In the latest queer kerfuffle, a gay softball league has been accused of anti-bi bias because it stripped a San Francisco team of its tournament title for having too many not-gay-enough guys on the team. Some of the details remain confusing, but it seems that during the 2008 Gay Softball World Series in Seattle, another team challenged the San Francisco boys for signing on too many nonhomos, this due to a rule that each team in the league could only put two non-fags in the line-up.
Three of the suspected heteros were taken into a room and interrogated regarding their sexual proclivities, after which they were banned from tournament play for a year because they were bisexually identified. And so—America being the litigious paradise it is—they're suing for emotional 75 Gs of emotional distress apiece, represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Which is all quite dizzying.
Now, in an It's a Small World world, we'd all be down on the infield, pitchers and catchers both, singing "Kumbaya" and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Instead, a private gay organization is being sued by queers for what the rightwingers love to call "reverse discrimination."
It's easy—and correct—to decry biphobia, of course. There's no doubt that some queens look down on mostly straight men who mess around with men—that is, when said queens aren't trolling craigslist in search of ostensibly straight married men. But in San Francisco, at least, it seems to be generally recognized that sexual orientation is a sliding scale, not a binary system, and whatever crap bi guys get is still and all mostly from the straight bunch (though swing-both-way girly babes are a staple of the fantasies of Penthouse Variations).
On the other hand, isn't a private queer sports organization entitled to say who gets to play? When I was just a lad, I learned that feminist women (or wimmin, if you will) were entitled to their own spaces, without intrusion or charges of sexism from dick-toting me.
Similarly, I'm not so sure that the League was as villainous as some would make them out to be. After all, if some self-identified straight guy who calls himself (as I've heard some do) "a lesbian in a man's body," had chosen to sue a women's softball league for the right to be on the team, would the lesbian lawyers have jumped in on his behalf? Or if that player actually identified as a transperson, but she hadn't physically transitioned? What then? Should a lesbian organization be compelled to admit a woman who looks for all the world like Adam Sandler?
And, come to think of it, shouldn't a totally lesbian lesbian have had priority on the D2s over some maybe-mostly-het bi guy? Does orientation trump gender, or vice versa, or should I just take a Valium and tuck myself in bed?
Anyway, if you want to be a stickler, the rules were the rules, clearly set out before the fact, and the San Francisco team, the D2s, chose to ignore them. Which is to say, kinda cheat.
I'm not sure precisely why the men in question wanted to be surrounded by gay ballplayers and their (uh-oh, here it comes…) balls. Maybe they're fag stags, or maybe just ringers. But what's now clear is that, by going public in a big way, they're being used—however inadvertently or unwillingly—by some antigay folks as yet another example of how homos are hypocrites. Wouldn't gays, the 'phobes say, be outraged if they were the ones excluded by a straight team, if the cleat had been on the other foot?
But of course, in the real world, that's precisely where the cleat is. Openly queer pro athletes are almost unknown, and the situation in amateur sports little better, except maybe in diving and ice-skating, two pursuits where, most pleasantly, the guys wear Speedos or tights. Out of nearly 11,000 athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics, only nine were openly lesbian, and one—count him, one—man publicly gay. (There was one bi guy, too, a softball player of all things, which just goes to show you.) So if a gay softball league wants to define itself as primarily (though not exclusively) gay, is that in any reasonable way equivalent to the exclusionary anti-queer bias of the world at large?
And now we have the somewhat distressing spectacle of three presumably pro-gay men being figureheads for homophobic rhetoric. Of course, when you're dealing with cocksuckers vs. men who suck dick only some of the time, it's hard for homophobes to know just whom to root for. Even the usually reliable fucks at Fox News limited themselves to a supremely snarky panel discussion that featured, rather oddly, hamsters. (Guess that Rupert Murdoch's gerbils were otherwise unavailable.) But a quick slog through the comment boards of online news stories will unearth antigay folks who are suddenly disturbed by sex-based discrimination. It's a fair question to ask how many of those hets in a snit are similarly exercised over the fact that in two-thirds of the United States, folks can be legally fired just for being bi. Or gay. Or straight, for that matter. Fired from real jobs, from employment that provides livelihood, not just home runs. It would sure be nice if the three men and their supporters all pledged nice big donations (including court winnings, if any) to help pass ENDA, no?
But then, on the other other hand, there is something profoundly queasy-making about the notion of people being taken into a star chamber and being grilled about who gets their dicks hard.
(Although, on the third other hand, I have to confess that, as someone who lays bare his sex life for a living, I did ignobly think for a moment, "Jeez, wouldn't it be nice if someone paid me $75,000 for talking about what I do in bed?")
Like I said, confusing.
And just when all that had more-or-less settled in, came the news that a Philadelphia congresswoman is accusing her opponent of only pretending to be gay—though he apparently is pretty much totally, openly bi (and cute, to boot). Since they're contesting for a heavily queer district, it's an accusation of gay-for-votes fraud.
Wow, talk about man-bites-dog. It used to be that everyone was scrambling to stay in the closet, and now it appears you can be Not Gay Enough. And be punished for it.
I don't know, is that progress? What oh what is a Kinsey-6 homo to do?
And when will we all stop looking at sexual orientation as a simple matter of either/or? Balling's not a ballgame, you know.
Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya….buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack….