bruce

Born in the US-Gay!

Nope, this is not a post about gay America.  Nor is it a post about how gay America has become.  It is a post about Bruce Springsteen and why he’s important to the gay community.  If you don’t know, Bruce is a big marriage equality advocate.  He wrote a blog about it and now his image and his quote are part of the big four campaign.  The big four is a campaign to get marriage equality passed in 4 more states come this November.

 

 

It all reminds me of my friend, Pete.  My friend Pete is a great guy.  He’s a straight, funny, and a married, man with two kids.  He’s a writer/ producer and a pretty big liberal.  One day he facebooked me and said, “Beck, I have this friend who is adamantly against gay marriage.  He keeps posting about it on his facebook page.  Can you say something to him about it?  Here’s the link.”

 

Sigh.

 

Now, I love Pete.  But, Pete makes a mistake here.  What he does not realize is that gay people are EXHAUSTED.  We have to defend our “lifestyle” (or genetics, depending upon how you look at it) on a daily basis.  So, no, I don’t want to get into a fight with your random friend about his, “gay problem.”  I have to pick and choose my battles if I’m going to survive.

 

That’s one reason why Bruce is important.  Every straight person that stands up and says, “No, this is not right,” has some skin in the game and if you have some skin in the game, you WILL make a difference.  Bruce has his entire red-white-and-blue-American ass in the game.  And -really- that’s damn important.  It’s taking up the facebook fight with your random friend ON YOUR OWN.

 

I’m highly aware, however, that a lot of you -out there- have and will continue to stick your neck out for gay people.  Hell, I think a lot of you stick it out for anyone who is oppressed.  I know you are not all Petes.  (And Pete, by the way, I think had his heart in the right place.  Perhaps, he felt unsure about how to argue his point, and he may have thought – a gay person will speak to this more eloquently.)

 

But, maybe, just maybe some of you are on the fence and don’t really care to get involved in any kind of confrontation.  So, you vote silently and do what you can on your own, in your own way.  I think that’s great, but I also think – in America – we’ve gone past that point as of late.  We are at a certain milestone in this movement where it’s not only important, but imperative that straight people stand up alongside gays, as Bruce has.

 

Gay hate, gay bashing, gay intolerance can be LOUD.  It is also violent and -truly- it will not stop (or at least be contained) without a unity of many.

 

Everyone needs role models.  Everyone.  When I think about myself, in regards to comedy, I’m not sure that I would have been so bold now if comedians before me (Ellen, Wanda Sykes, etc) hadn’t paved the way to make gay okay.  I’m sure I would’ve been true to me (as I always have been), but it might’ve taken me longer or I might’ve done it here and there.

 

My thought is that maybe Bruce is a role model for straight dudes in that way.  Perhaps, if an All-American guy from Jersey like Bruce says, “Hey, equality is equality and gay people are our brothers and sisters who deserve equal rights…,” I think his solidarity might allow the regular Joe next door to do the same.  That is invaluable.

 

So are the actions of Minnesota Vikings punter (American footballer), Chris Kluwe who penned a MUST READ letter to a state delegate defending gay equality.  It includes such unbelievably good nuggets like this one:

 

“(the gays) they won’t turn you into a lustful c*ckmonster…”

 

Oh, man, it’s so good.  Click for the full letter here.

 

But, back to Bruce.  I, for one, am proud of the man and I hope his actions spawn 10,000 more like him – peace lovin’, gay accepting, tolerant, open minded, American, men.  It would make me even prouder to be born here.

 

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Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish.  If you’d like to join the party, you can do so by clicking the “follow” button at the top of the page.

 

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You might also like:

Clearing Out My Facebook

 

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Photo creds:

bruce-four, bruce-sings

 

63 thoughts on “Born in the US-Gay!

  1. Of course it’s the job of the free to stand up for the oppressed. I didn’t know there weren’t many as vocal as Bruce. Didn’t realize any help was needed really from the straight community. For what it’s worth, I’m behind the LGBT community for equality under the law.

    I don’t believe gay marriage is the most serious problem facing our nation, but it certainly is a big issue, and hides the real issue of equality. I wish the ignorant people out there would be willing to educate themselves. Thanks, Mother, for getting the word out.

  2. I loved when Ronald Reagan tried to connect to “Born in the USA” to his reelection campaign. Dude, did you even listen to the lyrics?

