March 16th, 2007

Black eye

Garrison Keillor

Here's my open letter to Garrison Keillor about his recent anti-gay Salon piece:

I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1969. To copy the Dixie Chicks, I am embarrassed that Garrison Keillor is from Minnesota. I am surprised that someone from such a beautiful state would denigrate gay people and families with gay parents.

Garrison Keillor wrote in Salon, “The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men…”

Good so far. As a thirty-seven year old gay man, I’ve been in a monogamous relationship for the last thirteen years. In a country filled with gay bashing and job discrimination, I’d like to see more acceptance. I’d like to see legal recognition of my relationship, since the death of either me or my partner would sink the survivor financially.

But Garrison continues, “…sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves.”

His main point in the article is that gay marriage should be outlawed because it causes too much confusion... too many male in-laws. Garrison says what's best for all children is a mongamous "mixed-gender marriage", even though he himself has been married three times, cheating on his first two wives. Gay people should not be parents, unless they act straight.

Wow. I’m stunned. Such amazing hatred from someone I really liked. I thought Keillor was a liberal – someone trying to make the world a better place. I’m not sure if it’s ignorance or bad comedy, but it’s disappointing. I won’t be reading his books or supporting him in any way in the future.

Goodbye. I’ve got to go play a rugby game tomorrow. Yeah rugby… Garrison you ignorant fuck.

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I got an email from[info]showmeonthedoll:

 “oh.. and I am a little confused by how you toss around the word monogamous.
you have sex with other people.
Not really getting that.”

 Ooh, I’m busted! First of all, it’s not a competition. I hope I’ve never described my relationship as being better or worse than anybody else’s. My partner and I have experimented to find what works best for us. I call it monogamy… evidently, Ernie disagrees.

I don’t cheat on my boyfriend. He knows where I am at all times. Though, sometimes he opens the porch door and lets the dog outside. However, I’m not running around the neighborhood. It’s more like I am allowed occasionally to go… visit the mailman. Or something. The analogy is breaking down.

I sometimes call our relationship “consensual monogamy”. Maybe monoamory would be a better term. My partner and I have talked about polyamory, threesomes, “separate vacations” and other sexual configurations, and have tried some of them over time. I’d like an open relationship, but that didn’t work out.

On the other hand, sometimes I wonder if my emphasis on the length of my relationship is a side-effect of some lingering self-hatred. So, I can say, “Well, I may be a cocksucker, but at least my relationship is better than most straight people.” Using gay marriage as sort of a consolation prize to make up for the fact I’m gay. But I don’t think about it very much.

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