Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quote of the day: Christopher Isherwood

Britt and I watched "Chris & Don: A Love Story" on DVD last weekend1, and the following words have stuck in my head for the past few days. They articulate plainly an important concept that I have felt for years but was unable to explain so fully, deeply, and concisely. Even though these words were written when I was a child, they take on special significance right now, when (a) the White House shows no intention of following up on its campaign promises, (b) my former employer displays its willingness to accept vitriolic anti-GLBT advertising, and (c) the military continues to deny brave Americans opportunities to serve their country.2

"As a homosexual, he [Christopher] had been wavering between embarrassment and defiance. He became embarrassed when he felt that he was making a selfish demand for his individual rights at a time when only group action mattered. He became defiant when he made the treatment of the homosexual a test by which every political party and government must be judged. His challenge to each one of them was: 'All right, we've heard your liberty speech. Does that include us or doesn't it?'"

— Christopher Isherwood, "Christopher and His Kind," 1974.

1 Next up in our Netflix queue: Patton Oswalt's "No Reason to Complain," "Lars and the Real Girl," and the 1969 version of "The Italian Job."
2 I have heard all the arguments about how Don't Ask Don't Tell is unfair, unpatriotic, and hurts our military readiness by removing skilled people from the armed forces. What's often overlooked is this: One of the nation's largest employers has a patently discriminatory employment policy.

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