    I like how Bruce has put this as a “duh” issue except way more eloquently. It’s a civil right, duh. It ain’t anything else. If you’re against marriage for all, then you want to deny people their civil rights. Plain and simple.

    1. plain and simple, indeed. why do you and i not run the country, speaker? i think we’d do a decent job. but, then again, i’d probably eat all of the pork surpluses…and maybe that’s not good… xoxox, sm

  3. Send me Pete’s link. Well, not really as I am not so crass as to randomly yell at perfect strangers (yet.. I am getting there), but I am so goddamn tired of people ragging on gay marriage. It’s the civil rights issue of our time. My standard answer to bigots who think gay bashing is ok is to take any statement they make about gays and replace it with the word “black” or “female” or “jewish” in there and see if it sits well with you. If it doesn’t, then you’re on the wrong side of history.

    1. “send me pete’s link” is just about the funniest response possible to this post. loool. loved it, roller. though, i don’t want you to get exhausted either. ;) and you’re right, i do that substitution thing too. I do it with a couple of things, which i’ll probably mention at a later date, but regardless, outstanding points. xo, sm

  4. Sweet Mom i totally agree here..a straight person defending a gay makes more difference…so true…If Pete would stand up many more will follow and stand for equality…
    but i think alot of straight people do this silently…because they fear they might be judged for doing so…i wish more people would stand up for equality..more people will say gay person is a person with emotions that can be hurt…
    Defending right to equality is exhausting but has to be done…support from straight men and women can make a lot of difference

    1. a huge difference, lilttle miss! there would have been no black equality without white people either. the tide must always turn and factions of the majority must stick up for the oppressed minority…that’s the way it has always been. xo, sm

  5. Great post SM. I agree wholeheartedly with rollergiraffe’s comment. If everyone practiced TOLERANCE, then there wouldn’t be bashings of ANY kind.

  6. I agree with Mr. Springsteen about it being a civil right, and I’d like to take it a bit further: According to one of the most important piece’s of paper in our great nation’s history, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” That’s from the Declaration of Independance. The key words in that selection, for me, are “INALIENABLE RIGHTS…LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.” Sorry about the capslock: I don’t know how to do blod & italics in comments.

    The fact that this is even up for debate is flippin’ retarded. But you know, about forty years ago, the same type of debate occured about weather blacks & whites could marry. -smh-

    What happened? I thought this was the land of the FREE. Sorry about the mini rant in your comments section, SM.

    1. never apologize for such an eloquent and passionate rant, here, dear foster. you are a welcome addition to this comments section. i agree -wholeheartedly- with all you’ve said. and i do hope that one day, others, have the clear mindedness to see it as truthfully and simply as you’ve stated. so, THANK YOU for saying so on my blog. much love, sm

  7. This should just be a non-issue. Okay, as an anthropologist/archaeologist from the pre-Post-Modern days, I learned a lot from cross-cultural studies. And “marriage” takes so many different forms across societies. Anyone heard of ghost marriage?

    Bruce is absolutely right. In the United States, marriage is a civilly recognized union. Yes, we have the option to get married in a church, and that is recognized by the state. But for legal purposes, it’s the civil union that matters—the recordation of a license granted and some kind of ceremony, whether civil or religious. And since the laws recognize the CIVIL union, then all adults should have the same rights to marry.

    A particular church doesn’t sanction “non-traditional” marriage according to its definition? Fine, it doesn’t have to. But the States must. Period.

    Even though I’m heterosexual, I fully recognize the right for any two consenting adults to enter into marriage and have all the same legal rights that my husband and I share.

    1. you know, i LOVE that your bring up the anthropological aspect. there is this tribal elder (a phd dude) from burkina faso, i believe, who believes that gay people are “shamans” and that is their importance withing the tribe. that gay people are literally the conduits to the spiritual world. the way he talks about it is so eloquent and fascinating, it’s unbelievable and something i will include in my book, if i can get the thing published. anyway, jm, thank you for stating that so wonderfully and perfectly here. i really do appreciate that. much love, sm

  8. This one is kind of tough for me. Not that I don’t believe in equal rights, which I do, and that does include gay marriage. I would like to be more vocal about it, but I’m hesitant for various reasons. I FULLY believe in the separation of Church and State. This kind of puts me in a different group of people, I think. I’m against abortion, but pro-choice. I’m against the death penalty. I believe in “Traditional Marriage”, but think everyone should have the RIGHT to marry whomever they want. One of the things I have disagreed with the Church about is what they did concerning Prop 8, but I also understand that when you’re dealing with humans you are going to see a bunch of people make mistakes. I think it’s difficult, sometimes, because a person that believes one thing for religious reasons and the opposite for political reasons, could be perceived as a hypocrite. I guess that’s why I don’t talk about this stuff that much. This was a great post, and I truly hope that, sooner rather than later, full equality will be had by every single person walking on this earth.

