Bil Browning

Mail: A Hater Asks About Pride

Filed By Bil Browning | June 13, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Chris Crocker, gay pride, hate mail, pride month, reader e-mail

While we get hate mail all the time, this one came in yesterday while I was at the Pride parade. It seemed apropos to overlook the tone, publish question_mark_key.jpgit today and ask everyone to answer the larger question it asks: Why do you celebrate pride month?

From: Sam Riddick
Message: If you are so normal, why do you people have Gay Pride Month? I'm a heterosexual and I feel neither proud or ashamed. I certainly don't need a month dedicated to make me feel good about it. The fact you need your bumper stickers, parades, and entire months shows that you really need some reinforcement that you aren't just a bunch of crazy people. Until that crap stops, I will treat all gays like they are mentally diseased.

In case you're interested, Mr. Genius also sent another e-mail yesterday about Chris Crocker that came in before the one above. I put it after the jump.

So how do you handle people like this in your personal lives?

From: Chris Crocker
Message: WTF is going with this website? Are you freaks pro gay or something? Are you the same morons who made fun of Fox News over that Chris Crocker crap? Guess what? The free world made fun of him assholes. God damn, I wish you freaks of nature would go back into the closet. In the good ole days, freaks were ashamed to be freaks. Now, you morons embrace it? If you aren't ashamed to be weirdos, you can never change. Sorry for your chronic bout with insanity. Good luck with it I guess. Cheers.

So, yeah. This guy has to e-mail queer websites under two different names to send insults. What's his motive? What do you think his story is? Closet case? Self hating? Small town bully? Feel free to make up backstory for him in the comments.

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Oh dear. Mr. Genius needs to read The "Trouble With Normal" by Michael Warner and I learn about IP addresses.

Hmmm...sounds like the person who posted this in the comments to my e-cigarette piece on my personal blog:

"You need to worry more about you being transgendered. You need help! You are sick and you are ruining your life and others' as well. You will not nor will you ever be a female so get over it. It's not normal to be transgendered just like it's not normal to be gay. Both are sick so hurry and get some help!"

I responded this way:

"Thank you so much for your comment. I usually get comments from intelligent, thoughtful, progressively-minded readers here, but I'm a big believer in diversity. It's been quite a while since I've had a right-wing wackjob commenting on my blog, so thanks for providing some balance."

I say have fun with it. The way I see it, the more right-wing hate mail I get, the more certain I can be that I'm doing my job correctly.

Unfortunately Rebecca you don't have to be right wing to be a hate filled wackjob. For some reading from some left wing hate filled wackjobs check out the comments here (including your own funnily enough):

I don't know why people enjoy treating their fellow man like crap. Personally I don't care why people do stuff like this. All you can do is respond politely and hope that one day they'll learn better. Responding with sarcasm and hate just perpetuates itself.

>> "Are you freaks pro gay or something?"

Why, shockingly, yes, we are! What was your first clue, sir?

I think he's jealous of us "freaks." We're not the ones who are denying a core aspect of our humanity. We're not the ones who let hate run our lives.

Actually, hetrosexuals do have an event. It's called Mardi Gras. Women flash their breasts for beads. The streets are filled with people drinking, smoking and grinding. Also, at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida it's a month long event everyday. You can't get more hetro then that.

Ha! Coming from Indiana, I always say that Straight Pride Week is called the "State Fair."

well, except for Gay Day, and whenever my wife and I go--we definitely dont hide anything, and usually have some ppl with their jaws hanging open... ;)

Dear Mr. Multiple Names used in Cowardice,

I'm going to tackle your letters in tandem, if you don't mind, as it's simply easier that way, even though you are going to a modicum of trouble to pretend you are anonymous for some percieved and foolish idea of safety.

You ask what the fuck is going on with this website, and the answer to that is that this website is a collective response to the oppression and discrimination perpetuated buy those persons who have a great amount of unearned privilege combined with a high degree of ignorance and lack of willingness to engage in mental effort.

I'm afraid you'll have to be more exacting in your reference -- "freak" is a word which is entirely subjective and dependent entirely on the viewpoint of the person stating such. Haivng been called a freak more than once in your own lifetime, I'm sure you can see how several of us are wondering why you use a self reference in this case.

