Vivienne Westwood wears Bradley Manning

So, I’ve been spending time on Christian Mingle.

Looking for God’s match for me. Well, I’m sorry but… it’s shit.

God (not my usual God) made it quite clear to me whilst I was scrolling obsessively through acres of men who look like pedophiliac geography teachers… he made it perfectly clear that a life of abstinent solitude was probably on the cards or (if I was really lucky) being violently murdered by a crazy sex therapist or… luckier… a hit man sent by some crazier ex.

Which brings me illogically to:

Bradley Manning. My hero. What can I say? This courageous young man has revealed not only international truths triggering the Arab Spring and a hasty retreat from Iraq by the USA… but the truth about American, white gay men.

Fuck me. What a bunch of crazy, right-wing cock suckers.

I mean… these gay white guys are voting Democrat, so they get their miserable marriage equality then… as soon as they do… they’ll jump ship and vote Republican… if they aren’t already.

Gay White Men won’t feel like they are part of any minority once they achieve parity with their straight white male colleagues.

Powerful white men famously loathe sharing the stage with immigrants, brown people, poor people, ugly people, fat people, trans… and women. Fuck them. Especially women. Their natural enemy.

‘They don’t mesh with MY lifestyle.’ he said.  Yes, he really said that.

It fills me full of dread to imagine a world run by gay white men. But apparently, according to Elton John. It already is.

So Bradley, I had to draw a line in the sand.

It’s Anderson Cooper, Elton John, David Geffen, the HRC and any guests at a typical Hollywood pool party over there… and it’s me you and the brown people over here.

Bradley, in the USA the gays want to ignore you, demonize you, forget you.

The rest of the world thinks about you every day, rotting in that jail. They agree with me. They think you’re the bees knees.

Bradley, you won’t believe this but, yesterday Vivienne Westwood wore a laminated photograph of you pinned to her lilac, silk gown at the Metropolitan Fashion Ball.

Perhaps the gays might take you more seriously now?

I doubt it.

I’m really sorry that our community has let you down.

Apparently what you did… isn’t gay enough.

“What does Bradley Manning and his treason have to do with being gay?” That’s what they say Bradley.

You just ain’t the right flavor. And, of course, they (elite gay snobs) know you only joined the military in the first place to get a free education.

You ended up educating the whole world.

“You should have known better. You shouldn’t have broken the rules.”

That’s what the rich, white, gay men say.

Just Like You

Bradley, they were going to include you in the 2013 San Francisco Pride event. Did you hear about that? They were going to honour you.

But they lost their nerve after the rich, white gays persuaded the poor, black lesbian who runs the event that you were just a common thief.

There are well researched articles about you and what happened at San Francisco Pride. Bradley’s inclusion and outrageous exclusion.

After it happened I had to defriend over 250 affluent gay white men on Facebook. Yes, I did.

I felt like a Jew waking up out of a blackout at the Nazi Christmas party. Or a Muslim at the NRA National Convention. Or a Christian in the back room of a gay bar.

I had to make a big decision. I had to weigh up: the differences versus the similarities and… the similarities between me and the gays were negligible.

I had to redefine myself.

Bradley, for you… I am not gay.

I will have nothing more to do with them. Because of you.

Thanks for that Bradley. I owe you a club soda some time.

But, that’s only half the story.  I’ve been feeling very uncomfortable in my gay skin for a very long time.

It all began with that smile he gave me in the family court waiting area 3 years ago. He was with his dad.

That arrogant grin. You see… he thought he’d won the war.

Americans always think they have to win.

It was shocking because, until that moment, I’d only ever seen his ersatz humility. I did not recognize him any more.

But, I knew the smile. I’d seen it before… on the entitled faces of rich, white gay men.

Oh God. I thought. That’s who you are. That’s what you’ve been hiding.

The pain I felt around the gays. The revulsion I felt at the gay charity events, gay AA, gay white men, gays en masse.

The smell of them began to make me nauseous.

Perhaps, I thought, it might just be self hate? Internalized homophobia?

Just like I thought my gall stones were indigestion… it was the wrong self-diagnosis.

I am surrounded by millions of gay zombies.  In the perpetual search for fresh meat.

Zombies forcing other gays, gays with unnatural ideas to think like them.

Bradley, President Obama is on the TV right now… warming up his audience with a few self-deprecating quips.

The gays love him. They don’t care if they’re being used to shield what’s really going on.

Hey America! Look at this dancing gay who wants to get married… look… over here! Look over here whilst we torture these Muslims and spray the world with bee killing Round-Up.

If you ever get out of that prison… you’ll find a very different gay America. Oh yes.

But don’t expect a heroes welcome from the gays. It ain’t happening.

Don’t expect a GLAAD award.

Their ‘heroes’ are prescribed by good looking GLAAD president Herndon Graddick and his ilk. Heroes? A GLAAD ‘hero’ is anyone who comes out of the closet or a celebrity who says publicly that they like gay people.

Herndon Graddick?  Consider the source.

You know what, Bradley? The last time I saw Herndon (fascist star-fucker) he was sobbing in a gay AA meeting because he can’t stop doing meth.

The time before that I saw Herndon he was at gay traitor Ken Mehlman’s drinks party with his forked tongue shoved so far up Ken’s ass what he pulled out was scarcely chewed.

Bradley, you were very brave.

Most of the gays I know in LA and NYC are the kind of men who stayed close to the teacher at school because they lived in fear.

Fear has shaped their lives.

They are scared of you.  They used to be scared of radical homosexual Peter Tatchell.  Before Elton brought him in from the cold.

Bradley, you didn’t come from an affluent family, you’re not a great looker. You might not even be a man… that’s what they say.

But who ever you are, you are my hero. You made me rethink, reshape my life. Redefine myself as queer rather than gay… and I thank you for that… again. Because without you… things might have remained confusing for me.

But now… they’re not.

The story of S.F. Pride versus Bradley Manning and S.F. Pride versus the activist community of San Francisco is an ugly one that illumines the maggoty underside of assimilationist politics and policies. In the quest for straight acceptance that has propelled the LGBT community headlong into the arms of two of the most historically repressive institutions, marriage and the military, dissent has become anathema. The values of ads that used to pepper the personals in queer newspapers and magazines “seeking straight-looking, straight-acting, no fats, no fems” have become internalized within the community. The controversy over Manning highlights what has happened in the juggernaut move toward equality — there’s no room for outliers. Either you are a Lisa Williams-style straight-acting, straight-looking martinet with no temper for dissent or you are like the people who signed the complaint — activists all — who recognize that our queer story is not going to be told simply through marriage equality and being able to enlist openly in the military. Marriage and military equality are important, but they aren’t our only issues. Manning took the actions he did because of his outrage over DADT, which was still in effect throughout his deployment. But he also acted like so many patriots have over our nation’s history — out of loyalty to American democracy. Manning thought the government was lying to the people. So he told them the truth.

VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who has won the NLGJA and Society of Professional Journalists Awards for her series on LGBT issues. She is the author and editor of more than 30 books, including the award-winning Too Queer: Essays From a Radical Life. She lives in Philadelphia. Find her on Twitter at @VABOX.