Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cry Justice for Peter

I was rummaging around in a box of old things the other day and found two sheets of paper stuck between the pages one of my college yearbooks. I do not remember the name of the author of the words typed on the paper—I had several gay friends back in those days. Nor do I know if the events described were factual or apocryphal. But the essay so dramatically contrasts the general attitudes of the fifties about gays with the prevailing attitudes of today that I decided to publish them as my post this week. Not only does the piece highlight a remarkable change in attitude toward gays, it also serves as a warning that in some places what is described could still occur. So please read the following with that in mind.

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CRY JUSTICE FOR PETER!
By Anonymous
“Wicked!” sneer the narrow-minded Righteous.

“Queers!” hiss the smug, thin-lipped Virtuous.

“Nay!” my heart cries.  “Tis love as deep and abiding, as sweet and strong as any that enrich your lives.”

Pitying their ignorance, I draw close my friend and lover and move to pass them by.  But it is not to be.

On this day, Noble Society and Bigoted Religion extract a toll for flaunting their archaic injunctions.  And just as with women stepping beyond accepted boundaries, and Black slaves chafing against heavy chains, and First Nations fighting stubbornly for their ancestral homelands, we learn the cost is exorbitant.

Cretins tear away my beloved.  Two odiferous toughs pin my arms.  A florid man of dark, heavy jowls pummels bloody my lover.

Oh, how proud I am as Peter shakes them off and stands tall and manly to face his tormentors.  A foolish mistake, of course, but one born of intrepid pride.  Four barbarians beat him unmercifully until the growing unease of passive onlookers give them pause.

Smaller, weaker, and frankly not so valorous, I cannot fight my way free of those who hold me helpless.  Denied the consideration of even one disdainful blow, I am shoved atop my fallen hero as they depart, laughing crudely at the life-lesson taught the fags.

Sobbing myself into paralysis, I watch helplessly as a precious, sensitive life ebbs away on the hot, mean sidewalks of that accursed city.

And who will give me justice for the horror of this cruel bereavement?  Not the black-uniformed storm trooper who laughs there is one less sissy to plague the world; not the dog-collared clergy of the stately cathedral towering mutely above us across the street; and certainly not a shocked and aroused citizenry wrathfully demanding equity.

For the first time, I truly understand that dreadful credo of the old West:  “The only good Indian is a dead Indian!”  An epithet applicable to those without a roseate hue—such as me and my love.

But beware!  I am yet here, energized by my rage and emboldened by my crushing loss, I live to plot retribution on the hide-bound, sanctimonious fools who dare impose their morality--even to the destruction of one superior to them all in every way that counts.  And do not look down long, blue noses and proclaim “Love it or leave it” to me.  For I am legion in your midst, claiming equal ownership of this, my fatherland.

Yes, I am here to stay.  And in my own time, in my own way, I will raise my voice and Cry Justice for Peter!

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Perhaps the time has come for that voice and that cry. For the life of me, I cannot see how the value of a human being can be discounted simply because he or she is “different.”

This past Tuesday, a protestant church in Rio Rancho, New Mexico informed the scout troop they had been sponsoring it was no longer welcome because the Boy Scouts of America now accepts gays in its membership. How ironic that this action drives home the two points I want to make with this post. The action of these good Christians was sufficiently odious to be aired on prime-time news, reflecting the change in attitude of the general public. Yet their bigotry was pointed enough to give warning danger still lurks for gays.

Are we not all God's children?


Next week: Perhaps the Shadow knows, but if he does, he hasn’t told me.

New posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.

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