As for the site as a whole, however, if you are attempting to ask in your limited capactiy to do so if this site is pro gay, the answer is yes. It is also pro lesbian, pro trans, and pro people who have a bit more than a quarter of their capactiy for thought in use.

THis site is probably one of many that made fun of Chris Crocker, but you seem to have a specific concern in mind, and I was wonderng what that might be. I say this becaue you m4ntion the Free World, ignoring the fact that the unfree world also made fun of him, but that many in the Free world seeking to erase that freedom supported him.

Your second use of freaks is just as vague and inaccurate (and therefore not really all that good at communicating, but I'm fairly sure you are used to that), but on the off assumption that you are referring to the people who post regularly here, I find it necessary to point out that some of us were never in the closet.

Perhaps you are not a long time reader, and unfamiliar with the fact that for some of us, there is no such thing, as we pretty much have to do everything out int he open since there's no place to go.

In the good old days, people who called us freaks were afraid to say it in public. I point that out because it's important to note that when they *did* call people freaks, it was shortly before they piled on the pain, and it's that kind of thing that makes people -- in particular people like me -- step up and step out and face down folks who would call us freaks nose to nose.

And if you've never encountered a US Army Ranger in a bad mood after being called a freak, count your blessings.

Incidentally, callng us morons is a rathet fascinating choice of idiocy on your part, snce you apparently don't even know who you are talking to, given your initial questions. Perhaps you should be more certain of who you are going after in the future.

Gay Pride month, I will note, exists because believe it or not, there are a lot of people who think that we should feel ashamed for who we are and whom we love, which is not a normal thing. The people who say things like go back into the closet and call us freaks and weirdos and morons are the reason that Gay PRide events exist -- there is a direct correlation there that even we tend to forget.

So your decsion to treat all gay folks (which is a really narrow consideration) like they are mentally diseased is pretty foolish, since it actively perpetuates the reasons for Gay Pride.

FOr which I should probably thank you -- Pride events are a total blast one of the few times that people can get together and feel safe these days. Your words make it possible for such things to continue.

Of course you don't need a month to feel good about yourself. You are commonplace, typical, everyday, ordinary, of no particular interest, without anythng about you stands out. And you have 11 months out of the year to recognize that.

I, on the other hand, am unique, special, outstanding (often in a field, naked), amazing, notable, incredible, extraordinary, and remarkably different in a way that allows others to find that which is special and notable in themselves.

And you describe yourself that way when you say "normal". I'd rather be abnormal, if the price for normalcy is to start acting like someone or something I am not. Strikes me as surrendering to others, and an American doesn't surrender.

I certainly hope that you one day find it within yourself to stop settling for mediocrity and reach for something a little better within yourself, but if you choose not to -- or if you are, truly, as mediocre and unremarkable as you claim, then I wish you all the best -- the world needs mediocre and unremarkable people to show and remind us of the special ones.

Good luck to you too, I guess. You have a very hard road ahead of you.

dumbledork | June 13, 2010 6:43 PM

This guy's a troll, and probably a closet case. I simply refuse to feed the trolls.

Gee. How come my blog never gets comments like this? :-)

Washington DC
June 13th, 2010

Hello Bil & All of the rest of the Projectors, "Happy Pride!"
I say this with gusto and enthusiasm although the truth is that I am hot, tired, sweaty, and oh yeah my feet are killing me from all the walking I have been doing as I helped out at Pride as a volunteer canvasser.

Then I got home, to load pics into my laptop to post to my blogsite and decided before that to make the rounds and presto, but what did my eyes see? Another disgruntled member of the apparent ultra-right straight community bitching about the Gay community.

Which is EXACTLY why my feet are hurting & PRECISELY why Pride is necessary Mr. Several Names foe of human decency, dignity, and equality.

WE, the H-O-M-O-S-E-X-U-A-L folk need Pride to protect us from the likes of you. Personally? I can't wait until LGBT is simply another variant on being human no different than say being blond headed or brunette.

BUT, until that day Mr. Has-His-Panties-In-A-Wad, Pride will be a celebration, a priority, a political event, etc. Oh and yeah, Bil's right, ANY State Fair is YOUR version of a Pride event.

