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wHeRE’s y’All’S sTrAIgHt PRiDe isSuE?

Tell me next time straight people are murdered, fired/unhired, or ostracized for being straight, and we’ll happily give you your own issue. And we’ll do what we can to make sure you have your own month, too.

 

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stOp FoRCiNg yEr LiFeSTyLe On uS!

No one’s forcing anything on you, Snowflake McGee. Members of the LGBTQ community are simply saying they exist to let other, perhaps closeted members of the community know they’re not alone, because when you think you have no one to turn to, you can suffer, and quiet, isolated suffering can lead to all sorts of possibly fatal decisions like addiction or suicide or both. No one deserves to be strong-armed into that kind of darkness. Jesus would agree, which brings us to …

 

BUt mAh biBLe DOn’T LIkE iT!

You know what else the Bible says will cost you eternal salvation? Getting divorced. Charging interest on loans. Selling land. Wearing two different fabrics at the same time. Eating shrimp! And according to the tenets of the Old Testament, just looking at a photo of the cast of All American will deposit you straight into Satan’s fiery pits of semen and leukorrhea, so we might as well enjoy our time here on this glorious plane of consciousness while we can and be kind to one another. And don’t worry. None of us non-Biblical folks will hold it against you if you feel inclined to move forth on this timeline from now on agreeing to live and let live — just the way Jesus did. Except for the money changers. He couldn’t stand those grubby bastards.

 

BuT tHEm-tHaR BOoKs GoNNa mAke mAh cHiLd GaY …

So what. As long as our kids are happy, healthy, and nonviolent, does it really matter whom they’re attracted to if anyone at all? Plus, do teachers even assign books anymore? My kid just finished sixth grade without once being asked by his teachers to read a single novel or history, which is probably why he and millions of other youngsters aren’t falling in love reading — they’re not required to read entire books anymore, just passages, and passages on top of passages, and when snippets are all you have of what could be a good story, you don’t have the time to sink into a character or a plot wholly. At that point, it’s just work. For children who don’t mind reading, choosing a gay or gay-friendly tome may not indicate anything other than that they might enjoy artistic quality, the kind that can lead to a life of art appreciation — and lifelong art appreciators are typically empathetic and compassionate. Maybe that’s more what you’re afraid of, Karen: books creating little Democrats.

 

Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, but Y’allweh is on constant watch for glittery dudes in clear heels and camisoles. #yaaasssqueen
Courtesy Instagram

 

THERE GAWN MAKE ME GAY!

Not how books work, kemosabe. Traditionally — and thousands of years and my meager existence may be all we have to go on here, but stay with me — the average person selects a book they’re interested in, not the other way around. Books don’t just suddenly fly into our hands. Agh! Here I was, just inching through rush-hour traffic on I-35, and Moby-Dick landed in my lap. Now I gotta read it and turn into a fisherman! Damn you, books. Same with any medium. My wife grew up overseas the youngest child of an Air Force colonel, and she loved when the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders did their annual performance “for the boys.” My wife is not a lesbian the same way I’m not gay from showering with dozens of other dudes while playing football from grade school through college. Whatever sexuality is, in all its wonderful, many-splendored shapes and textures, it’s certainly not a choice.

 

We here at the Weekly aren’t looking for any sort of praise. Putting out our inaugural Pride Issue needed to happen. Conservatives are demonizing the LGBTQ community like never before to paper over the party’s lack of policy — all they have is tax breaks for the wealthy. That’s it. The rich getting richer. The rest is just culture-war nonsense driven by the bogeyman du jour. A few years ago, it was Dr. Fauci. Then it was Critical Race Theory. Then immigrants. Now, it’s the LGBTQ community. Gotta keep that rabble fired up, and the mainstream media — from the Star-Telegram to The New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post — should be ashamed for continuing to buy into the nonsense. There’s no “both sides” to our democracy’s story. One political party simply wants truth, justice, and equality. The other craves to be led by a dictator who’ll institute Christian Sharia law and force all of us who aren’t wealthy and white — and straight — into detention camps. The time for both-sidesing issues and letting misinformation and outright lies go unchallenged ended in 2016. In the media business in this country today, you’re either for the truth, as any card-carrying journalist should be, or you’re for personal power and having things your (Biblical) way. You can’t be for both.

Pushing back against all the unfounded attacks on some of society’s most vulnerable is what every reputable publication should be doing now. Lying about obvious, provable truths and science is not welcome anywhere, anytime. Hate is not welcome anywhere, anytime. Publishing a Pride Issue in stoplight-red Fort Worth is what every local media outlet should be doing now because Fort Worth is stoplight-red. The tide needs to tilt toward sanity, acceptance, and behavior that could genuinely be described as Christlike, and we’re talking “turn the other cheek” Jesus, not the “hate your family/follow me” Jesus, who’s no doubt strapped, jacked, and wearing an American flag bandana atop his blond head. We don’t want anything to do with Y’allweh. You can keep him.

Some spots with Weekly newsstands might toss copies of this week’s issue into the trash and maybe even kick us off the property entirely. And while I haven’t interviewed everyone in our office, I feel pretty confident saying that none of us does what we do to become the next Hunter S. Thompson or Joan Didion or to be able to dive Scrooge McDuck-style into a mountain of gold coins every night. Gosh, I drive a 2008 Ford Escape with 141,000 miles on it and iffy brakes. I’m pretty sure I’m not in this biz for the (paltry) dough. The team and I continue pounding out “quality” stories and informative, colorful ads every week because we think there’s greatness in this city and that success breeds more success. While we’d like to grow like any good company, we remain steadfast to documenting this greatness regardless because the stories around it fascinate us and because stories humanize and civilize all of us. In this issue, we offer more than a few humanizing, civilizing stories for sure.

One interesting piece is on pg. 6. That’s where local journalist/historian/bon vivant Todd Camp essays about creating YesterQueer, a nonprofit devoted to documenting and conserving local history as it relates to gay Fort Worth. Newsflash: We’ve been gay af for decades.

The par-tay continues on pg. 26 with a defense of Saturday’s Trinity Pride Fest as a time to celebrate while the celebrating’s good — a show by the evening’s headliner, American Idol alum and international pop sensation David Archuleta, certainly won’t hurt.

Elsewhere on the Near Southside, a.k.a. the Gayborhood, we have some snaps and a recap of the competing forces at the Fire Station Community Center and nearby park, on pg. 7. As kids and parents basked in rainbow glow while playing outside the event space, conservatives inside — no doubt wearing black, probably scowling, definitely wagging a lot of upraised fingers — told fish tales about the trans lifestyle. Speaking of old boy Herman Melville: “We talk of the Turks and abhor the cannibals, but may not some of them go to heaven before some of us?”

As I said last week (“,” June 5), a taxpayer-funded location is never the right place for inciteful, intellectually fraudulent rhetoric, and unless the city offers real-time fact-checking next time (lol), the bullshit needs to be cast out into the private domain. Is Mercy Culture Church still open? Maybe the haters can go there. And stay.

Allow me to be clear: As big of an LGBTQ ally as I am, and as much as I know we’re all supposed to be celebrating how great it is for you to be you and me to be me, I am never going to take the high road when lives and our American way of life are at stake and when the low road is so wide open and wonderfully plowable. This month, let’s make room for both: partying and calling b.s. on Hater Nation. Until we’re all free, none of us are.

This column reflects the opinions of the editorial board and not the Fort Worth Weekly. To submit a column, please email Editor Anthony Mariani at Anthony@FWWeekly.com. He will gently edit it for clarity and concision.

To read our inaugural Pride Month edition, start here.

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