I just typed so much and deleted by mistake, so forgive me if this 2nd draft seems rushed.
I recall, years ago, reading a quote that said something like, "Never underestimate the power of the Queens. Where would our rights be without them fighting on the front lines for us?" It made me rethink how I thought about Queens. I was grateful for the enlightenment.
And although I am grateful for the gradual progress of Gay Rights (slow, but gradual), I have to say that we put too much confidence in Gay Rights Laws.
Don't misquote me now...I think Laws against Hate Crimes are good, and necessary, but people need to realize that such laws are only tools we can use AFTER we've been victimized (God-willing we're still alive).
That's because ignorant homophobes are still going to Gay Bash, given the right circumstances, with or without laws against it. What are those circumstances? Well here's one formula: three or more homophobes (one or more may even be a closeted homosexual), with lower than average I.Q., some alcohol, a desolate area, and one or two gay men that appear defenseless. There you have it. A gay bashing.
So where am I going with this? Well, the way I see it we gay men, as a whole, have not adequately represented who we are in the world. There is still a largely lop-sided view of what a gay man is. Most straights STILL think that gay men = Jack, or gay man = fashion designer with a lisp. Why? Is that all who we are? Hell no!
It's up to us masculine, brutish gay men to start stepping up to the plate. Perhaps if we're perceived as macho men, just like the straight men of the world, the idea that we're weak and defenseless will wane.
So, praise to the Queens for the Laws that serve justice AFTER a hate crime, and now I call upon the Macho gays to help stop hate crimes before they begin.