I originally started this piece with a long sentence on a lot of stuff I've said before, trying to figure out a way to say it in a different way, but frankly, I'm tired of trying to finesse people with what should be common sense. I, and countless others, have addressed it so many times before, in so many ways, that there's really not much left to say.
Gay people are discriminated against in the United States.
There’s no way around it, no dressing it up in flowery rhetoric or tricky wordplay. We are a nation of bigots, homophobes, and ignorant narcissists who can’t see past our own selfish desires. We preach tolerance and legislate hate. We love our neighbor, unless our neighbor happens to be ‘different.’ We elect politicians, year in and year out, on a platform of oppression and prejudice that merely changes its name to fit in with the times.
Slavery. Suffrage. Segregation. Same-sex. The same fight, over and over and over, trying to control the very essence of another living being, trying to take away that which defines us as intelligent creatures, trying to take away the essential human right to be free. We, as defined by our laws, are a nation of assholes.
Luckily, we can change.
Change might come slowly, but younger generations are growing up and deciding not to duplicate the sins of their parents. Some states are enacting new laws to fix the mistakes made by those before us. Still, too often we make the same mistakes in a slightly different form, not realizing that discrimination is discrimination, no matter what shape it takes.
That’s why I’m tired of having to write about this. We have the historical evidence. We’ve fought this battle before, and we have won. We know that controlling another person’s life is wrong. We know that unthinking hate is wrong. We know that religion can be used to try and conceal all manner of crimes, and we know the truly religious ignore that temptation and preach love and acceptance. Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.
That’s also why, no matter how tired I get of repeating myself, I will continue to pound the words out, article after article, piece after piece, until we finally understand that just because we’re not making the mistakes of our ancestors, doesn’t mean we aren’t making mistakes of our own.
DOMA is one such mistake. Proposition 8 is another. The Supreme Court has a chance to right these wrongs, to restore the fundamental decency of equality to all American citizens regardless of their race, gender, or sexuality. I’m hopeful they’ll make the right choice. If they don’t, it’s up to us – to all of us who care about empathy and dignity and freedom – to raise our voices, no matter how tired we might be, and continue to fight against those who would make the world a grimmer, meaner place.
This is only a continuation of that age old fight, control versus freedom, and it seems like it might never end, but that’s why it’s so important we all make our voices heard. Demand an end to discrimination, in any form.
Chris Kluwe is an Athlete Ally ambassador, an organization that encourages athletes, coaches, parents, fans and other members of the sports community to respect all individuals involved in sports, regardless of perceived or actual sexual-orientation or gender identity or expression. Check them out of Facebook (facebook.com/AthleteAlly) and Twiter (@athleteally).