Here is the deal: the United States is a big country. Not only that, but its regions are pretty big beyond that. And you know what? There are assholes all over
that country, and at all levels of society.
So, yeah, I found it really heartening that this facebook group
, set up by students at Constance McMillen's school for the purpose of mocking her, was mostly filled with posts from outsiders defending Constance. I found it a lot less
heartening to see how many of those comments were calling the people there dumb hicks, saying that they'd be sorry when she was successful and they were living in trailers, etc. I've seen some stuff on LJ, even, talking about how awful and backwards the South is, and especially how awful and backwards poor people in the South are.1
And yes, okay. There is a lot of bigotry in the South. But as someone who grew up right smack between the South and the North (Virginia is geographically Southern, but honestly if I tried to call myself a Southerner I suspect real Southerners would laugh at me, my slight accent and use of "bless your heart" notwithstanding), trust me, guys, there's a lot of bigotry outside
of it, too. Shall we talk about how Pennsylvania bans same-sex marriages, and Michigan? How they were defeated in New York? How California overturned its own legalization of them? Shall I tell you about my efforts to start a GSA in high school were stonewalled, and we were finally told we could start the club, but we couldn't advertise it with posters or hold/advertise events or get time in the announcements like other clubs could?
have a whole conversation about how the culture of oppression is different in the North than in the South, if we want to (I don't really want to right now, so I'd rather not have it here, but you get what I'm saying), because the culture of pretty much anything you name is going to be different in the North than in the South.2
But as someone who grew up in Virginia -- as someone whose mother grew up in a trailer
-- do not try and fucking characterize this as only being about the South, or poor people in the South.3
Bigotry is a problem at all corners of society and in every state in the Union, but there are also people fighting it in every state and all corners of society. That's the whole problem, here; that's why I'm getting all tu quoque
-y in this post: it's not as simple a matter as everyone below the Mason-Dixon Line hates queers and everyone above it doesn't, or everyone below a certain income bracket hates queers and everyone above it doesn't, or everyone of one race or religion hates queers and everyone of another doesn't. I seem to recall we had a similar discussion when Prop 8 passed and there were fingers pointed at black voters, or Latino voters, or older voters, and the same conclusion was reached: it's not as simple as just one group of people being responsible for all anti-queer sentiment and resulting legislation, and pretending it is
that simple doesn't do anyone any favors. So how about we not?
(And don't get me started on the fun misogyny in the Facebook posts, where people were attacking the girls who went to their secret prom for looking like "skanks". Also, I really don't have any icons appropriate to this post. I guess Kanye shooting a laser gun is a good expression of my rage.)1. Or, from non-Americans watching this develop, how awful and backwards the United States is, and IDEK how to verbalize my feelings there beyond "fuck you" because goodness knows I've complained about things here enough, but -- it's like how I'm allowed to make fun of my family/friends but no one else is, you know?
2. But first, protip: "the South" is a fucking huge region, and the culture of a city in North Carolina is going to be very different from that of a small town in Arkansas.
3. BTW, "white trash" is a really fucking racist phrase to use to describe poor white people, as it assumes that the default for "trash" is not white, so how about we not use it, period, in this debate or any other.