Queer People Don’t Really Exist…

At least according to spokespeople from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). This idea isn’t a new one, but it was recently restated by NOM and it came up in a conversation with a friend that I had last week.

Jennifer Roback Morse, who is the head of The Ruth Institute, NOM’s education arm, said in an interview by Michael Brown that as Catholics they don’t even “accept the category of gayness.” She also goes on to confuse gay men with being trans*, while dissing trans* people and saying that biological sex is a “permanent and basic characteristic” (as opposed to sexual orientation, which she calls “accidental”). She even agrees with Brown’s conflation of a woman having a mastectomy with being a post-op trans man. This is seriously one of the most whacked out, crazy, nonsensical things I have ever heard. Go listen to it and let your mind explode.

Then just a couple weeks ago at The Ruth Institute’s It Takes a Family to Raise a Village conference, Thomas Peters, NOM’s Cultural Director, said, “And so, as a Catholic, the church doesn’t believe in gay and lesbian people.”

They aren’t denying that people have same-sex attractions, but they are denying that makes them queer. To them queerness is about how people act, not about who people are on the inside. It’s purely physical and behavioral. I’m not advocating for queerness as the sole aspect of a person’s identity, any more than I would advocate for maleness or whiteness or tallness as the sole aspect of a person’s identity. However, those things are fundamental aspects of our character and bodies. They don’t exclusively define who we are, but they are a vital part of us.

I mentioned that I had a very similar conversation with a friend, who doesn’t know I’m gay, just this past week. She said that in essence she believes all people are inherently straight, and same-sex attractions, while they do exist, are just a distortion of natural feelings. To her being LGBTQ is a lifestyle and has nothing to do with innate characteristics. (This is like saying that black people are inherently white.)

This persistent denial of reality by anti-LGBTQ people is one of the most frustrating things. As I’ve mentioned before, I used to believe it as well, but I did so out of ignorance and changed over time when confronted with the reality of queer people. I know I harp on this a lot, but I really think that one of the most powerful tools we have in changing the way people think is for them to just get to know a LGBTQ person. My friend even admitted that her views and those of most conservatives are formed in a vacuum where they aren’t confronted and challenged by the reality of queer people. My hope is that when I finally come out to her that will start a process of changing her beliefs.

So here’s to a future where we exist in the minds of everyone.

P.S. I wonder if this is in some way similar to how God feels about people who don’t believe He exists.

7 thoughts on “Queer People Don’t Really Exist…

  1. If there’s one thing the Catholic Church excels at, it’s denying reality. It’s the only way they’ve been able to get through the last 2000 years still holding that delusion that they have all the answers and deserve unquestioning obedience. Look at how they’re protecting the pedophile priests while condemning the nuns for concentrating too much on actually helping the needy instead of spreading the ideological line. If you tell a big lie long enough, keep enough people uneducated and poor so they can’t argue with you, and scare them so they’re afraid to, it turns out you can do just about anything. The church won’t change although it may fade away one of these days. But we can get to people–one by one.

  2. Sadly that is all to true. For all the talk by Christians about the truth, so many of us do an awful lot of running and hiding from it. One of the things I appreciate about PHC is how facing the truth, thinking critically, and asking the difficult questions is encouraged. Even though it’s often just lip service, it’s still encouraged and many of the students take it to heart and grow because of it, though some unfortunately don’t.

    We can always hope and pray that it will change, and there is some indication that it is. The fight to bring equality to the church has never been easy, but I do believe it is worth it.

  3. Confusion between gender and sexual orientation is Michael Brown’s stock in trade. Although he’s hardly alone in that, he seems to have a particularly flabbergasted fascination with trans* people. The irony that would make his head explode, if he only understood it, is that “biological sex” is indeed a “permanent and basic characteristic,” which is precisely why trans people exist. Neurological gender is fixed and permanent, regardless of whether any or all other biological markers of sex – which can be corrected – are congruent, and therefore people don’t “change” gender. They are the same gender they have always been. It’s endlessly amusing that these characters constantly stage arguments with a strawman they have created, namely that trans* people think of gender as “just a social construction,” when the exact opposite is true. If they engaged with the truth instead of with a worn-out notion from the 70’s, they would find themselves in complete and disturbing agreement: Boys’ and girls’ braaaiiiiiiiiiinnss are different.

  4. So true, and once again it emphasizes the role that ignorance plays in this issue. Prejudice, fear, and hate thrive in ignorance, but when knowledge and understanding it brought attitudes change.

  5. Pingback: Homosexuality: It’s an Orientation, Not an Action | queerphc

  6. Pingback: Patrick Henry College’s Nonexistent Gay Students

  7. Pingback: When Michael Farris Threatened To Send The FBI After A Homeschool Kid | H • A

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