The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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The program for SMU Lyric Theatres performance of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, Dallas Texas, Sunday February 18, 2024
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Unite in pride: grab life’s oars

Unite in pride: grab lifes oars

Recently, I found myself in a rather uncomfortable situation while being rowed across the lake. A friend let me join him in his canoe and, as my host, he insisted that I relax while he propelled us through the water. At times he looked a bit confused, but I kept quiet, certain that he knew where he was going. Not until I heard the currents of the spillway did I realize that things were not quite right. Still, I kept quiet. It would hardly be polite to accuse my generous host of leading us directly into the jaws of peril. Better to trust that he was aware and would be sure to get us quickly out of danger. Wouldn’t want to step on any toes. Right?

Maybe this logic is a bit flawed. Maybe I should have taken the oars and screamed, “You’re taking us the wrong way, you fool!” But isn’t quiet hope generally the preferred tactic for life’s little troubles?

After all, this is what many, even proud, homosexuals, would prefer the world do when faced with tough questions of tolerance and inclusion of sexual orientations and identities. Yelling and kicking will only serve to anger the ‘normal’ majority and work against progress made in civil rights. It would be far better to quietly work for equality than demand it. Can’t step on any toes, right?

But this is wrong. No one will fix a problem that no one knows exists. And yes, we have problems. And unfortunately, few are brave enough to speak loudly enough against the leaders and the status quo that reinforce those problems.

For example, last spring’s diversity fair in the Hughes-Trigg Commons gave students and faculty the chance to anonymously write their opinions on various “-isms.” None drew as much controversy as sexuality. One thought that the vast majority believed that queers are going to Hell, live in sin and generally aren’t fit to share the earth with their good, heterosexual counterparts. Not only are homos sinful, disgusting creatures, but worse still, it’s a choice! Reading those comments, I realized that maybe gays only exist to threaten the masculinity of straight boys by hitting on them. This came directly on the heels of the controversial protest fueled by anti-gay sentiments on campus. It terrifies me to think most of the world really thinks like this.

We have to listen to a lot of noise being made by those who can stretch the Bible to the limits of hatred. Because of all that venom, those who love humans more than they love categorizations must speak up and remind the world that love can overwhelm hate. We have been compliant and worked too hard to appease, and it’s long past time for everyone to take action. The world doesn’t have time to gently ease opponents into acceptance. We’re too near the spillway.

Many argue that fighting for gay marriage undermines the greater rights struggle by antagonizing conservatives. They believe that homosexuals should quietly work to guarantee more basic rights: make certain that no one loses work, that anyone can raise children and that absolutely no one feels threatened just because God, genetics, or natural miracles decided that some boys will fall in love with boys.

But while work, adoption and life itself are all fantastically important causes, none of them wield the power of marriage. Marriage gives fireworks to all of these other protections. As things are, exclusion creates two tidy categories: normal and inferior. The normals have it right, and marriage proves they’ve been doing it right since the beginning of civilization. The inferiors are not normal, and therefore they are wrong, rebellious, and must settle for second-class status. Homosexuals can conform everywhere else; they can work, care for children, and live safely in the closet. It may not be comfortable, but it can be done. The normals are sure happier, because it reinforces their idea of a normal world when they don’t have to look at the exceptions.

Gays cannot, however, marry other gays without getting a little attention. Marriage strikes at the core of the normals’ beliefs, and it forces everyone to look at problems, question standards and truly question the role of religion in politics. Because, outside of narrow religious doctrine, there is no good reason to deny anyone these rights. After this battle, the others will follow. By asserting that all people deserve the same right to celebrate love and commitment through marriage, equality is established. After marriage, who could fight that equality in questions of employment, adoption, or the simple guarantee of safety?

So grab the oars. Avoid the spillway and shrug off the mantle of hatred our campus and country have come to bear. Come November, shout out, “You’re taking us the wrong way, you fool!” If you can’t wait that long, and I hope you can’t, you have a wonderful opportunity right around the corner.

This Sunday, Dallas will be marching for pride at 2:00, starting at Cedar Springs Rd. and Wycliff Ave. Of course, pride parades are infamously ridiculed for their tacky spectacle. How could anyone possibly appreciate that much rainbow? But I challenge you to go to a parade and feel the empowerment that comes with being surrounded by so much affirmation, support and love. At a parade, you feel like as a group real change can be enacted. Rarely will you ever feel such a sense of community.

Gay and straight united. Sunday and beyond, let’s shock the world and show them an overwhelming display of love they never knew existed.

About the writer:

Travis Acreman is a sophomore theatre major. He can be reached at [email protected].

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