As I was going through my daily perusal of the GOS, I stumbled upon a diary that I had missed last Friday, and RKBA thread with over 700 comments. I decided that I would give the diary a look and see what all the hubbub was about. Now, RKBA has been a hot topic for a long time now, and especially since Newtown its been a hot button issue. The RKBA thread spawned a lot of little debates in the comments, many of them heated. Par for the course in a gun diary on dailykos. Much like the debate over the fate of the President and Democrat's legacy (I call it the Obama wars as short hand, its also popularly known as the rox/sux debate, although I think that framing over simplifies issues on both sides), the I/P flame wars, and others, there are two very polarized positions in the gun debate as well.
So as I am reading the down the comments, I stumbled across something that I find absolutely unacceptable, deplorable. About half way down the comment thread, there were a string of comments that almost immediately went to the margins. Right in the middle of the comment chain, some how the conversation turned to the LGBT community, and I noticed in particular one side of this debate became very bigoted in response. It was shocking to watch as not only was this bigotry tolerated, but uprated. I won't link them, but these comments were just about the ugliest I have read on dailykos, and I have been here for 6 years, and actively participating for 5. That is a fairly long time, so when I say these are the worst I have seen, they must be at least pretty bad. I sat here reading this comment thread for an hour at my University's computer lab, reading in horror as the comments got worse and worse, with absolutely no hide ratings and no real push back from the community until deep into the comment thread. At this point, I felt it best to respond in full diary length because 1) the thread is technically dead, and dead threading never helps, and 2) the conversation was so deep into the margins that my comment wouldn't be seen by the people who need to see it.
So to the people in that thread a few words of advice:
1) Being gay never is, never was, and never will be a lifestyle choice. Get that through your head. I know, it is repeated over and over and over and over again by the mainstream, and especially conservative, media. It is absolutely not a lifestyle choice, period. It is a deep part of a person Identification, a marker to who they are. When you call it a choice, you are falling into an extremely offensive right wing talking point that makes all sorts of assumptions -- that GLBTs are "doing it for attention", "don't like society", "just want to be menaces". Stop it.
2) I swear to god, the next time I see the words "drama queen" or "prancing" being used against a gay man I will fucking scream. Do you really not understand the connotations of those words? They are bigoted to their very core, meant to conjure up an image an odious stereotype of gay men that has been promulgated amongst bigots everywhere. These words IN NO WAY should be associated with gay people on a progressive site. Ever. It is simply not acceptable.
3) I can't fucking believe that this needs to be said again -- if you are called a bigot or a homophobe, all you need to do is offer an unqualified apology. That is it. Just fucking apologize. I seriously don't know why this concept is so hard. If someone feels that you are being offensive, you probably are being offensive. Don't double down, don't get angry, don't make the situation worse. Apologize. Explain yourself if you need to. If you were misunderstood, apologize, explain, and apologize again.
3a) Hey straight people (including myself)! You don't get to decide what homophobia is...if someone calls you homophobic, and you happen to know that they are gay lesbian or bi, you most likely are being homophobic. See step 3.
4) Stop equating your pet political issue and freedom and equality for GLBTs. They are in no way comparable, and you are just making yourself look like a jackass. This is a struggle for equality, for gays, lesbians, and transgendered people to be first class citizens in a society that considers them second class. There is no other issue out there like it besides other struggles for civil rights. And even then other struggles and the GLBT struggle are quite different, so those aren't even good comparisons.
5) Enough with the I have a gay friend who does (X). Nobody gives a fuck about your gay friend if you are being a bigot. It is no excuse. Again, see 3.
I am not writing this to be a jerk. I am writing this because we are progressives, we should know better than this. We should expect better from ourselves and the community around us. When we see bigotry, we should speak up.
And lastly, I want to apologize to the person who all of this bigotry was directed to. You know who you are. I know that I was not involved in anyway with it, but I feel like he never really got an apology, and he was owed one. I am very sorry you had to experience that here, of all places, dude.