Painful Truth Number Two: You Gotta Compromise, No Matter How "Right" You Think You Are

Since I'm being brutally honest this week, the gay rights cause doesn't get me emotionally charged. Don't get me wrong -- my head recognizes the injustice, it's just that my heart and stomach don't get moved the way they do when kids are being abused, starved or mistreated. Now, gay teenagers getting bullied and/or committing suicide? Yeah, that gets me. So does violence against gays. But while the general fight for more acceptance is understood by me, but it doesn't evoke the passion that other causes do.

The thing is, while I don't think that issues like gay marriage are the gravest injustice on the planet, it's one of the easiest to rectify, and if we would rectify it, we could move on to some of those graver, more difficult to solve problems we face.

But the vast majority of straight people aren't interested, and it's not just homophobia. Some of that is "compassion fatigue," but I think it's also because we get skewed visions of gay people from the media. Once a year, we see a gay pride parade filled with exaggerated sexuality. It would be as if there were a "heterosexual pride parade" filled not with smiling families but with porn stars and swingers clubs. (I'm not saying there should be a heterosexual pride parade; after all, you can see that at any large shopping mall. I'm just making an example.)

We hear about sleazy hook-ups in public bathrooms and cruising in our public parks, but not the stable, loving unions. Is Barney Frank in the news, or Larry Craig? I mean, breastfeeding women fight not to be shoved into a public bathroom, and we hear defenders of sex in there as part of the gay lifestyle? That doesn't stir up empathy for the cause.

In fact, I would become much more passionate if someone said they yearn for the days where they could escape all the secrecy and hiding and shame and walk hand in hand with their loved ones on a beach at sunset. If the George Michael and Larry Craig affairs had been met with a "See what we've been driven to?" cry instead of a "We have every right to do that -- it's part of our culture!" one, it would help the cause.

I know a lot of gay people might think, "Why should we change? You're the ones who are discriminating against us!" But sometimes you've got to give to get. You want into mainstream society? You've got to take the good with the bad.

I take issue with the argument presented in this article that straight people aren't prosecuted for public sex acts. They may not be arrested, but nor is it allowed. Ask any pair of teenage lovebirds caught steaming up the car windows.

Nobody asked me, but I would recommend playing up the love and stability found in gay unions and downplaying the public nudity and bacchanalia that the media loves so much.
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