My principles have cost me a fan. That sucks. I don’t have fans to burn, and if I had more business sense, it wouldn’t've happened. But I have principles, even when they cost me; you might notice a parallel here between real life and band conceit. That’s not accidental.
Here’s the story.
Elsewhere, I relayed an article about Gary Johnson. He’s the libertarian-who-means-it candidate, not Ron Paul; he lacks Ron Paul’s history of racism, and other fatal liabilities. A self-described lover-of-my-music popped in to say disagreed with Mr. Johnson about almost everything, particularly marriage rights. “Marriage is between a man and a woman.”
So being a married dyke, I said, “Well, that includes me and Anna! So there you go,” quietly unfriended, and that was as far as I was going to take it.
But then this person sent mail, chiding me for how I “can’t tolerate as a friend, someone who has a different path from [my] own” and going on about how people like me are about hypocritical about tolerance.
I wanted overnight to cool down. Anna said I shouldn’t reply at all, but I realised I wanted to make a public response, because, in the end, they won’t read it, but maybe someone else will. And that way, maybe it will mean something – even if it is all way too personal. In this particular context, there really is no way for it not to be.
I have spent my entire. life. fighting efforts to keep and make me less of a person in the eyes of the law. I have spent, as they say, both blood and treasure in this war. My arms are wrecked for typing; I can’t do software anymore. (I’m terrified it’ll spread to playing; I work hard to prevent that.)
I’ve been assaulted, harassed on the streets, received death and rape threats more times than I can count. I’ve done ground work against religious conservatives working nationally-funded initiative and legislative efforts dedicated to making me various degrees of illegal, be it blocking me from employment, mandating public schools teach that I am “illegal, immoral, and wrong,” keeping me outright illegal in several states (as was still true when Lawence v. Texas (2003) finally tossed out those laws), and on, and on, and on.
I have spent hundreds of hours monitoring social-conservative and fundamentalist radio broadcasts, sitting there transcribing the blood slander they espouse. (It’s akin to blood libel, but instead of killing the children of gentiles to make our bread, we supposedly rape or molest the children of heterosexuals to “turn them homosexual,” and that’s asserted to be “how we reproduce.”) I’ve sat there listening to people like Beverly LaHaye extoll the virtues of bullying and child abuse against queer children to force them to “repent.” This included intentionally making your own children homeless.
I have not enjoyed it. Aside from the soul-searing brutality of it all, I loathe politics, and always have. But, of course, I lack the privilege of ignoring these fights.
And somewhere around the 20 year mark, I ran out of patience with people whose idea of “diversity” is keeping me second-class in the eyes of the law, on any level. That’s a sophistry I no longer have time for in my life. If someone wants to have religious beliefs, that’s their own lookout, and none of my concern; when they cry prosecution and demand legal action against me for it, I am done.
So do I lack tolerance for your intolerance of me? Do I lack tolerance for saying me and my family should be less than and unequal in the face of the law? Yes. Yes, I do. I also have contempt for the assertion that not being okay with your legal stances against me is “intolerant.” I mean, really? “You won’t let me legislate against you! You’re INTOLERANT!” Yeah, fuck that. I have had more than my fair share of that, and I am finished with it.
It’s not like I have enough fans to waste any. I most certainly don’t. Losing even one hurts me. It is damned difficult to get started in this business, and I need every fan I can get. The smart thing, the business thing, would be to ignore you and have not unfriended. My principles, here, are costing me.
And I can live with that. I lost a lot of friends for my stand against the Bush administration’s torture and domestic spying regime, and against Mr. Obama’s and the Democratic Party’s support of it. I can lose a fan over this. Such has been my story before, I guess that can be my story again.
– Solarbird, the Lightbringer