Saturday, January 12, 2013

The similarity of the Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Rights Movement? Refuting the idea of 'behaving correctly'

On the Huffington Post, there is an excellent article which spotlights how civil rights legend Julian Bond feel about how closely linked the black and gay civil rights movements are.

The article itself is a must read.  However there was a point made in the comments section which was so insightful that I simply had to post it in order to give it more attention. It hits the nail on the head:

The notion of "choice" about "behaving correctly" has direct parallels to the Civil Rights Movement. Black people were required to behave in a particular way: to sit at the back of the bus, to obey their master, to drink from a particular water fountain. It was this expected and required behaviour which was in and of itself oppressive, hence those requirements were ultimately relaxed; they were unjust. This has exact parallels to the gay experience: the required behaviour is in and of itself oppressive. Of course gay people could choose to marry opposite sex partners and live with the oppression of misery, of course they could choose to live a life of celibacy and live with the oppression of desolate loneliness. And if they do not, they live with the oppression of disapproval, ostracism and abuse. It doesn't matter what gay people "choose", oppression is their reality. Just as black people yearned have the freedom to determine their own destiny instead of having it determined by others, so do gay people. The requirement of gay people to behave in a manner which denies their true desires is in and of itself oppressive and unjust - a direct parallel to the Civil Rights Movement.