Bad Gays: A Homosexual History by Lemley and Miller
a review by John Suddath
From the preface of the book: “Homosexuals are … widely consigned to the same category of things as drugs, the category of illicit dirty things that people have to be protected from … since the homosexual is continually taught by the world around him that his natural home is the sewer, the homosexual is uniquely equipped to discover what truly belongs and doesn’t belong in the sewer.”
This English book traces the history of 15 infamous gays starting with Hadrian, the Roman Emperor. The author summarized the theme of the book as: By examining the interplay of their lives and their sexualities, this book investigates the failure of homosexuality as an identity and a political project. Which is an explanation of the title: Bad Gays.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Of course, that’s not true. Words can be hurtful, particularly when hurled as an epithet. I sat in on a discussion recently about the use of queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, intersex, inquiring, and questioning. The handful of people could not agree among themselves. The interpretation and meaning of the words was very personal and had a different connotation for each of them. Depending upon their experience, the history of the words was different.
That’s not even getting into the quagmire of the use of pronouns. Obviously, it’s a very personal decision, and people are sensitive about it. Therefore, in many circumstances people are asked to identify their preference so there is no misunderstanding. I guess the answer is, “just ask first.”
The Republicans Have a Banner Year Promoting Homophobia and Transphobia
According to a report by the Human Rights Campaign that was issued in June, 525 bills were introduced in state legislatures attacking the LGBTQ+ community. Of those, 220 were targeted against the trans community. Seventy of these bills were enacted into law. The Republicans have adopted a strategy of focusing on the state legislatures, many in which they hold a majority. Many of these laws already have been challenged in court awaiting trials that may overturn them.