“I spent a month protesting 20/20-vision-normativity by not wearing my glasses. After a couple car accidents, my wife made me put them on again…”

Stop Being So Heteronormative!

by Jeff Johnston

Johnston: I was testifying against the redefinition of marriage before a committee at the Maryland State legislature, about 12 years ago. A Unitarian minister also testified … he said, “Blind is good, seeing is good. Deaf is good, hearing is good. Disabled is good, fully abled is good. Gay is good, straight is good.

I thought, Are you crazy? Is anyone even listening to what this guy is saying?

Though well intentioned, I think the minister’s analogy was inept, or at least his expression of it was. Unintentionally implying that same-sex attraction is a dis-ability. But turn his intention around and more accurate analogies emerge, like the innately talented, or a condition known as Synesthesia.

One of the rarer forms of it is known as Lexical-gustatory synesthesia, “…in which spoken or written words evoke vivid sensations of taste…” James Wannerton, a lexical-gustatory synesthete reports, “Whenever I hear [or] read … words or word sounds, I experience an immediate and involuntary taste sensation on my tongue.”

Regarding Johnston’s wigged out reaction to the meaning of the minister’s words, would syesthetes, or the innately talented be considered extra-abled? And if they were the majority, would the rest of us be considered dis-abled and therefore inferior?

But Johnston takes the low road by equating the LGBT equality agenda with an example of a blindness-equality agenda. It’s actually quite entertaining. Here’s a synopsis:

Johnston: But the more I thought about his statement, the more it began to make sense to me. Maybe being blind is good. … I began to think, if so many people have bad eyesight, maybe we aren’t meant to see clearly. Maybe losing your eyesight is good.

Sadly, the world is geared toward those with 20/20 vision. So as I embraced and celebrated my poor vision, I began a multi-faceted campaign.

…manufacturers finally developed large[r] [this that and the other thing] after years of my hounding them.

Yet everywhere I look, it is a two-eyed world. When was the last time you saw someone on television take out his prosthetic eye? … some of our bumper stickers: “Monoculars Unite!” “Blind is Good!” “End Binocular-Normativity!”

Textbooks should show more people with no eyes or one eye – why do they all assume people have two eyes?

…Our national anthem is an insult – no, I can’t “see by the dawn’s early light” – until I fumble around and find my glasses. I spent a month protesting 20/20-vision-normativity by not wearing my glasses. After a couple car accidents, my wife made me put them on again…

He despises use of the term Homophobia.

“Homophobia,” as used today, includes everything from a pastor reading Bible verses to violence and murder.

On that part I partially agree, I think it is inaccurate and overused, but it definitely applies to other things, like when people fear that their own same-sex attractions might mean they’re gay, or when parents are convinced we’re all child molesters.

He acknowledges and condemns the consequences of anti-gay hatred.

Some LGBT-identified men and women have been assaulted, physically harmed and murdered. … That is horrible, and we stand opposed to it. But that doesn’t mean that all opposition to homosexuality or to the radical gay agenda is driven by fear, dread or “homophobia.”

The success of the “radical gay agenda” is regularly blamed by anti-gay Christians for every bad thing that happens, from wildfires and earthquakes to the price of milk (Google “gays blamed for”), often if not always as “God’s Judgment.” You, Mr. Johnston, make it seem like this “fear [and] dread” (of God’s judgment) is negligible amongst the anti-gay community.

Homophobia, no. God’s judgment due to the success of the “radical gay agenda” phobia, yes.

I’ve also seen LGBT-identified men and women treated with love and respect, including by people who disagree with them. But that disagreement is still labeled “homophobia.”

Citing statistics demonstrating that LGBT-identified men and women are at greater risk for chemical addictions, sexually transmitted infections, self-harm (PDF) and a wide variety of psychological problems equals homophobia.

The statistics and studies you provide — three of which are from NARTH — as usual, prove no direct link to same-sex attraction and the cited disorders listed in the fished out links you provide, but you use them to imply that they do. So you’re right, Mr. Johnston, that’s not homophobia, it’s a smear campaign.

Then your trusting flocks who treat us with “love and respect” involuntarily vomit out the glorified dirt that you and the anti-gay industry purposefully guide them to — with the CLEAR intent of demoralizing an entire demographic — thereby making even them victims of your untruths. And that, in my opinion, is what you mean by “disagree.”

As for the rest, in my 8 years of interaction with anti-gay Christians, a good 95 to 99% of them couldn’t care less about what the Bible really means when it comes to homosexuality, or that our love for our partners is just as deep and intense and intimate as that of heterosexuals. No homophobia there either, just hatred.

He moves on.

“gay activists and their allies also call us haters, bigoted, extremist, fundamentalist and discriminatory. The Christian equivalent of the Taliban. Opponents of homosexuality are accused of being secretly gay, wrestling with internalized homophobia, closeted and self-hating. Don’t address the arguments; label the person. Truth doesn’t matter, just attack the person.”

As we’ve seen from his use of those links, all of the above descriptions are justly deserved.

Except for this part:

“Don’t address the arguments; label the person. Truth doesn’t matter, just attack the person.”

The “truth”, Mr. Johnston, is that the arguments have been “addressed” ad nauseam, which is why the “label[s]” are so legitimately befitting of you and your ilk. And though being “accused of being secretly gay” may be overused, you have no one to blame for that “attack” than you and your anti-gay allies’ insistence that every preacher in the land spread your carefully crafted anti-gay meme.

Back to blindness:

A Christian Worldview

…Calling blindness “good,” knowing how we were designed to see, distorts reality. Those of us with faulty eyesight are suffering sin’s impact on the body. Jesus came to restore sight to the blind…

Especially ironic, given the blindness, Mr. Johnston, exhibits in his article. Blind to the red-meat NARTH links that directly inspire the anti-gay hatred that leads to us being “…assaulted, physically harmed and murdered.” Blind to the fact that SSA can and is inborn. Blind to the fact that the pejorative labels we ascribe to them are so spellboundingly accurate. Blind to the fact that “a greater chance of” something does not prove in any way shape or form a direct link to it. Blind to the fact that sin requires a victim:

…sexual sin, because sexuality is so good, so powerful, and such a deep part of our being, is especially destructive.

Even in our sexual brokenness, we see glimmers of God’s design. … that humanity is divided into two sexes, male and female. And almost all have some form of marriage – mainly to keep children with the husband and wife who procreated them.

That link goes to one of his other articles:

When God took Adam and formed Eve out of his side, God blessed them and said that His creation was very good.

Genesis 1:28: “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number…”

Adam and Eve had children. Those children were brothers and sisters, and what do we call it when brothers and sisters are “fruitful?”

He ends on this charming little note:

“Ranting and raving against a male-female world is like screaming at the sun for shining on the earth. It’s like living in Alaska and shouting at the snow. It’s like, well, it’s like starting a campaign to stamp out binocular normativity.”

At first read I was offended by the suggestion that the LGBT equality agenda was somehow an effort to “stamp out” heterosexuality itself, but then I realized it was coming from a place of heterosupremacism.

In their eyes, to be equal to them, would shatter their world of perceived superiority. So it would seem that the real threat we pose is to their almighty pride — mistaken for the Love of God, who’s only requirement for “salvation” is the application of the Golden Rule.

Much thanks to, Brian Tashman, at Right Wing Watch.

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