I'm to tired to be polite, why don't you go visit a blog that is better suited for your talents and waste of humanity, say like, oh I dunno, Tony Perkins & The Family Research Council? Quit wasting our time an efforts to educate you as quite obviously your quest for knowledge & maturity ended at about the same time you discovered that you could do more than pee with that tiny little thing between your legs. Hence you are going to eternally be an annoying 14 year old adolescent.

Submitted with my middle finger extended disrespectfully,

Brody Levesque

Annette Gross Annette Gross | June 13, 2010 8:45 PM

Today Bil Browning spoke to our PFLAG group. We were a mixed group today with straight and gay people attending. So Bil asked us to respond to this person's post.

First off, you can't mess with a PFLAG parent. We love our GLBT children unconditionally. My gay son has done nothing in his life that I am ashamed of. He is a wonderful person and I will stand up for him until the day I fall down and die.

Why is there a Gay Pride parade and festival. Well, I'd like to ask this person if he has ever been discriminated against. As a Jewish person, I have been a victim of discrimination. It's a horrible, demeaning experience. Jews know first-hand what it's like to be excluded. Now it seems that it's fashionable to discriminate against the GLBT community. Many people think that GLBT people won't fight back. But times have changed and they are fighting back. And.....many in the straight community are fighting back with them. In PFLAG, we call them Straight Allies. They know there is injustice in the world and they are right there with their GLBT friends and neighbors.

The reason, as I see it, why there is a Gay Pride Festival, is that this gives the GLBT community a day where they can be themselves and not have to hide who they are. They can hold hands with their gay partner and not feel as if they're doing something wrong. They feel free to express who they are without being judged.

Maybe one day, when GLBT people are no longer discriminated against, a Gay Pride Festival will no longer be needed. Actually, I would love to see these festivals continue - I have an awful lot of fun at them - I get to see people I haven't seen in a year and we can catch up.

I'm sorry you feel the way you do about the GLBT community. It's too bad you're not willing to open up your heart and mind to people who are different from you. Many years ago, my family lived in Naples, Italy. My husband was a Naval officer. We had to learn how to get along in a new community. My husband's commanding officer said to us one day - "We're not better than them, we're just different." Perhaps you can view the GLBT community like that. We are all different and our country is made up of a tapestry of various peoples and cultures. I suggest you try to open your eyes and see the world with a different perspective.

If this guy is so hetero, WTF is he doing reading a site geared towards the LGBT community?!?! Who's the real closet case here? :-P

Rick Sours | June 14, 2010 8:54 AM

My Partner and I are part of another website which has a "Gay - Lesbian" section. Here "new threads" can be added by members on various topics (for possible discussion by other members). There are individuals who "stalk" the "Gay - Lesbian". When certain topics are added, these individuals began adding their "garbage".For example, we added a thread that deal with "Gay jokes":(IE the double standard in that jokes against the LBGT community are permitted). Instead of the moderator dealing with them individually, this thread is then "closed" to further discussion. Unfortunately these individuals been able to get threads "closed" too often when they disagree with the topic.

I feel pride is especially for those who are just coming out, still dealing with guilt and shame. It's a therapeutic way to feel happy about who one is, perhaps for the very first time in one's life. The jocks in high school think little of cheering crowds anymore. The young gay has perhaps never had this. For them, the feeling is like the freshman making the first touchdown and hearing approval for the first time.

I never comment here, but I really like what you said. I just think that's really sweet because I know that's how I felt with my rainbow mohawk at the national equality march, haha.

Gays have been vilified by christians since Justinian. Pride is a celebration that acting on our nature is no longer illegal.

One may consider this: during the Medici Renaissance in Florence, gay men contributed significantly to the intellectual and artistic development of that city and over time to the rest of Europe. However, religious prudes couldn't take it, and at the end of Lorenzo the Magnificent's life, the Medici were expelled and the first things christian fanatics did was to beat prostitutes and burn gay men alive.

This is why we celebrate pride: to remember that we are now free to express ourselves as we want to.

As to the asshole who can't wrap his mind around this: who cares. My kind include Plato, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Bacon, Keynes, and Turing.

Who the fuck can that gay hostile include among his kind: Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Ryan Sorba. They're not quite in that league as our team.

