Queers and Degenerates

Today Angela Merkel voted against same-sex marriage, and I laughed and was reminded of the time when Nancy Reagan died, and Hillary Clinton went on TV and reminded us all that the Reagans did so much to “start a national conversation” about AIDS.

But this post isn’t about how politicians beloved by people on the left continually reveal themselves to be fundamentally opposed to (or perhaps just ignorant of) leftist thought. This post is about the comments I read at the end of that Independent piece on Merkel. Here’s my favorite:

Why it’s my favorite is that it reminds me that when you hate an idea or an abstraction so much, that hate can completely rewire your rational, thinking brain. Your hate (the same often goes for other passions) can become a kind of warm bedfellow preventing you from being a person. Or even, like, doing simple math.

But the comment I want to talk about here is this one:

I’ve heard arguments along this line before: I don’t have anything against gays but because the sex they have can’t make babies they are unnatural/degenerate/deviant/etc. The idea being that we’re not bad individuals, but we possess and profess a kind of darkness or evil.

One of the best things about being queer is that you stop seeing the reproduction of the self through intercourse as some kind of culmination?much less the central culmination, as most straight people seem to understand it?of a life on this planet. Another way of putting it: generation doesn’t need to only, or even chiefly, be read biologically. Or evolutionarily. We might think of generation socially, or psychologically. You might even think of it astrologically: Our purpose on this planet might be to give worship to the Sun for it’s the Sun that gives us life.

This is an equally valid way to think of the “generate human”?such as that exists.

A social understanding of generacy or generation might sound like this: If all you do is stay home and make a bunch of babies with your straight spouse, and you never get out and volunteer or vote for civic-minded policies, or if you always put “family first” and don’t know the names and biographies of your neighbors, then you’re a degenerate. You’re the worst kind of degenerate.

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