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Permission granted by author for anyone to distribute this
writing free of charge (including translation into any
language)...under condition that no profit is made therefrom,
and that it remain intact and complete, including title and 
credit to the original author.

Ezekiel J. Krahlin


© 1997 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin
(Jehovah's Queer Witness)

So, you have straight friends--even family members,
perhaps--who are so very understanding and accepting of your
homosexuality.  Or are they, really?  Take a second look and
see how they stand up to the seven litmus tests I describe

1)  Of course, if they accept your homosexuality, they are
most likely "liberals".  And--being the good liberals they
are--they proudly wear T-shirts and decals proclaiming their
support of black people's rights, women's rights, ecological
causes, anti-nuclear slogans, et cetera.  But where are their
T-shirts that say something like "Another hetero for gay
rights"?  If your straight friends do not display pro-gay
icons on a regular basis--as they do for other causes--then
they are not truly supportive of your sexual civil rights.
Just as in the past, many white folks did not vocalize support
for black people from fear of being called "nigger
lovers"...many liberals are afraid of being labeled "faggot"
if they display support for gay rights.  (Their loss, and your

2)  Your "progressive" hetero friends love to chew the fat
over political issues (see above)...yet they never seem to
come around to discussing the gay dilemma.  Unless, of course,
you yourself interject that topic, with resulting token
responses by your "supportive" chums. But if you're silent, or
not there, homosexuality is never a part of their progressive
agenda.  If they donate to liberal causes, have they ever
included a contribution to some lesbian or gay organization?

3)  If your "loving" family members say they support
far will they go in defending you before a bigoted relative?
Or do they avoid the topic of homosexuality altogether, in
order to never be in a position to defend you?

4)  If you lost a lover from AIDS or other tragedy: how many
family members rush to your side in loving concern, to ease
you through your passage of they clearly would for
their heterosexual kin? Or do they give you a cursory nod of
sympathy, then go on their own selfish way?  (Implying, of
course, that no one can really take a homosexual relationship is, at best, a joke; and certainly something
one can get over in a few weeks or less.)

5)  Has any close relative (such as a brother, sister, or
parent) ever voluntarily approached you to ask your opinions
of what it's like to be gay, and how you cope with an
intolerant society?  Does any relative take the kindness to
recognize your humanity during Lesbian/ Gay Pride Week?  (Or
do they all pretend they don't even know of its existence,
even when you remind them of the upcoming event each year?)
Has any one of them actually read a book about
homosexuality--just as they read about racism, Viet Nam,
etc.-- that they may better understand the issue? (Are there any 
books in their homes about gay people...along with their books 
on women's rights, racism, and other progressive topics?)

6)  Are your "understanding" hetero buddies often
rationalizing society's homophobia with statements like:
"Well, heterosexuality is so deeply ingrained in our will take some time yet for society to come
around."  Though they would never dream of saying the same
thing for other issues of oppression; such as black people's
rights, child abuse, job discrimination towards females, etc.
(Yet those negative aspects are just as ingrained in our
society, as is hatred towards homosexuals.)

7)  Do your relatives go all ga-ga over conventional "het"
weddings within the family...and pretend to never comprehend
why you might feel a little less eager to celebrate these
breeder unions, than they are?  ("Oh, cousin Peggy, I'm so
happy you're getting married to the man of your dreams! I'll
dance with all the bridesmaid's and sing, and play piano, and
in general, be the life of the party. Then when it's all over,
I'll go back to my little queer closet, where I can brood to
my heart's content over never being able to celebrate a
marriage with the partner of my dreams, as you, privileged
hetero, can so freely do.")

Note:  Would you consider refusing to attend hetero weddings
until the time when gays can also marry...and mail a written
declaration to this effect to your closer relatives?  Or are
you a slave to your family's every demand...and/or afraid of
losing certain fringe benefits, such as paid college tuition,
generous birthday and graduation gifts, family business loans
and donations, and a sumptuous inheritance or two?  If so,
then you must also bear some guilt for perpetuating
homophobia.  Mama's boys just don't cut the mustard when it
comes to defending homosexual civil rights at the cost of
making their mothers happy.

Many of us live in delusion as to the assumed "stalwart
support" from our heterosexual kith and kin.  So I hope the
examples above will wake up some of our sisters and brothers.
I must also point out that if you do have family members and
straight friends who pass these litmus tests, then you are a
lucky soul, indeed.