    1. well, jon, i believe in the separation of church and state, plain and simple, and above all. so, in that capacity, perhaps, we don’t disagree all that much. i have no problem with anyone and their religious beliefs. it is only when i feel that those religious beliefs are being forced down my throat that i mind. in fact, in the beginning of my thought evolution on this i felt, ‘let’s just call it civil unions with THE EXACT SAME RIGHTS AS MARRIAGE, but let the religious have their word married and let’s compromise that way…” as long as i have the same rights, i don’t care if you call it, ‘disneyland,’ but that has changed for me. i now feel that if it is NOT called marriage, the culture will never change around the idea and unfortunately, for gay people to thrive in a healthy and true way, there needs to be an element of dignity and self respect given back to them by the society at large. unfortunately, i think that can only happen through the term “marriage.” but, again, i wouldn’t force anyone’s church to do anything. however, i would -if i had my way- force the government to recognize gay and straight marriage as the same, in the eyes of the law. that -to me- is the only way we will have equality. much love, sm

      1. I agree. The thing that kills me is why do we need to make a law saying the opposite? Why do we need a law that defines something that is already happening? I think I told someone this earlier, but sometimes people let God get in the way of their humanity.

      2. “sometimes people let God get in the way of their humanity…” ooooohhhh, such a powerful statement, jon. such a powerful statement.

  9. I love how you put it, we are exhausted. I am so damn exhausted some times I feel like I am drowning.
    I just want to be able to breath for more than a few moments, thats all I ask.

  10. We take a lot of freedoms for granted here in Canada. Freedom to marry who you love, male, female, gay, straight, is one of them. It always surprises me when I hear that someone has come here to get married because they can’t where they live.
    Of course, Bruce’s integrity on such matters is only part of why he is “The Boss”. He is a good man.

    1. true, indeed. and wonderful commentary, mg. i, of course, have friends who are american and gay and married in canada… it will change here. we just have an odd process about these things. sigh. much love, sm

  11. Man, gotta love Bruce,and that letter was unfreakingbelievable! I’m on your side SM and damn I’m loud about it, proud and loud.

  12. My youngest sister said to me sometime back, “I have a secret.” She is 29 with a 7 year old child. I haven’t seen her since 1998, before my dad passed away. We only recently reconnected (long story). She then told me in e-mail she was gay and that with the exception of my next youngest sister (they are only 13 months apart) no one in our family knew. I am the oldest of 10 on that side of the family, at 55 there is a big wide age gap between us.

    My only response was So? Why doesn’t anyone else know? Why is this a secret and why are you telling me?

    Her answer was odd, she follows me on Facebook. She reads my posts and my debates, including those with some of our family members. She wanted me to help her tell others and defend her if necessary. She knew I would and she knew I would fight for her, even against family. Funny, I have walked away from them once before for being douches, she knows that too.

    Gay isn’t a choice, how ridiculous. Marriage isn’t a decision that should ever be voted upon by others, it is a Civil Right which must be afforded to all citizens or none.

    1. val, you have no idea how tremendous it is that you are such a ‘defender’ of others. i know that is a part of you to your core. i hear it in everything of yours that i’ve read and in the comments you write here. i think it is such a (unfortunately) rare quality in humankind and probably one of the best qualities a person can have. i, for one, think it’s awesome that you are willing to defend her, especially having experienced your own conflicts with them before. it says volumes about who you are. much love, sm

