Dear Dissenters (A Satire)

An open letter to those of you who “do not support” my right to gay marriage

Dear Dissenters of the United States,

It has come to my attention that you “don’t support” my right to marry another man. These days, I smile when I see your attempts to disguise bigotry as some sort of tenable civic philosophy. I no longer pay attention to your posts on the Internet or your openly-prejudiced political campaigns, although I admit that watching the limited range of emotions play across your dull, obstinate faces as you try and fail to comprehend the possibility that you might be incorrect does, at times, annoy me to the point of distraction. Why do I no longer pay attention to you, you might ask? I no longer pay attention because we have all discovered the truth – “we” being myself, my mother (a formidable woman if I ever did meet one), God, and the majority of the American population – a majority that does, in fact, “support” my right to marriage, meaning they understand that said right is unalienable and doesn’t actually need anyone’s “support” to be valid. Yes, we know the truth. And the cold, hard truth is this: you, Dissenters of the United States, are insane. You are absolutely off your rockers – every last one of you, down to your angry, rifle-clutching children. We have tried reasoning with you, to no avail. We have tried ignoring you and even amending your laws, but you have yet to leave this country to form your own little fundamentalist state, likely because your flat interpretation of what is really an ancient, subtle text would make for nothing but a spectacular embarrassment of a nation. We have even tried loving you despite your manifold flaws, and what have you given us in return? Not even one shut mouth. No – you’ve kept on bothering us, saying nasty things to us, doing nasty things to us, and all the while pretending to the most disinterested attitude of benevolence and understanding. Why continue this charade? Everyone knows you are neither benevolent nor understanding.

I ask only that you consider the notion that you and your backwards opinions are irrelevant to the fact that I am, and always will be, attracted to other men. No matter how deeply you feel that my love is morally questionable, the fact remains that it is not. Nor is my acting on it. There are no defensible grounds for your belief in the inherent evil of my nature. In fact, the way you feel has absolutely no bearing on the reality of my situation. Furthermore, I am as much a citizen of this “republic” as you are, and in a morally just republic all citizens should receive equal treatment under the law. And before I hear the words “civil union” escape your lips: no, “separate but equal” is not actually equal. How many times must we attempt to force this lesson into your dense heads? Civil unions are not marriages, and I hold that my feelings are as real and sacred as yours – probably more so than yours, considering how frequently I’ve had to reevaluate them in the face of your inexplicably hysterical opposition. Aren’t pain and suffering supposed to make things holier? Anyway, the point is, I don’t want to be “civilly united” with my partner. I want to be married to him. My dear, dear mother, whom I love so very much and would be loathe to disappoint, positively demands that I be married. Who are you to question her judgment? Just who the hell do you think you are? We don’t even know you.

Finally, I’d like to let you in on a secret: national communities often benefit from employing logic to solve problems instead of bigotry or even – dare I say it? – religion. Here’s a good example: Problem – for some absurd reason, it has until recently been illegal for me to marry a man. As a human and citizen entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” I aspire to one day be married and raise a family. I am attracted to men, not women. Solution – it is no longer illegal for me to marry a man. Thankfully for this democracy, the majority of its rulers (and perhaps its constituents) have shown themselves to be at least somewhat capable of thinking reasonably about this issue. I don’t mean to say that the United States wouldn’t benefit greatly if you yourselves were to leave and thus increase the predominance of that happy majority. The offer still stands. What if you were to just buy an island together, pack your bags, and leave? That would be a perfect compromise – good for you and good for us.

Your fellow American,

Frank Brady Gilliam


3 thoughts on “Dear Dissenters (A Satire)

  1. To be a dissenter myself with a bit of criticism, I’m turned off by the air of superiority here. It seems like just insult after insult toward right wingers (including a crack at “bearded children,” who I tend to consider victims of their parents’ and communities’ rearing rather than real perpetrators here) without actually supporting anything, building any argument, or honoring anyone being marginalized. I feel a visual form of this would look something like throwing a jar of glitter on a red-faced Republican and saying “nanana booboo.” The tone is uncreatively smug, and it hardly flows, jumping from one small point/insult/cliché to another.
    And I think the nonchalance — the smiling at bigotry, being amused at their “jiggery-poker b******t” — seems to be in poor taste when so many people who share your identity don’t, and often face circumstances that make them unable to, feel the same way.


    1. Tyler,
      Thank you for reading my blog post, and thank you for your feedback. The piece is a satire, so yes, the tone definitely carries an undercurrent of “nanana booboo” and glitter. No, it doesn’t really flow – my aim was to replicate the wild tone of the people I’m criticizing. And no, I’m not building an argument. This post is not academic.
      As for your final piece of criticism, I was so worried I’d have to hear that from someone. You are the critic of my nightmares. The truth is that I am privileged – really, really privileged. I haven’t faced very many hardships in my life – not in comparison to the people you’ve mentioned (those who share my identity) around the world. And so I’m not necessarily in a position to complain, or to rant.
      But I also have felt discrimination, and I’ve faced bigotry. Not as much as many other LGBTQ* people (if bigotry is to be quantified), but I’ve faced it all the same. So it’s no wonder that I want to write about it, since writing is what I like to do in my spare time. I don’t claim to speak for all LGBTQ* people – I can only speak for myself, and I have to take responsibility when what I say offends people. I see I’ve offended you, and I’m sorry about that.
      However, I think that sometimes we need a sense of humor to help us react to hard or emotional events and deal with the reactions of other people to such events. Sometimes, we just need to drop some shade and be absolutely impudent about it. We can’t eschew a sense of humor (barbed humor included, even if it is “uncreatively smug”) for the reason that everyone’s lives are not equally easy or simple. Humor can help almost everyone to own our circumstances and the challenges we’ve faced, instead of being victimized and having no agency at all in the way we interpret our situation. Your comment is very serious, and I take it seriously. But I want people to read this with a sense of humor. The type of obnoxious, arrogant humor that we adults pretend we do not enjoy, ever, at all. Ever heard of camp? It’s a gay thing.


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