Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Open Letter to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons!)

Dear Mormons,

You had a good thing going with those PSAs in the 80s: don’t lie, be good to the earth, help the old neighbor lady with her groceries, etc. You were the eccentric uncle of Christianity, the one with a semi-scandalous past who wore wacky underpants. You even had a shot at the Presidency.

So why you gotta play with my emotions? What is up with the millions of dollars you are squandering on denying gay people their right to marry instead of giving it to, I don’t know, crippled orphans or exploited puppies?

Not to play armchair psychologist, but I think I know what’s going on. Like a junkie who’s kicked the habit, you revel in pointing the finger and condemning the ones with fresh tracks. Those are the filthy ones, you claim, my hands are clean.

I think you know what I’m driving at.

I’m talking about your plural-wives fetish. Don’t tell me that’s all in the past. The Fundamentalist Mormon parade of fresh-faced, frozen-smiled "sister-wives" in prairie dresses who marched into the television studios embarrassed the hell out of you, didn’t they? The charges of (male) child abandonment, domestic abuse, and rape stung too, right?

But instead of reaching out to Fundamentalist Mormon abuse survivors (a worthy cause for LDS), mainstream Mormons are playing slight of hand, revealing the card of gay marriage in their palm, the card of polygamy safely tucked in their tuxedo pocket. Pay no attention to my wives behind the curtain! With a flourish, you bow to the audience, certain you have impressed the upper-crusty WASPs and their faithful constituents.

Newsflash: You will never be a part of their supper club. You will remain a black sheep, a pariah, left fighting for door-to-door turf with the Jehovah Witnesses. Even to working class Christians you’re a punchline ("I have seventeen wives. One more and I'll have a golf course!"). Stop layering on the brown lipstick for the popular kids and the bullies; it only makes them loathe you more.

In conclusion: get your own business in order (like your legacy of family abuse and racism) and stay out of everyone else's. You’re not fooling anyone with this trick. Gay marriage is inevitable in our lifetime, and there is nothing you can do to hold back the tide. The only thing you can control is not making a complete ass of yourself any longer.

After all, who’s going to be your multiple-wedding planner? ...That’s right, sweetie.

With universal love,

Katrina Galore

Friday, November 14, 2008

"No one ever changes their mind about abortion."

A tiny migraine creeps into my brain whenever people say this. It feels a little bit true and a little bit not true. People DO change their minds about abortion sometimes. When do they change them? When abortion stops being theoretical and starts being as real as a plus-sign on a plastic wand dripping with piss. God’s great punishment in the Afterlife looks awfully far away when visions of dirty diapers and dreams deferred waltz in the mind’s eye. Pious sentiments of "Of course I’m pro-choice, but would never..." Well, never say never, darling.

People also say that people never change their minds about gays/lesbians/bisexuals/transpeople. Categorically untrue. I’ve seen dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, Live-Free-Or-Die shitkickers, and valium-ized Suzy Homemakers alike shed their homophobia like a bad polyester suit.


Because of their gay children.

And lesbian aunts and gay uncles and queer cousins and best friends from elementary school who used to be boys and are now girls (and vice versa). People Mr. Repub and Mr. Shitkicker and Ms. Homemaker love and cherish and would lay down their lives for. When a queer comes out to homophobic family and friends, those family and friends are forced to stare their own prejudice straight in the face. Is their loved one really a monster or a sinner?

Pro-lifers are rarely challenged on this front. Even though one in three American women will have an abortion by age 45,* the operation is invisible to the world at large. No scarlet letter to identify who’s had the "A-word." It’s difficult to ignore Uncle Tony holding hands with his lover at the family picnic. The HIPAA code seals away Cousin Jennifer’s "shame," and she’s free to go to church on Sunday (70% of abortions are performed on women who are Protestant or Catholic; one in five women having abortions are born-again or Evangelical Christians).

Fuck the shame.

I had an abortion. In all likelihood you’ve probably know someone who’s had an abortion, helped someone get an abortion (either because you’re a good friend or you knocked them up), or had an abortion yourself. It’s not an experience I’d like to put on repeat, but it didn’t scar me for life. Junior high scarred me for life, but not my abortion. It sucked (literally) and it hurt like hell, but I haven’t needed years of thumb-sucking therapy to get over my "traumatic experience." I don’t wonder what the little zygote would have looked like now or even remember what date I had it removed.

And I have never, ever regretted it a day in my life.

Even though I didn’t hang out with pro-lifers, I got slammed by some people for being "careless" (one sting I will never forget is the "friend" who immediately snapped, "Are you stupid?"). I got slammed by people who were SLUTTY in comparison to me and had had unprotected sex with virtual strangers.

I can’t wear a sign every day that says, "I had an abortion." But any time someone has said something patronizing or condemning of abortion, I have always piped up, "I’ve had an abortion." It hasn’t happened often, probably a combination of 1) I don’t generally hang out with un-worldly people and 2) I look like the kind of girl who wouldn’t take kindly to such an opinion. Maybe I need to get out there more.

Abortion is not a shameful, dirty secret. If anyone in your earshot starts running their mouth about "murder clinics" or "the new Holocaust" (which, incidentally, is beyond insulting to Jewish people), or even "only dumb sluts get abortions," tell them:

"I had an abortion." Or "My girlfriend/best friend/sister/mother had an abortion." Or simply, "Somebody you love has probably had an abortion and never told you. Would you really call her a murderer/dumb slut to her face? Would you let someone else call her that?"

Would you?

See this link about the “I Had an Abortion” campaign:

Want to drive yourself insane? Read the backwards logic of "pro-lifers" who got or assisted their daughters' abortions:

* Facts on abortion at