That’s right, I said “terrorist” and I meant it. Morales and his ilk are not organized like an Al Qaeda cell, and they aren’t waging the type of society-wide warfare which characterizes groups like the Taliban. They aren’t cooking up bombs to put in trucks, backpacks, or their underwear. They aren’t burning crosses on anyone’s lawns, as have other homegrown God-fearing patriots of our past. Nay, these terrorists are (mostly) men who are so purposeless in their own lives, so self-hating, and so insecure about who they are that they are made angry enough and uncomfortable enough to kill.
M(oron)ales could not think of a *single better thing* to do with his time than grab a gun and shoot a gay man. What did he think he was accomplishing? Did he fancy himself a hero, a vigilante who prowled the streets of New York City at knight slaying the dragon of . . . love? Unnatural sex? Anyone who has ever had sex with Morales was guilty of bestiality, so who is he to judge?
It really *steams* me when this nation of values of mine, this culturally diverse, welcoming melting pot, teems with intolerant zealots who think the answer to every problem is death and/or threats of violence. These protectors of nature, or these justices in God’s court, these soldiers of straight-only sex, these minions of “proper” matrimony, are the same ones who want to be left alone, who want the government to butt out, their neighbors to mind their own business, to live and let live. They bristle at the idea of being the minority voice, though — oh, they do, and that is precisely why we have such rabid, vicious, sickening rhetoric out there. They are afraid. Afraid, because their cookie-cutter world of macho guys, guns, and God is being threatened. “American” as they know it is shifting into something unrecognizable to the gated community of their hearts, minds, and prejudices. They are acting on the most privative instincts we have: the us-and-them, the my tribe must survive, the selfish gene. Any difference which can be exploited is fair game, and it doesn’t matter, as long as they win an election, fly another drone, pass another Stand Your Ground Law, and kill another queer. The ends justify the means, for the end is a great big macho world of straight, horny militiamen who are afraid of fairies and dream of punishing female officials by shooting them in their vaginas and yearning to stare into their eyes and watch them die.
But it’s all right, Mark. Every aching heart, every screaming spirit, every family brutalized by this sick, twisted mind-set; every friend who cries, every son, daughter, parent, sibling, lover, spouse who suffers, every witness . . . we recognize their fear. It is the fear of the bully who is losing ground. It is the fear of the general who sees that retreat is inevitable, even if it is a slow retreat, even if he denies it with every phobic fiber of his bigoted being.
This is backlash; it is the backlash of success approaching, of conquests careening toward fruition, . . . and one day, Mark, one day not too far in the future, your name will be one of those that fill minds and hearts, that pours forth from lips, as a martyr, to the cause of the best human beings can be, rather than the worst. One day, the Eddie Moraleses, the Pete Santillis, the hordes of unnamed bullies of the past, as well as the ones now waiting in the wings, waiting for their own chances to terrorize innocent people, will be shuttered in a closet of their own making: a closet of shame and self-doubt, a closet whose shelves will be filled with the shadows and skeletons of their inglorious pasts, their wasted rants, their hard-boiled hatred. No one will think of outing them, though: the doors will be locked, and no one will even remember that they had keys, let alone where they were hidden.