  13. I think that Brother Jon has touched on the reason those that oppose same sex marriage oppose it — religion. Once religion enters the picture, it complicates things. Pope Benedict has just appointed an outspoken gay marriage opponent, Salvatore Cordileone, archbishop of San Francisco — the city many consider central to the LGBT rights movement. Where does it say in the Bible that same sex marriage is sanctioned by God? It doesn’t nor does it actually say that it’s not. The religious right has contorted many passages of the Bible to fuel their homophobia. Even though it seems like same sex marriage is well on the road to legality and the Supreme Court could overturn the Defense of Marriage Act within the next year, religious institutions will continue to fight it, but hopefully the doors will swing wide open for secular same sex marriage sooner than later. It’s great that celebrities like Bruce Springsteen are speaking out, but he’s a member of the liberal elite. It’s ordinary people, possibly a guy like Pete’s pal, that may never change their stand on the issue due to their stand on religion. Fortunately, many members of the younger generation have more open minds about it. They’re the ones that are less threatened by it especially if it is separate from their faith. A guy like Pete’s pal might just view it as fundamentally wrong, even if it is only civil marriage. That’s just the way his brain works. People are never going to 100% agree on this issue. It’s those on the fence that are hopefully more likely to come around and support it. I think it’s a waste of time preaching to someone resistant to conversion.

    1. I don’t know about the US religious right but, when I was a kid, divorce was a huge stigma and an absolute no-no in the Catholic Church. It’s still a no-no for Catholics but the divorce statistics show that when enough people want something, they get it. Religion or no religion. I just hope that with gay marriage the acceptance happens a lot faster.

      1. Yeah, I was raised Catholic and divorce was huge when I was growing up in the 60s. My parents practiced birth control so they wouldn’t take communion. The church really messed with heads. It turned me off so much, but I knew early on that something was different about myself and I just was not attracted to guys in the same way that my sister was. Then, when Stonewall happened in 1969, that was when what I was really hit home. It was also a profoundly encouraging event.

      2. Oh! I just looked up Stonewall. I never knew how the whole gay rights movement began. To be honest I didn’t really know much about LGBT until I met some fun gay guys in the early 70’s. Sadly I think most of us ‘straights’ assumed the battle had already been won. I’ll admit to ignorance and complacency too. I know that’s changing rapidly in the younger generation. I just hope more of us boomers start to realise how deep the intolerance still goes.

      3. The only reason I put as much thought into LGBT rights as I do is because I am lesbian. It’s not a straight person’s cause, but I do appreciate straight people that have the capacity to realize that the time has come to change the laws and allow same sex couples that want the privilege to marry — like straight people — that right. I’m sure if I had grown up knowing I could marry, I would have lived my life differently. Now that I’m in my fifties and it’s possible for same sex couples to marry here in New York, I think that’s great, even though at this act in the play, it’s too late for me.

      4. “marriage is an institution. thankfully, i’m not ready for an institution.” – mae west

      5. Don’t say that! About it’s being too late. I’m in my 50’s too and I understand the temptation to think ‘I’m too old for all that’ but there is no use-by date on relating to people. And sometimes happiness can literally hit you over the head from behind. :)

      6. when straight people are willing to look things up as you have just done… that is without a doubt, a step in the right direction… xo

      7. -blush- I’m a looker-uppera but I was interested. You should hear my daughter when yet another attempt to get gay marriage legalized gets squashed. The young adults of her generation know gay marriage is right and sooner or later they will push it through. With a bit of help from their mums. :)

    2. “i think it’s a waste of time preaching to someone resistant to conversion.” so well said, dearest lame, so well said. i have a face quote in this regard as well, “a man’s opinion changed against his will, is of the same opinion still,” which is dale carnegie and so damn true. you can not change people’s minds. you can only fight for what you believe to be the right choice. now, i would say, also, that there were a lot of people who did not believe in civil rights either. (and still don’t for whatever reason) regardless, it’s easy to see with hindsight that the government had to legislate against that unfairness, as I believe it’s easy to see here, as well. religious people can believe that the way i live my life is wrong, all they want…it’s when they force me to pay more taxes or to not get healthcare due to who i sleep with that i have an ENORMOUS problem with their interpretation of things. and while i hold a blue passport, just as they do, i’ll say, “Nope, equality is a must.” xo, sm

  14. I get frustrated that we’re still talking about this as a society, as a civilization, as the human race. It’s time to progress and treat everyone equally. It’s simple, isn’t it? I wish it were so….Great post.

      1. SM, I hope you don’t think I implied it’s not worth talking about. Quite the opposite. Thanks for this post. It’s just time to move forward, you know?

