A Letter from Vajdon

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Editor:

In order to support her assertion that African Americans and queers have no equivalency in discrimination, Barbara Kay resorts to a contest of sufferings — one in which, not surprisingly, queers lose (National Post, “African-Americans shouldn’t feel guilty for voting against gay marriage,” November 6, 2008. Ms Kay might explore seldom-taught queer history a little more: are the witch-hunts and mass-immolations of the middle-ages and pre-Enlightenment suffering enough for her — ever wonder where the word “faggot” came from? How about the uncounted thousands interned by the Nazis? What about a centuries-old tradition of good ole American gay-bashing — the name Matthew Shepard ring a bell? And if history isn’t compelling enough for her, do present-day demonized Africans and hanged Iranians offer any pause at all? Or how about simply the reality that queer couples in the United States suffer very real, daily discrimination in being denied the rights connected to marriage? Take it from me, a genuine exile from that country, as a result of its unwillingness to recognize my same-sex family under immigration laws.

The ongoing history of discrimination against queers — because tacitly approved of by governments, institutions, voting majorities and some columnists — is not the stuff of mainstream awareness. Ms Kay’s ignorance of it is therefore understandable. Less understandable is her unabashed self-description as an “anti-gay marriagist” — a conviction that strikes me as being tantamount to a flat-earth theorist in present-day Canada.

Vajdon Sohaili
Toronto

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~ by Thom on November 10, 2008.

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