The Ideology of Queerness?
In 2001, Providence, R.I., firefighters drove a rig in a Gay Pride parade.
Thirteen years later, that drive is the subject of a R.I. State Supreme Court case.
Firefighters allege that their rights of free speech and religion were violated by thenÂ MayorÂ Vincent A. Cianci Jr.’s edict to participate.
The Providence Journal reports that their attorney, Gina DeCenso said,Â â€œPublic employees cannot be compelled to support an ideology they do not support.”
Let’em Eat Cake
There’s queens in this story, alright, but not the ones you think.
Their royal carriage is a fire truck.
Like Marie Antoinette, they only grudgingly mingle with the (village) people before high-tailing it back to their castle-cum-firehouse where the barcaloungers beckon.
The 21st century labeling of homosexuals as practitioners of an “ideology” stands with Westboro Baptist as another example of what the late Christopher Hitchens described as the “diesel fumes of democracy.”
And, like the Westboro crowd these fellows are apparently convinced that we care what they think.
No, we’re just embarrassed to be associated with you.
The worst possible scenario is when firefighters no longer identify with the community they serve.
We don’t have to love or even like everybody but we need to respect each other, especially the people we protect.
We should also work to be first in their hearts and minds for reasons dear to our hearts.
Like when we need better pay or benefits or want to avoid cutbacks.
(Rhode Island should know that better than anyone. Can you say, “Central Falls”?)
Firehouse kitchens are famous for raucous discussions about politics, religion–you name it.
But when we step on that rig for any reason, be it parade, fire, or ems run, the ego and the inflated sense of self leading to the false assertion that we are better than them,Â needs to stay behind.
That’s my ideologyÂ queer or otherwise.