Exactly How is Peace Gay?
Participating in the protest on Thursday outside Donald Trump’s speech in Bangor, I found the most interesting part of the experience was the emptying of the auditorium where Trump spoke. As they left the event, dozens of Trump supporters walked past our protest and dozens more drove past. Some of them were very polite, but boy, did I get sworn at, which was odd considering that I was holding a “Pro-Civility, Anti-Trump” sign with a determined smile. I haven’t been sworn at in public with such volume since I stood in the vigil lines against the Iraq War back in 2003. Another oddity was the frequently spat-out phrase “get a job.” One man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat walked right up to me and said with disgust, “it’s people like me who go to work to support people like you welfare cheats.” When I told him where I work in my full-time job, he didn’t skip a beat, but moved smoothly to, “Well, that explains it. You’re all alike.”
The one phrase that’s stuck in my head the most, however, came from the young man you see below. I took his picture as he called out in a brief, repetitive chant: “Peace is Gay.”
“Peace is Gay.” I’m still trying to figure that one out. I get the use of “Gay” as an insult, an epithet. That’s common enough among Trump supporters. I get the denigration of peace, too; the war-as-virtue line has been expressed in nearly pornographic terms in right-wing books and films for generations now. But how is peace gay? The experience of war and the organization of the military have historically been high in homosociality and at times homosexuality, while peacetime in contrast is procreative.
How is peace gay? Explain it to me in small words so that I can understand best.