I recently saw an episode of South Park a week or two ago and it was a catalyst that set off this entire blog, I hope some dialogue forms from this...
So the episode in question was the one about the town's flag and how Chef was incredibly offended by it - it showed a bunch of white stick figures hanging a black stick figure. Clearly the flag is a racist representation and symbol about the small white-breed hick town and it's racist past. But what got to me was how goddamn indecisive the people of the town were and how very realistic that is amongst the liberals/democrats of North America.
Throughout the episode, you had news casters constantly asking the populace questions like:
Should the flag be changed despite the tradition it holds?
And then came people's responses:
"I DO believe the flag is racist; but I do hold honor towards traditoinal values"
"I am a traditionalist at heart; but the flag is so very clearly racist, so I really don't know what to do"
Then come the KKK and how they support the option to keep the flag as it was - strictly for white power's sake. *always chanting 'white power, white power' in the background*
The non-racist, traditionalist people of south park don't want to be affiliated with the KKK and then comes the next news caster's question:
Should the KKK have their right to say their beliefs due to freedom of speech?
And then came people's responses:
"I am not a racist; but I do believe in freedom of speech"
"I completely believe in the freedome of speech; but I don't at all agree with what the KKK support"
At this point, Chef shoves the white guy outta the way saying "Get outta my way, you undecisive prick" or something to that accord.
And from that comes another story:
A few months ago, I was having dinner with a friend, whom I'll name Perry. We began talking about the Rev. Phelps and his Church of God congregation, going to the funerals of dead gays (dead from AIDS) and soldiers (dead from fighting in Iraq) and protesting the funeral saying that the gay person died because God hates gays and that the soldier died because God punished him/her for going to war (and killing is a sin).
Perry made a statement similiar to:
"I don't agree with his beliefs, but I agree he has a right to say those things; more importantly, no one has the right to tell him to stop"
Well, I'm sorry, for Chef, this white boy is making a stand. Rev. Phelps is wrong and shouldn't be allowed to broadcast his opinion to the world.
From this conversation, it went from Freedom of Speech, to Exodus - the ex-gay group, that advocates, if one chooses, they can join the group and lead a heterosexual lifestyle.
Perry, defended the right for the group to exist, speaking for those homosexuals that have a much harder life than me or Perry and couldn't simply live the "gay life".
I countered with "The option for a gay person to lead a straight life shouldn't be an option for that person - here choice is the enemy. Just because something is a choice, doesn't make it right for someone to choose it, even if they want it. We need to dig deeper and figure out why they want a straight lifestyle so bad and educate them to respect themselves."
I don't mean to sound preachy but it's how I feel. Perry went on to speak of a friend of a friend that was gay, but chose instead to get married, have a wife and couple of kids, and once the kids were in college, him and his wife (who knew of her husband) divorced. Perry countered with, "If he chose to live a straight lifestyle, his wife knowing full well about her husband, and them agreeing that the marriage was better than being shunned by his family - whose to say what they did was wrong? It was their choice"
Well sorry Perry, it's wrong. This person denied himself as no one else could. For the sake of his family, he lived a lie. Even if that lie is better than the truth, that makes him a coward; that especially makes him a coward. His children were rasied by a coward, will have to live with the knowledge their father is a coward and will learn that their grandparents never really loved their children, if their father was too scared to come out to them and live his life they way he wished. Instead, he belived one of the many viable options out there was to live as a straight person.
To me, this isn't choice. This is fear. There was no choice in the matter - either be straight and loved by your family or be gay and be hated and shunned by them. I'm not angry at the man's choice; I'm angry that this was his choice. That his culture, my society, his family all have this idea that being gay is something to be fixed; and what's more depressing is that this choice to not be gay is something to be fought for on par with my right to marry a man, or for a woman to choose when she wants to have a child.
This is me, a white boy, making a stand, that NO it's not a viable choice for me or any other gay person. It is not a right I will fight for the gay community and it is nothing to be proud about. There is no choice here - be gay or be dead - and I've made mine.