down your guns.
I had an argument today which I’ve screencapped for your perusal.
As an Englishman I find American obsession around guns and gun laws to be absolutely gauche. But most of all, when men crow about their love of carrying guns I look at people like that with a mix of utter suspicion and- frankly- derision.
I find this type of delusional thinking objectively fascinating. The lack of nuance never fails to amaze me: if I walked into a kitchen and saw a man brandishing a knife I wouldn’t bat an eye- contextually it’s normal even if a knife is a deadly weapon- but if I saw a man brandishing a knife walking down the street I’d be pretty within my rights to think “well… that’s not good”.
Same with a gun. In the right context, guns don’t scare me: I’ve been on shooting ranges and guns in that context are normal- I’ve also walked past the mint in Leeds where money is created, and had police with P90s stand looking at me warily. It’s intimidating, and it’s done for one of two reasons: to avert danger, or to threaten it.
Men with guns aren’t out stretching their firearm’s legs, there is a reason behind why they carry weaponry and walking out of my favourite gay bar after a show to find a line of men dressed up like marines rejects fingering the trigger of an AK47 is, understandably, nerve wracking- and yet honestly mystifying.
To act like fear is not the motivator for carrying guns- why else has anyone ever carried a weapon in history- either to do harm, or protect themselves from it- so which scenario do these anti drag folks envision- protecting themselves from drag queens or wreak harm on them. Ironic too, for people used to carry sidearms back in Shakespeare’s day… when this newfangled “men in dresses” thing started, because there were no women in Shakespeare’s plays, only men in drag.
Perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps it’s rage. Either way it’s misplaced. If it’s rage, be reminded that drag queens aren’t trying to convert your children: it’s impossible to do that and a huge swath of the LGBT+ will tell you so. If it was possible to convert, how many of us would have chosen the path of least resistance in our youth to avoid this ridiculous argument we’re forced into. If conversion was possible, conversion therapy would work: it doesn’t, it leaves most of its victims psychologically scarred enough that they don’t act on their urges, but it doesn’t remove them. I’d also hasten to point out that the existence of conversion therapy speaks to who is trying to “groom” whom into being like the other.
If it’s fear that necessitates dragging firearms around, which I suspect, I fail to see what’s so scary about a man in a dress and fake nails, other than the possibility of a catty comment or being accidentally blinded by flying sequins. But can we be surprised that so many are radicalised into thinking LGBT+ people are creating a WAR on normativity? Look at the messages pumped out by conservative media outlets.
Each of these things has been described by Fox News as having a “WAR” against it
If there was a war; we wouldn’t stand a chance.
3.5% of Americans identify as gay or lesbian. 0.3% identify as transgender. If 3.8% of the population waged war it’s not exactly going to go well- is it.
But conservative types are desperate to push this narrative that anyone outside of their normative model is assailing it, coming for your way of life, trying to FORCE you to be like them.
Making small concessions towards a tiny fragment of the population isn’t war. Not asking people personal questions that you don’t want the answer to any more than we want to give it is not war. If you ask if I have a wife and I say no, and you tell me I should be married at my age and I just smile and say nothing you’re being intrusive- why not leave it instead of prying further then being offended when I tell you I’m gay? It’s like purchasing a rod, waiting for it to arrive, taking it out of the box then handing it to someone and asking them to hit you with it.
It may come as a shock: I don’t want there to be more gay people in the world: I want the people who are to be able to come out and be happy if they so wish, I want the people who are trans to get their healthcare and get on with their lives, and especially, I want people so brainwashed by the endless shouts of WAR, WAR, WAR against them to let go of the rhetoric and realise they’re not being threatened by gay people- but by their perception of us: you’re fighting ghosts.
Yes, you might get fired if you call me a slur. I might get fired if I call someone a slur… it’s not a right I have that you don’t, simply that there are no slurs to describe you and even if there were I wouldn’t use them- but of course, normative culture has a morose obsession with trying to make normal words slurs.
TikTokers like Nicholasvanj call heterosexual people “upsetterosexuals” or “straggots” and then face deluges of “HETEROPHOBIA” in their comments. People constantly decry the use of the word cis when it’s literally a descriptor like “tall”, “athletic” or “interesting”. If you don’t want to be called cis I won’t call you cis- but I’m sure going to be confused about how you’ll wring insult out of a factual descriptive word with no negative connotations, and I’ll make extra sure that you don’t use any offensive lingo either- you’d be fascinated by how many people offended by a biological descriptor like cis throw around anti trans or homophobic words with what they believe is impunity.
