Waymon Hudson

Let's Homosexualize! Humor as a Tool for Change

Filed By Waymon Hudson | June 11, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: Anita Bryant, Carrie Prejean, humorous blog post, National Organization for Marriage, NOM, right wing, Stephen Colbert

There are few things I enjoy more in life than making fun of the Far Right. And trust, me they sometimes make it way too easy.

From the fun of talking about "Homosexualizing" and "Transgenderizing" to the word play of teasing about "quires" (a misspelled version of "queers"), it's clear that many of us have the same reaction to made-up hate speech and the sheer ignorance of fundamentalist bigots: crack some jokes.

While some may see this as just a fun pastime or even a complete waste of time, I actually think it is a very effective way of marginalizing equality opponents and chipping away at the small amount of credibility they have left.

And it's a really fun pastime.

There are some pretty high profile examples of how mockery and humor have basically neutered some right-wingers. The across the board panning of the National Organization for Marriage's ridiculous "Gathering Storm" Commercial and their misspelled "Same Same Sex Marraige" Commercial has pushed the already fringe group further into disrepute.

carrie-prejean-on-her-answer.jpgThe same can be said of NOM's spokesmodel, Former Miss California Carrie Prejean. While some feared the "opposite marriage" supporting beauty queen might become another Anita Bryant, the constant jokes and ridicule quickly marginalized her message and made her just an easy punch line on late-night TV.

Humor has long been an effective tool. It can get people thinking, express a strong point of view, and diminish your opponent's argument all while being non-threatening. It can be extremely valuable in reaching that "mushy middle" of undecided people when it comes to our rights and equality.

Along with protest, working within the political system, and other forms of persuasion, humor can go a long way in changing minds and shaping views without people even realizing it is happening. This subversive means of fighting back against bigotry is just another tool in our toolbox that we shouldn't so quickly discount.

Obviously humor can be hurtful to our community as well. We have been the punch-line of bad homophobic humor or relegated to the role of gay minstrel. But humor has also been used to move our cause forward. People like Stephen Colbert, with his special brand of subversive humor, reach huge, broad audiences and point out the complete absurdity of right-wing thought, especially in regards to our community.

Let's be honest, our community excels at zingers, one-liners, and sarcasm, so why not harness it as a force for change? So go out and continue "homosexualizing", "transgenderizing", "bisexualizing", and "lesbianizing" (which sounds like something you do to windows to keep the winter cold out, in my opinion) the conversation. Point out the utter absurdity of the right-wing talking points. Make them the butt of jokes and make people take a second look at them every time they speak.

While sometimes you may just be preaching to the queer "quire", you never know who might just crack a smile and start to think.


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So essentially what Jeremy Hooper has been doing at Good As You for years.

Exactly! I'm a huge fan Jeremy and Good As You. He's wonderful!

Hell to the Yeah! The only negative is that they are such EASY TARGETS, but what you gonna do?

@debontherocks

Sometimes it is like shooting fish in a barrel... LOL

Humor goes a lot further than anger and/or hate. Some of our supporters get so angry that there message gets lost. I agree that humor can be much more effective. I don't consider homophobic jokes humor - I find them offensive and hateful. So, let's use humor to disarm our opponents and while we're at it, let's throw in a little love and compassion.

Susan Berland
http://susanberland.yolasite.com

Well put, Susan.

I do think anger has its place and can be effective as well, but these are all just different tools that we have to create change and we need to use them all!

SammySeattle | June 11, 2009 7:46 PM

My grandfather always said there is great truth in humor. Wise man.

I like that quote! A wise, and I'm sure funny, man.

John Shields John Shields | June 11, 2009 7:48 PM

In my best Yoda voice: "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering."

The time for suffering is over. It's Time for Pride.

Yoda: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJeKS0gNz48

Pride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkysd9mQho

Homosexually,

John

You can count on me. Everytime I get into it with some of these morons, trust me, I'm gonna document the entire conversation and post it to The Stumbling Blog. I already have been:

Sometimes I take Creationist's stupid texts and correct them in red letters so they'll be more honest and holy.

Sometimes I just lay it down on idiots like Jon Voight, and then document the best slams others make on him too.

Don't forget, I also red-lettered the hell out of that ridiculous letter from Senator Koering's Assistant.

Sometimes it's just stupid fighting on a YouTube channel, like with soundenergyfusion, this Twittering moron, 2222554, or my repeated slams against that, Ray, goddamned, freain, Comfort.

But at the same time, I also do something that I've noticed my heroine Margaret Cho does beautifully. When she sees someone (especially a straight someone) hold us up, I will put them on a pedestal of thanks. Like Meghan McCain, Rob Thomas, and the military.

But yes... mostly... it's just time for US to PUSH BACK. Or maybe, push FORWARD...

My mom is retired now but she was a comic and comedy writer as her career. She used humor to teach. I do the same thing when I do a stand up act or a music show. I know that there may be some people in the room who have never had a positive feeling associated with my sexual identity and if I can get them to laugh and do it with me then it will be the first time that association has been made, or even stranger when I am playing country music. My mom did it in Tv years ago when she helped introduce a gay character in a mainstream comedy and he was a regular if cranky guy. It was a show called Love Sydney and was ground breaking for that time. But in it Tony Randall helped people to laugh and to gain some idea of familiarity with a gay person as a person.
I also learned from her that you can satirize people horrendously, you should see films of some of her old Nixon material.

Oh baby you KNOW what I like! ;)

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 12, 2009 7:58 AM

Three cheers for a sharp tongue.

Our collective wit has long been a trademark of our community; might as well use it to our advantage!

Cathy Renna Cathy Renna | June 12, 2009 10:50 AM

I have always been a fan of humor - not mean humor but the kind that is more subtle and points out the hypocrisy of the "other" side

along the lines of "Congressman, since you support DOMA, which marriage are you defending, your first one, your second one or the current one?"

another favorite with extremists who insist that the media is "obsessed" with homosexuality...."no, I think YOU are obsessed with homosexuality, why is that?

Exactly, Cathy. I think people like Rachel Maddow (who I looove) and others are doing a great job at that kind of subtle humor.

And I'll admit to being a bit obsessed with homosexualizing... Just ask my husband. ;)