James David Manning, the anti-gay Harlem pastor who has struck up an alliance with the anti-government group Oath Keepers, took to his “Manning Report” YouTube program yesterday to explain his theory of how people become gay. Just as various diseases are spread through sexual intercourse and saliva, Manning explained, so too is the “sodomite demon.” If you have had sex with or even kissed or been at the same restaurant as someone who has such “demons in their blood,” he warned, you may have been “introduced to these demons in your life, sodomy, when you had no defense.”
Some of you are no doubt laughing yourselves silly and you should. Idiocy like this is waaaay out of the mainstream.
But if your laughter leads you to forget, perhaps you need a lesson in history. There was a time when junk like this was endorsed by individuals seemingly in the mainstream. There are these images for example, which throw out pretty much the same vile connotation:
The difference between Manning and the images above from the 80s is that the images were endorsed by Congressional leaders and groups who still have a degree of relevancy and voice today. Check out the backpage from the comic book which published these images and see if you recognize these names:
This post is my way of putting a larger emphasis on something which I feel is important to our community. As we win hard-fought battles, we shouldn't forget the prejudices, homophobia, and anti-gay propaganda which made it so difficult for us. Often times, this propaganda was spread by some of the same organizations and the same personalities we fight today. And back then, there was no Will and Grace, there was no Ellen DeGeneres, or social network of lgbt organizations and friends to shield our community and especially our kids from this mess.
No matter how painful or even comical it may seem, we shouldn't forget this propaganda, those who pushed it then, and especially those who push a new version of it today. It's like that old saying - those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
Images from Homosexuality: Legitimate, Alternative Deathstyle taken from here.
See how anti-gay groups push this propaganda in more muted tones via the How They See Us webpage and feel free to download a free copy of the booklet.