The Austin Chronicle

The AggreGAYtor: July 25

By Brandon Watson, July 25, 2012, 12:40pm, Qmmunity

Chick-fil-A is up to shenanigans, Mike Huckabee takes a big bite, and a DC couple survives a brutal bashing. Today’s AggreGAYtor is not amused.

The Fargo Forum would rather women marry themselves than marry each other.

San Francisco adds transgender services to health insurance program.

• DC couple jumped in another brutal anti-gay hate crime.

Wisconsin state Representative JoCasta Zamarripa comes out as bisexual.

Chick-fil-A yanks Jim Henson Creature Shop Puppet Premiums from its Kid's Meal. This is not how they do it down at Fraggle Rock.

• The cast for RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars is revealed… to those with excellent night vision. Cats everywhere are smug in their secret knowledge.

BONUS RANT: Failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee started off this week with an announcement of a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” in response to what he called the "vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry" aimed at the breaded chicken enterprise. Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality and the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios joined in the chorus, comparing LGBTQ activists to lunchroom bullies. The seething masses fell in line, screaming intolerance in the comments sections of The Huffington Post and the Drudge Report. It seems the evangelical right has a new talking point. It can’t be long before we start seeing “It Gets Better” videos from stone-faced hausfraus trembling because someone called them a homophobe.

Despite the absurdity of those remarks (coming from the same folks working for harsh anti-LGBTQ laws in Africa,) it’s a good thing that evangelicals are feeling persecuted. Folks only accuse of us of being intolerant when we have the tenacity to fight back.

LGBTQ individuals have been silenced for most of history because of people who bludgeon with bibles. Now that some of us can reasonably speak against oppression without fear of repercussions, evangelicals are running scared. In desperation, they are taking their wheezing last breaths; their belief system undergoing the last spasms before rigor mortis.

Unfortunately, desperation can reach a fever pitch – and that can breed violence and redoubled efforts at discrimination. That is why it is our responsibility to be vocal for those who cannot. Tolerance does not mean being silent when someone expresses views that are hurtful, whether those views come from religion or deeply held cultural beliefs.

Growing up in a rural, evangelical community; hearing the very few words in opposition to oppression helped me live through the trauma of bullying. Those words promised that I would one day be able to live a valid life and that I would find community. We need to pass that favor forward, for everyone who has not been able to escape the crush of hate. It's going to be a bumpy ride, but the destination is in sight.

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