My straight friends would NEVER go into one of these me!!!
I smell a closet case. I'd love to check the hard drive on their computer!! I'd bet the farm we'd find gay porn!!!
Internal homophobia can make humans do some crazy things. The people that spew the loudest anti-gay rhetoric are in their own sick way trying to deal with their self loathing. They really ought to be pitied. I hope they find their way soon. Life is way too short!!!

After Prop. 8, one of my dearest friends, a big Prop. 8 supporter because the Mormon church told him to be, said, when I confronted him about it, "Oh, I never thought of you as a lesbian."

I said wait, you know about the girl I would have married, pined away for etc., and you've known me all my life and know I've never dated a guy right?

And he said, "Oh. Yeah. I guess I just never put the right labels to it."

So, we have Pride celebrations
1) to keep Mormon and Catholic gay kids from killing themselves, by demonstrating an alternative to the hateful message they are taught about themselves;

2) because if we don't make explicit to you who exactly we are, you can't see us, because we look just like people. Then when your church tells you to attack us, you follow like a vengeful robot, because your victims have been dehumanized.

Colleen Freeman | June 14, 2010 7:32 PM

I am also the proud PFLAG mom of a transgender son. Why does he need a Pride Month? Because haters like you have decided that one aspect of his being, his gender assignment, or someone else's sexual orientation is all that should matter to the straight world. What about his formidable intellect? His engineering savvy? What a waste to throw away such gifts so you and others like you can be comfortable and not confront you own demons-your own sexual and gender issues. When someone is so vocal in opposition to another person's existence it is usually because there is a grain of truth a little too close to home for them to deal with.
Pride is a safe place for LGBTQ people to gather without fear of being attacked or ridiculed for sure; but it is more than that; it is a celebration of our children for who they are-all of who they are.
While working the PFLAG booth at IndyPride this past Saturday a middle aged gay couple came up to us. Both myself and my colleague said simultaneously that we could not imagine ever not supporting our children. One of the men started to cry and had to walk away; his partner explained to us that he never got the acceptance from his family and our saying that brought back that bad memory. That is why we work so hard at PFLAG to let all the members in the LGBTQ community out there know that someone's mother cares about you. It might not be the best you hoped for, but don't ever tell a PFLAG mom any of her kids are worthless. Until the likes of you are educated, Pride needs to continue and grow.

Matt Gross | June 14, 2010 10:26 PM

So the question is why do we need bumper stickers, parades and pride celebrations? Well, we don't. We could get along quite nicely without them. But this guy obviously doesn't realize that it's not about that.

When a minority decides that, in spite of what the rest of the world may tell them, they are just as deserving of justice, respect and love as anybody else, that is something to be proud of.

When a minority refuses to be shuffled aside, silenced and ignored by a society that would rather they just disappear, that is something to be proud of.

GLBT people are family, friends, coworkers, citizens and, ultimately, human. Whether normal or freaks or anything in between, they're people; and when they stand up to the dehumanization of prejudice, that's something to be proud of.

We don't have pride because we need it. We have it because we've earned it.

Regan DuCasse | June 14, 2010 11:44 PM

May I, as a straight ally...put in my two cents?

There is every reason to be proud. Despite the training that one's fellow man has had to hate you, still, the gay and transgender community rises.

Even with terrible violence exacted on the most innocent of your number, you don't respond in kind, but access all manner of due process of law to have grievances heard.

I'm forever impressed, grateful and in loving respect for those gays and lesbians who have worn a uniform in military service to this country. It speaks to immeasurable courage, daring to hope and paying respect to the rights of others and the morality required to do so, when you don't have them.

The productivity, talent, contributions and responsibilities that the gay community gives to the general welfare (and always has) is minimized and goes unrecognized.
But, still gay folks strive to do even more of all of those things.
THAT is why you should be proud. The colors raised as the symbol of that pride is also symbolic of the beauty of what is different, can cooperate to make something wonderful. The flag is many colors, and they are all beautiful, alone and together.
And, the tenacious survival of said community is a lesson in standing up before adversity.
And every straight person would do well to recognize that truth.

THAT is what gay Pride truly stands for.

I loved this when it came in, and I read the Chris Crocker email first. I thought "You remember that post I did like two years ago? Why do you care?"

Your hate mail guy from your 6/23 post is in London, Kentucky...a redneck from the SOuth?

What are the chances...?