The Gayest Place on Earth ~ YE GAY O’LE VALLEY

By: Dani Langevin

“Everyone’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.” -James Baldwin

What is happening in this country?

What is this movement to oppress? Why do some Americans feel threatened when other Americans ask to be extended the same freedoms and protections as they do? For some reason, many Americans are against this. In my opinion, it is because they feel superior to these groups and by raising them to the same level as their oppressors, well, that would be tragic. What other reason is there for not allowing every human being the freedom of choice, love, speech, representation, movement and so much more?

Florida has passed a bill or is trying to pass one that is being called by some voters as the “Don’t say Gay” law. It makes it illegal to discuss sexual orientation in school from K-3. Here is another instance where the right latches onto some unfounded fear, treats highly professional educators as morons and instills an unfounded panic in the heads of young parents. Can anyone bring up one instant where an elementary teacher had a conversation with their students about sexual orientation?

And please don’t tell me that’s what is trying to be prevented. America has a habit of doing more damage than good while trying to prevent something that “might” happen all under the title of National Security: Indian Removal Act, Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment Camps, separate but equal, and so on.

Do NOT also claim it protects the LGBTQ+ community. It does not. It is irreparably harming them. It is telling them they are invisible and should remain invisible. They are nothing and should be ignored or, worse yet, be gotten rid of. Let’s erase the gay out of society. It will give license to those homophobes living in Florida or in other parts of America. Do a little research. Look at the uptick in hate crimes on certain groups of people once these nefarious and racist policies were passed. If the community doesn’t drive LGBTQ+ people away, some will take their own lives. Of this I have no doubt.

If this is the case in Florida, I hope they also ban any discussions of mother and father, man and wife, dating, boyfriend/girlfriend as well. This is all having to do with sexual orientation and to make it fair, lets not speak of it.

In fact, I believe a law should be passed that makes it illegal for parents to have any physical contact in front of their children until they’re all past the age of 10 which is when they’ll be in third grade. We wouldn’t want parents put into an odd situation of having to explain to their young children why they chose to be heterosexual instead of being homosexual and what that all means. It would also be best to live as roommates until your children are old enough to understand the nuances of an intimate relationship. In fact, I highly recommend separate bedrooms.

This is how ridiculous this law sounds to those who have an open, educated mind. If talking about sexual orientation, seeing it in books, TV, movies, magazines, social media, songs, greeting cards, poems, novels and everything under the sun influences one’s sexual orientation then I would be straight. I grew up in a heterosexual home. My three brothers and sister are all heterosexual. As of right now, all of my nieces and nephews identify as heterosexual. NONE of them influenced me in any way other than hiding myself in a closet for 30 years and being miserable and at times suicidal.

Let me be perfectly clear: anyone who supports any bill or law that is meant to oppress and keep others silent or invisible are small minded, selfish, un-American imbeciles who are incapable of being able to rise above the cacophony of bigotry and homophobia unless they are standing on the backs of others. Oppressors understand, “…that in order for them to remain triumphant atop the mountain, somebody else had to stay put at its feet.” (Nikole Hannah-Jones) They are people who know what they are doing, and they are frightened cowards. They’re so afraid that if they give to others that which has been endowed to them that in some way, they will lose their power and status. Now how does that work? If a person has fallen and you give a hand to lift them up to a standing position, are you not still standing? Are you somehow less of a person because they are now standing equal to you?

I ask these clarifying questions all the time. I ask them in my columns, social media, texts, classes, and face to face. I have yet to receive a valid answer. In fact, there is no one and no answer that can be given to successfully explain why there is such a massive gap between the haves and have nots. Why minorities are more likely to be poor, depressed, addicted to drugs, more susceptible to disease and violent crimes. I know historically why this is so but, no one can provide a solid and valid answer to why we treat others the way we do. So, I’m asking: Why if the 14th Amendment states that all people born in the US are US citizens to be protected by our Constitutional law and our government, are so many still fighting for equality?

Anyone? Bueller?

Hysteria runs rampant in America. Let’s not allow Chinese people in, they will destroy our economy and job opportunities. Didn’t happen. Let’s not allow women the right to vote; they’re too emotional and will destroy democracy. Didn’t happen. Let’s not allow black and white Americans to dine, live, work and learn together; it will cause a fraying of our American fabric. Didn’t happen. Let’s not allow Black and white Americans to marry, it will destroy the American family. Didn’t happen. Let’s not allow women to work; it will destroy the American workplace. Didn’t happen. Let’s not allow two men or two women to marry; it will destroy American families. Didn’t happen. Now the new hysteria is speaking about sexual orientation will magically turn your children into flaming homosexuals or bulldykes. Not gonna happen. Transgender athletes are being bullied out of sports because it will destroy women’s athletics. Not gonna happen. Refusing to acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community will NOT destroy or get rid of us. It will make us stronger.

Keep it up, Florida (and Texas). Keep bringing attention to our community. Add gasoline to the centuries of anger and oppression stoked by your ignorance and fear. You are our oxygen. Every time you bring attention to us, whether it be negative or positive, we get stronger. Ban our books, block our parades, shutdown our dance halls and tell us we can’t say gay or lesbian. Our colors will get more vibrant. We’ll get so strong, a rainbow wave will wash over America and drown them in song and dance. And unlike all of you with us, you will be welcomed and celebrated. How about you give that a go?◊