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Read "Sixteen Propositions" by Michael Denneny in our online-Library!

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Author Topic: Denneny 15: The cultural legal and psychological assault on gays has not ceased  (Read 3617 times)

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  • Viktor Zimmermann
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In many parts of the western world things have changed to the better. Unfortunately, for any actual human rights movements at least a minimum level of political freedoms must exist. There is little chance to persuade the society of gays being equally nice and good as straights, if for the "propaganda of homosexuality" the punishment of 5 years is prescribed and any same-sex activity is punished by death penalty. What solutions can be offered for such a bad start? I don't know.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin


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Denneny’s fifteenth proposition is: “The cultural, legal, and psychological assault on gays so weirdly characteristic of our society has not ceased, and there is no reason to believe it will cease in the immediate future.”

Theoretical analyses have absolutely no impact on any social reality. Even the understanding of our concrete situation in the world that they hopefully engender will not of itself change the situation.

All the understanding of homophobia in the world will not make it disappear. We are not omnipotent; neither as individuals nor as a group do we control reality, which is something we share with all those with whom we share the globe. No psychological, interpersonal, intellectual, or spiritual achievements on our part alone will eradicate homophobia, for the problem does not rest only with us — “the problem is not so much homosexual desire as the fear of homosexuality.”

What we can do is face up to the reality of the situation and begin to change it in our own case. In the sixties there was much talk of “making the revolution”; many people seemed to think that somehow this one apocalyptic event would result in the transfiguration of human society. But the revolution never came. The gay “revolution” — if that term should even be used — can only be made in the daily lives of each one of us. What could gay liberation possibly be but a change in the quality of our actual lives? For better or worse, we create the face of gay liberation in every sexual encounter and love affair we have. With every circle of loyal gay friends established we are manifesting the gay world (the achievements we have been making in this area are documented in Ed White’s States of Desire: Travels in Gay America). As we individually come to terms with our straight friends and help them to come to terms with us, we help to dissolve homophobia. While this prospect is not as dramatic or as emotionally satisfying as a “revolution,” it does have the enormous advantage of being realistic. We are already in the midst of changing our lives and our world, but it will not happen automatically or without our individual participation.
Stonewall was a riot.
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