There are just so many divergent communities and interests waving the "LGBT" banner, ones that I personally have no reason to defend, interests that simply don't line up at all with my own, and people whose priorities are just far too different from my own for us to work together in one movement. I try my hardest to accept people who are different from me, but why should I have to share a movement with them? I'm not against them, just against them hijacking my liberation movement. Call it sympathy fatigue if you want, but I just can't bring myself to care about these folks:
If the estate tax penalty remains in effect, affected gay and lesbian couples will be subject to a total of $237 million in additional taxes in 2009 -- and more than $3.5 billion in added taxes over the decade by 2011, according to a study by the University ot California, Los Angeles, School of Law's Williams Institute.
Currently, taxpayers with estates valued at less than $3.5 million are exempted from federal estate taxes. The tax is scheduled to be repealed in 2010 but will resume in 2011 with a $1 million exemption.
If I more than a million dollars when I die, I'll come back to life so I can die of shock. These folks have nothing in common with me, so can we please start having endless discussions about cutting them out of "LGBT"?
I mean, these people aren't the most popular folks in the LGBT community. Whenever someone wants to scare-monger legislation that helps us, they drag out the "rich, powerful homosexual who wants to force his alternative life down your throat." It's a vicious stereotype, and us being associated with them perpetuates it.
Again, I have nothing against insanely rich gays, I'm just stating reality. I'm being pragmatic, and people don't like it when someone is pragmatic, I know. But I'm certain that everyone who reads this who doesn't leave a comment or email or in anyway expresses disagreement agrees with me.
The right, in both Maine and Washington, brought up how we raise more money for ballot initiatives and used it to make it seem like they were the oppressed minority. Do we really want to leave ourselves open to that kind of attack? More importantly, when we lost in California last year, it was because the wealthy of didn't give enough. Either way, no matter what happens, they're always holding us back.
And then there's ENDA.
Don't get me wrong; I believe in an ENDA that protects everyone in the LGBT community. But, let's be honest, some people are harder to get through than others, and people who are so-rich-it-make-us-all-projectile-vomit (no offense) are among the hardest. Consider how the stereotype that we're rich always gets brought up in the debate by the right. Even Antonin Scalia brought it up in his dissent in Romer v. Evans as a reason we're not oppressed enough to get job or Constitutional protections. People in America are OK with working class people having job protections from the government, but rich people? They're just not there yet.
Part of it is the fact that I don't really know how we all ended up in the same movement together. Being gay used to be subversive, about shaking up power structures, about challenging the system. Now these folks think that they can make it all about the estate tax and protecting their millions.
I have a theory about revolutions, and I just don't think they... take when they're imposed from high up on us, the normal human beings. And LGBT activists have, for reasons that completely escape me, fused our populist and radical movement with people who want DOMA repealed to escape the federal estate tax. It wasn't organic. It wasn't democratic. I don't ever remember being asked if I wanted to be lumped together with these people.
I know what I'm saying isn't the PC line, but sometimes we need to hear the hard truth. Sure, some people would argue that it's impossible to separate rich and poor gays when it comes to legislation, that legislators who won't vote for a bill that includes rich people probably wouldn't vote for us anyway, that most Americans don't even care about this line that I'm drawing between us, and that while our interests don't coincide entirely there's a lot of overlap. They might even go so far as to say that me firmly holding the opinion that they need to be dropped from the LGBT is more just a sign that I have a problem with the rich than anything else.
I'm sure plenty of people will resort to name-calling. But that and any disagreement with me proves what a courageous, free-thinking, and pragmatic person I am.