Watch out Wilton Manors, the Morality Police are marching up and down Wilton Drive. Who knows where they might strike next!
Residents of our wonderful city’s first reaction might be that some right-wing church group or closed-minded members of the Ladies Club have started a campaign against LGBT advertisements along Wilton Drive, trying to save our society from descending into Sodom and Gomorrah.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. The Morality Police Squad is being led by one of our own, no other than Michael Rajner, a longtime activist we have come to know and love for his work on HIV/AIDs awareness, transgender rights, School Board Diversity Committee, and many causes that have been long hard battles for the LGBT community.
Mr. Rajner recently charged that certain advertisements which appeared on the Eco Bin Trash Bins along Wilton Drive were indecent, that they sent the wrong message to youth, that the content was inappropriate and so on…. Sounds like the same arguments we used to hear from the right-leaning Catholic League and other groups claiming to possess the moral high ground in American Society over the past few decades.
It wouldn’t be so bad if this were just one person voicing his opinion, but due to Mr. Rajner’s well-oiled machinery of political contacts, social media postings and other means, our city government responded to his complaints by having the Eco-Bin company immediately pull the ads.
Wow, pretty impressive Michael! A brief policy discussion at the following City Commissioners meeting did not bring much light or clarity on what city policy will be moving ahead, but the fact that city staff moved so quickly to censor content is pretty amazing, scary, frightening, and actually has pissed me off.
Somehow it’s OK to promote gay bars, nightclubs, and a cleaned-up version of LGBT lifestyle here in Wilton Manors, but not OK to promote a hook-up site such as Realmen.com. A bit of hypocrisy going on here perhaps?
In a rush to gain equality and assimilation, it did not take long for the puritanical, judgmental, condescending moral superiority over others to catch up with our community. Over the past decade, we have seen many LGBT leaders falling in step with the battle cry, “We’re just like you,” leading up to the recent gains on marriage equality.
These leaders saw it important to persuade public opinion rather than to shock it. So LGBT culture is now a happy family behind a white picket fence, just like the rest of the white-washed version people want to fool themselves in believing is the American Dream. Oh, and God forbid you mention sex. Oh no, not a proper subject to bring out in the open now, is it?
Our community celebrates Stonewall as the beginning of our march to equality, the event that symbolizes the beginning of the gay rights movement; but back in 1969, the Stonewall bar was nothing but a hook-up site just like the current site advertised on the Eco Bin.
If one was to show their age and think back to when we did not have the Internet, phone dating lines and hook-up apps on our cell phones; gay and lesbian bars were the hook-up sites of that period. So we celebrate the riot that took place defending a hook-up site in 1969, but we sit quietly while the same thing is happening today here in Wilton Manors.
While it is easy to white wash reality to make it acceptable for the masses, the riot that took place in 1969 was led by drag queens, young, poor and urban Puerto Rican and Black homosexuals who finally had enough of being treated like shit and stood up to a police force who brutalized and humiliated them at every turn.
The well-off white homosexuals, already heading out to the Hamptons and Fire Island for sex, were very few. The riot that night and the protest that followed did cause LGBT leaders of the time to come together and lay the groundwork for a movement. However, the Stonewall riot came about due to gays defending their rights to have fun, to meet each other, and to have sex.
Sounds to me the same message one would receive from the Squirt.org advertisement that the city has deemed inappropriate and had removed. How far have we come? Beware of the troubles that might engulf our community once we open the Pandora’s Box of censorship here in our city.
I say, live and let live, ‘cause life should be just a little more fun and sexual here…