05 December 2010

Lies, Hate, and Reality in Tennessee (and unfortunately, beyond)

Truth and identity, public and private, are key--for BOTH sides, and, sadly, the "Belmont College Crushes Queer Soccer Coach Like Bug" situation could just as easily have been avoided by a better tending of those things by either side. Make no mistake, people, Truth will never give up in its efforts to be present in your life, through one "opportunity" after another. Belmont's official "attitude" on this point absolutely sucks, no doubt about that, regardless of the details of its "policies," but did anybody not know that this is who they ARE? As a private, religion-based institution in a state seemingly growing more prejudiced by the second, did they really have anybody fooled into thinking they'd just do the "right" thing when push came to shove? Who lied about what, and to whom?

Do not misunderstand me. I HATE this ignorance, bigotry, blatant discrimination; I hate this hate. I am sick to death of this shit, of the absolute absence of tolerance or even minimal evolution on the subject by waaayyy too many of the Tennessee population. I want it to CHANGE, so we can get on with our lives and tending to some of the REAL problems we're facing in this world. My desperation for that change is why it is so maddening to me when the opportunities we get to achieve some measure of progress are significantly compromised by none other than the unfairly judged and oppressed party themselves.

I hope the coach was fired, or that Belmont has seriously misrepresented the way it handled its end. I hope this coach actually never approached the administration to ask "permission" to talk about her "baby," because the existence of babies don't make people gay, and conversations can be had about babies, even about those babies had with same-sex partners, without any mention of "lifestyle" in legally limiting terms. The conversations needn't include declarations of gay-ness allegedly referred to by the discriminatory policies of the organization of which one may be part. Implications cannot be legislated; but the prohibition of an unprovable concept cannot be challenged if one preemptively "confesses" one's own perceived violation of the rules BY requesting permission to circumvent them. If she did not leave voluntarily, then hopefully she had executed her job more personally openly than is suggested by Belmont's reaction. Maybe then, it could be argued that any claimed "don't ask, don't tell" policy had been inconsistent at best and that forfeiture of its previous enforcement precluded its arbitrary and abrupt enforcement over an implication now. "Baby" does not equal "disclosure of homosexuality." If we are going to be forced to be this "careful," then careful is exactly what we should be, and a matching standard demanded in any argument regarding a lack of that care.

Could have been a good fight. Could have accomplished something. Unfortunately, when you sign a pre-nup before marrying someone known in the past to be a cheating, boozing wife-beater, and he cheats, boozes, and beats the hell out of you and you leave, you are going to get screwed, and you have no right to be surprised by it. Any there's not only not going to be a damn thing you can do about it, but your denial and compliance probably guarantee that the next one is going to get it worse.

Do not simply give away your power, to anybody, ever. Be yourself, even when it's hard. Be honest, even when it's hard. Be honest with yourself, before you ever have a conversation with anybody else about it. Don't expect anybody else in this world to treat you with respect when you can't manage it consistently with yourself. If you act ashamed, people will assume you have good reason to be.

If you just hold up your end, hold your position, without hiding, lying, or apologizing when you haven't done a damn thing wrong, then maybe something can be done when somebody else breaks the "rules." Damn whoever made "spin" such an art. It's no way to live, it's no way to maintain a relationship, and it's no way to run a business. Honesty and transparency are, under most circumstances, the best way to avoid the inevitable betrayals and scars that come up living in SPIN. My wife and I have both learned this lesson. Many people have, more than enough to say with a fair amount of certainty that anybody can learn it.

Damn it, I want to be wrong, completely and utterly wrong, about every aspect of this case. Please, please, please, somebody prove me wrong. You have no idea how glad I'd be. If I'm wrong, then maybe things actually change. But if I'm right, then my immediate environment, in which I live with my beloved wife and the two children we're trying like hell to raise to act better than so many of the examples they see, will certainly be even uglier tomorrow than it was yesterday.