There’s been a lot of political and social fallout since the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki earlier this week. Anyone who reads TranParent Expedition will know that, as parent of an LGBTQIA+ teenager, I don’t like Trump and his policies. I have written about the dangers of his policies more than once. In the wake of the summit I’ve seen a lot of self professed allies spread gay lover memes of Trump and Putin.
The message is clear. Being gay is okay unless we need to use it as an insult against someone we don’t like. I can be shocked about how Trump made fun of a reporter with a disability. Then make fun of gay sex to insult Trump. My son and LGBTQIA+ people aren’t fully accepted by meme spreading liberal progressive cis het “allies.”
If you are shocked and appalled that we have an administration that celebrates bakers who refuse to bake cakes for same sex couples, but use same sex relations to mock that administration, you aren’t the ally you think you are.
Tell me a funny black joke, a funny gay joke, a funny autistic joke, a funny rape joke, a funny disability joke, or a funny trans joke in a meme that does not reduce that demographic. It is hard to, isn’t it? Especially when you are suggesting that someone who is not one of these things is one of these things.
I would love to tell you that as a white cisgender hetero male I have never made fun of women, minorities, LGBTQIA+ people, or people with disabilities. It would be a lie. To tell those jokes, I had to believe on some level that they were less and disparaging them was funny.
I would also love to tell you that I never clicked like or share to a Trump/Putin gay meme. I have and I was called out on it. And I had to face the truth. At the point I did that some inner truths surfaces. On some level a part of me believed that gay sex was “icky.” I also felt I could reduce someone’s masculinity by suggesting they are gay in a joke. In the wake of that incident I contacted the person who I got the meme from in private and suggested he take it down as well.
The white progressive minister simply told me that it was okay because he got it from a gay friend. I do not know if this is true or not. I do know that I have black friends that sometimes use a certain word that I can never and should never use.
Memes and political cartoons can be an important method of bringing to light serious issues in society. They can also be used to further harm oppressed and discriminated people.
We choose what we like and what we share. Chose wisely.
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