      2. nope, didn’t think that at all. and i totes get what you’re saying. i just wish more people thought the way you did. in fact, it would be my preference if everyone did! lool. but, alas, it is not so. much love, sm

  15. I agree that is isn’t up to the gay community to defend or explain why marriage equality is vital. It won’t happen until enough straight people are standing up for it as well. It always takes enough people standing up for something who are NOT in the group that is fighting for certain rights to prove that the change is right and supported.

    It isn’t fair, but I think it is because people against something will never see the rightness of it until enough people like themselves are fighting for it.

    Freeing the slaves was actually a side outcome of the Civil War and it took enough white people supporting it to make it a reality. It took enough men supporting the idea of women having the right to vote to make it a reality. It took a combination of enough black people standing up for themselve and enough white people supporting them to make changes in the civil rights movement. And so on for the Women’s Lib movement and probably any other effort in history.

    I agree, it really is a civil right issue. And I would never ask any of my gay, bi, or transgendered friends to try to explain why marriage equality is important.

    I’m a bit of a misanthrope and don’t really feel like humanity is worth a lot of effort. So it is ironic that my one and only ’cause’, so to speak, is marriage equality. The reason it is ironic is that I’m both straight and single and don’t expect to ever be married.

    I don’t see where only one type of family can be ‘correct’ or ‘good’. There are many other types of family units all across the world. Many countries have adopted a western model. But I don’t think there is one right way and I REALLY don’t thing religion has any business defining marriage and family for all people, including people not of that religion.

    I think family units that produce healthy, happy, well adjusted children of both genders are all that matters and that can be done with two men or women, so long as the love and support is there. Marriage should not be denied to any consenting adult. I just fail to see how allowing same-gender marriages can open the door to strange things like marrying a goat or whatever some people try to claim. That is just silly and stupid. Marriage isn’t a gateway drug. And that seems to be the model they are trying to use.

  16. I just read Chris Kluwe’s letter and . . . wow. Just wow. He and the Boss are princes, acting like what real men should do and standing up for equality. That letter is incredible.

  17. I love Springsteen, I love Chris Kluwe (who might’ve become my favorite football player EVER with that letter), I love anyone who’s got the guts to come out and say that what’s happening to the LGBTQ community is wrong. (Just a note, which I’m sure you know already, but Kluwe penned that letter in support of a Baltimore Ravens player who was campaigning for marriage equality in Maryland; the governor of the state wanted the owner to tell his players to shut up. So football isn’t nearly as homophobic as it used to be.)

    I believe in marriage equality. I’ve probably said it on my blog already, but I’ll say it again today. I’ll say it as often as I have to, and get as many of our straight brothers and sisters to say it as I can, until there is real marriage equality in this country.

    1. i do know that, purple. and i LOVE that kluwe defended the other player. not to mention that the letter is absolutely hilarious. when you can be both right and hilarious. it’s like a tsunami…or jon stewart. :0 xoxo, sm

  18. Personally I think the most valuable advocates of gay rights are obviously heterosexual males. Liberal women such as myself are expected to love everyone and so often we are ignored. But when a heterosexual male says something people stand up and take notice. Maybe because men are so often homophobic or at least silent about the subject. Maybe because men still wield the most social and political power in our society. Whatever the reason, it makes a giant impact when a guy like Kluwe publicly speaks out in support and not quite as much impact when Liz Taylor does the same (although if she spoke out from beyond the grave it would probably be a pretty big feckin deal–Liz if you can hear me, now is the time!).

  19. It seems to make a bigger impact when a heterosexual male speaks out in support of the cause. Perhaps because liberal women, like me, are expected to love everyone and so are easier to ignore. Perhaps because men are so often homophobic or at least silent on the subject that it’s a bigger deal when one of them speaks publicly in support. Or perhaps because men still seem to wield more social and political power in this and many other societies. Whatever the reason it’s a huge deal when a guy like Kluwe speaks out in support of gay rights but not as big a deal when Liz Taylor did it (although if she spoke out from beyond the grave it would be a pretty big feckin deal–if you can hear me, Liz, now is the time!)

    1. goddermn it, fathead, you are funny! and i would also like to hear that ‘liz from the grave’ thing. i think she’d have so much to say. maybe, ‘i should’ve had more husbands?’ anyhoo, i hear you on the hetero male thing. it saddens me that liberal women may be ignored in this regard and you might be right on that, but at the very least, thankfully, it’s getting attention. even if it takes a dangler for anybody to listen to a feckin’ thing. sigh. xo, sm

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