by Pat Nelson Childs
As we progress into a new millenium, I sometimes reflect sadly on how little has been done to "normalize" gayness in our society. Of course, I mean American society, because Europe and even our neighbors to the north are light years ahead of us in this respect. To be fair, our government doesn't execute gays (if you ever saw the video of the two gay Iranian teens being executed, you might think twice about how bad things are for us here), and we've reached a point where even most conservative pundits support legal rights for gays, though generally more in theory than in practice (and no, Ann Coulter doesn't count. The only "value" she represents is the size of her royalty checks). Even President Bush has come out (sorry poor choice of words) in favor of civil unions. I point this out simply to illustrate how far we've actually managed to come in the past 20 years in some respects. A sitting Republican president (and staunch Christian Conservative) publicly expressing support for civil unions? If that isn't progress, I don't know what is.
But these things are more in the nature of political progress. What I've always been more interested in (and think is far more important) is achieving the "normalization" of alternative sexualities, a state in which the sight of two men sharing a kiss on a bus or in a TV commercial doesn't immediately produce waves of indignant outrage and endless punditry about the decline of Western civilization. Does it strike anyone else as odd that gays can adopt children in most states with the blessing of the majority, but that same majority goes absolutely ape shit if two girls hold hands on the bus? Gays can adopt children as long as they don't show any love for one another? Isn't that going to produce a way more fucked-up kid than one who just happens to have two mommies?