The saddest part is that most virulently anti LGBT+ people seem miserable, obsessed with something that isn’t their concern. I cannot imagine spending my life wrapped so intimately around something I find disgusting. But they cannot simply disengage because there almost seems to be a need to create a dark shibboleth of the community, to make us the enemy that worsens their lives, poisons their water and steals their precious children into depravity. I don’t just want them to stop because they endanger my life with their increasingly provocative rhetoric: I want them to stop because I don’t like seeing miserable people yelling about my private life 24/7 and I think they must have better things to do with their time: Imagine how much happier you’d be if you stopped worrying about imaginary genitals or whether I’m a top or a bottom. So much free time to knit, to go to the gym, read, drink beer, I don’t care- just stop obsessing over people who, frankly, want nothing to do with you.
Heteronormative men in particular are desperate for there to be some sort of attack against them- constantly pushing the rhetoric that they are having their way of life dismantled, their freedoms taken away, their free speech censored. Unfortunately this is what parity looks like: when you finally get held to the same standards as others it’s not because we’re taking your rights away, it’s that we’re applying societal norms to you that your predecessors did not face.
Let’s imagine there is this fabled war though, and when they win, when they finally take over… then what?
I don’t understand the world that the men who espouse such toxic nonsense actually want, and frankly I don’t think they do either. If you rid the world of the LGBT+ and the feminists and the feminine men, how long do you think it would be until the less masculine men were up next, charged with feminising the real alphas… and which group would you be in? If every man suddenly became a super masculine paragon of manliness it would be a flash before they turned against themselves- they have to have an enemy to survive, because the whole ethos of the “alpha” male is victimhood garbed as strength, and if nobody is there to pick on them.. what then? It’s an ideology that folds in on itself like poorly done origami the moment it’s subjected to critical scrutiny, and one too many men fall into to expunge blame for their own failings when they are often the arbiters of their own misery against each other.
The fallacious thinking of the meninist crowd is made complex by people debating the grossly vapid talking points of empty fools like Andrew Tate, who likes to spend his time failing to antagonise 19 year old women on the internet or by lionising the actions of those cosplaying Navy SEALs outside drag bars when it’s really very simple: Men have spent years being lied to by media, shown movies where masculinity is control, manliness is anger, where if you just keep pestering, eventually she’ll say yes- from James Bond movies to every other action movie dross, negative masculinity is at the forefront of most of our historical media. Men grow up being told if you’re rude and dismissive to women they’ll do what you want because all women secretly want bad men- but wait, no, feminism is ruining it, making women think they have equal status? You have to put effort into dating? To men who think like this, I have to ask: do you even like women? I saw an interview with a meninist recently who argued his girlfriend should not be allowed to go on holiday without him because other men looking at her is disrespectful to him.
Security with a partner comes from trust, and if you cannot trust you are deeply damaged. Forcing someone into fidelity by simply refusing to allow them to go anywhere and do anything is not a paragon of masculinity, it exemplifies true fragility- and if you disagree, reverse the roles and ask yourself how you would feel about a woman averse to allowing her partner to go on holiday without her…? Control freak? Crazy?… Insecure.
It’s no different in the inverse.
A partner is just that: someone on equal standing who supports you as you support them, and if you’re too weak and fragile to be in a relationship with an equal I want to heartily assure you- it’s not women who have the problem in that scenario. Strength seeks strength, so if you hope to find a weak willed woman who will do what you say it’s because of your own inherent weakness, not because of your strength.
Further, LGBT+ people aren’t coming for your way of life. Many LGBT+ people call for integration into cishet society and whilst I understand it, the older I get the more I want some form of base separatism. I want to be left alone to live my gay life in a gay subculture that barely bumps against straight culture. I don’t want to have to mask my irritation at insensitive questions about my sex life, or feign patience when I listen to someone say “I’m fine with it, I just wish they’d leave kids out of it” when I have always known I was gay and was suicidal as a child and into my mid teens because nobody could or would help me understand it, and despite this endless patient explanation still being told “but some people might take advantage”- again, creating imaginary “what if” scenarios proves to me only that you’re more interested in living in an imaginary world than the physical one.
If you want to have a realistic conversation about indoctrination lets talk about forcing children to say the pledge of alliegance, or splashing water on their forehead so they don’t go to purgatory forever or relentlessly pestering your young children about if they have a girlfriend or a boyfriend… or is is that there’s good and bad types of grooming and indoctrination?
Society is crowded with bigots riled up by media pundits whose mission is to make you think everyone who isn’t a carbon copy of you- skin colour, political affiliation, sexual proclivities- is coming to destroy your life. Ironic, then, that they so readily destroy lives that they see as apart from their own.
If your existence is maintained via the dismantlement of other peoples’ normal, perhaps your normal is the aberration.
When it comes to masculinity, the very idea of feeling so threatened by a drag artist that you hover outside their work with a loaded gun is not masculine: The essence of masculinity is security, displayed by being so unbothered by gun toting yahoos that you cooly stroll into work unbothered by the threat of their presence.
If you want to shame people for dressing up to be that which they are not, might I suggest you take off your store bought army garb, holster your unused firearm and realise you’re just as much- if not more than- a cosplayer as those you hope vainly to threaten.