Being Classy

Good manners.

If you want to stand up for closeted youth or marginalized queer populations or our oppressed cohorts overseas, do it not by demonizing the few who don’t like us, but by holding up the millions who do.

I remember when, back home in Cape Breton, we held our first Pride parade. There was initially some nail-biting over the moral preening of a half-dozen anti-gay protesters assembled, but it was otherwise uneventful. In the years that followed, as the area’s small gay community became an integral part of the town, the small crowd dissipated to one man.

The local paper described him as “dressed neatly and all alone.”

Pride president Peter Steele spoke to the Cape Breton Post about that neatly dressed man: “We never mind him being there. Every time he’s there, we all make it a point to wave and say, ‘Hi, how are you?’“

We are the majority, now, and we should take a lesson from our experience as the vocal minority.

We should wave and say, “Hi, how are you?”
Justin Ling. "Raging Homos" in Xtra!

My heart resonates with this view since a long while ago [back in '82] I was nicely satirized in a cartoon in the Queen's Engineering Society Golden Words newspaper as "Politeness Poof" after a piece of mine appeared in the Queen's Journal about park cruising and etiquette [how gay men can take "no" for an answer]. My reaction to the Golden Words cartoon? I thought it was kind of neat — it re-enforced the point with humour — the depicted figure got in super hero fashion to bonk offenders against the code of politeness with a super lace doily [a novel use for such textiles]. Wildly silly.

And so for day 1154