In Memoriam Tyler Clementi
The New York Times reports: The Republican candidate for governor, Carl P. Paladino, told a gathering in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sunday that children should not be “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and criticized his opponent, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, for marching in a gay pride parade earlier this year. (Elizabeth A. Harris)
He read from his paper, barely looking up, like a fifth-grader doing a book report. Everyone was nodding and clapping. The scene was odd. I kept thinking, why are all those Hasidic Jews there?
“They wear these little Speedos, and they grind up against each other…and it’s just a terrible thing,” said Paladino about the Gay Pride Parade. He was back-peddling to Matt Lauer. His remarks on Sunday had caused a bit of an uproar.
Lauer shifted in his seat, barely disguising his hostility, playing flabbergasted.
I screamed at my computer screen: “Punch him, Matt. Punch that insane bigot right in his face!”
No such luck. Lauer leaned back. Keeping his distance. I bet Paladino smells like musty cash.
“…one of your own staff members actually included a line that said homosexual [sic] is ‘dysfunctional,’” Lauer jabbed. He was flustered. He kept using the word homosexual in place of homosexuality.
But Carl crossed that line out! “I crossed it out in the car,” he repeated. “It was inappropriate to say that.” He even made a crossing out gesture with his invisible pen, so you know he meant that shit.
Then I leak it to the press that I crossed it out, right, so the phrase gets in the paper anyway, and gay haters come out of the woodwork to support me! Badda Bing. Badda Boom. I fucking love politics!
That’s just my speculation, but I’m sure it’s true. And say what you will about slimy tactics, this one is fascistically delicious.
Paladino played the part well. He was outraged by the mere mention of the deleted comment. He accused the corporate media of misinterpreting his remarks. They are guilty of “skewering them,” he told Matt Lauer. I’m sure he meant, “skewing,” but it doesn’t matter, because he crossed the remark out in the car, of course. But he got the message out there. To say that homosexuality is a dysfunction would be inappropriate. [And, remember, he has a gay nephew.]
And so today, the internet was bustling with this false debate. Is homosexuality a human dysfunction? Of course it isn’t.
What is going on in this country? This open bigot is within reach of becoming the Governor of New York State? Seriously? This is insane.
And now people are debating his every rambling bit of nonsense? Why is anyone even listening to this head-up-the-ass? [No offense, Carl.] And why didn’t Matt Lauer scream at him—rip him to shreds?
Let me interview Paladino, please. Move over, Lauer. Bivona will handle this.
Hey, Carl. Yo! Over here! Yoo Hoo! Carl! Stop staring at the gay people.
Hi. See, the problem is this: you were raised to believe that sexual preference has something to do with character and choice. It doesn’t. That’s just an ignorant belief based on nothing. People are born gay. The sane majority knows this.
You were also probably raised to believe that homosexuals are just "fucking faggots," right? Oh, I know. I know you just wanna scream that on CNN.
“These fucking faggots are disgusting!”
You want to scream it until you pop a blood vessel. Yeah, you do. Don’t even deny it.
“I have nothing against homosexuals,” Paladino insists. Lauer’s face pinches sour. I start screaming at my computer again.
You son-of-a-bitch. Come on, Carl! We all know how you feel about gay people. You haven’t exactly been shy about it. You called homosexuals disgusting—several times—on national television...yesterday! You even shook your head and grimaced as you said it. And this was yesterday. And now you have no problem with gay people? Do you have any sense of how ignorant you look? People are laughing at you, Carl.
Paladino justified further. “I’m just speaking from my heart.”
Oh. What’s that you say, Carl? Oooh! You’re just speaking from your charcoal black heart? I see. I see. Well, in that case…
Are you a moron? I mean, I don’t want to be rude, but the world has evolved since that post-WWII orgy that spawned your destructive generation. This isn't the 1980s. Gay marriage is happening. Gay rights are happening. Because it’s a human rights issue. Every rational person knows this, Carl. Why don’t you?
“I have nothing against homosexuals,” Paladino insisted, "but have you been to a gay pride parade?"
Continuing with our lesson, then, being gay is not something people should be singled out for. Being gay should not automatically shuffle you into an imaginary inferior class—not when it comes to marriage, or any other free choice, for that matter.
In fact, considerations about sexual preference shouldn't be part of your social process.
When it comes to people, TRY developing a unique impression of each individual you meet. It’s called communication. Just consider people’s IDEAS, and stop worrying about what they do with their pee-pees and precious flowers.
D’ya know what I’m sayin’ here, Carl?
Ask yourself, What do I care if there are homosexuals in society? Think about it. They’re just people. They aren’t insane and dangerous. They aren’t a corrupting force. They aren’t out to "convert" straight people, and they couldn’t if they tried. They’re just people who are homosexual. It’s ok.
Rational people know this. Why don’t you, Carl?
"I don't know who wrote it..." Carl looked tired. "“I crossed it out in the car,” he repeated. “It was inappropriate to say that.”
When you finally realize how ignorant you're being, here’s what you do next. STOP dismissing groups of people because you find them “disgusting.” In fact, stop thinking of other people as “disgusting,” period. That's uber-ignorant, Carl. And it can lead to another holocaust.
I keep thinking, why were those Hasidic Jews applauding? The Nazis slaughtered the homosexuals too.
[Look, Glenn beck! The Nazis!]
Anyway, to my conclusion: being gay doesn’t make you a “dysfunctional” human. And if you think it does, I have to ask you, what’s wrong with you?
Maybe you need to reprogram your brain. Repeat after me: “All discrimination is wrong.”
I'm wasting my keystrokes, I’m sure. I’m sure you’d drop my Gay Intervention course if you ever accidentally registered.
But do ponder this in your marriage bed tonight, sweet, sweet Carl Paladino: the people who are disgusted by homosexuals are usually latent homosexuals themselves. You know, they have an erotic desire for members of the same sex that is not consciously experienced. You do know what I mean, don’t you, Carl?
So, finally, to your homework assignment—if you do choose to complete this course.
Answer in 1,000 words or less: do you think homophobes—such as yourself—secretly fear and despise their own repressed gayness?
Poet and writer, PhD student and professor, activist and ass model -- Charles Bivona wears many hats. Luckily, he looks pretty good in hats. He publishes a blog called THE ACTIVE VOICE