These experiences are not life-affirming. So, during a recent conversation regarding the disquieting behavior of some LGBT peers, it seemed entirely innocuous to note, “All gay people are damaged.” A fellow editor agreed but mentioned many folks would take offense at that. That blew my mind.
Who could argue with that? How could we not be emotionally harmed by a society that tells us we’re screwed up at every turn? I don’t know one gay guy who never had “fag” hurled at him, or many lesbians never told they could switch teams if they wanted to. That’s a cakewalk compared to the beatings and killings we’re still subjected to on the streets or the fear most of us have walking hand-in-hand with our partners and spouses, even in big cities. Most disturbing is that our experiences, as Americans, are much less frightening than those experienced by LGBT people in most of the world.