Apr 17

A Slice of Tennessee

I know many people across the country may have an inkling of just how backward our fine state can be. Our legislators just finished passing a couple of anti-science bills as well as some bills to protect teachers from being charged when they violate the first amendment by forcing religion on the students in their care. If you have been paying attention at all you will also know that this isn’t unique to Tennessee or even to the bible belt. States across the country have been doing the same thing recently. I’m not going to spend any time here talking about these things. What I am going to do is give you a peek into the human dimension, what rational people in these states deal with on a daily basis.

On May 5th, Cookeville, TN will be holding its first annual Pride Festival. WilloNyx and I plan to attend. The organizers seem to be doing a good job and I hope to see it succeed with as little disruption as possible, but I am a realist and I expect no such thing. Multiple threads have been posted on the local Topix forum about the event. I am going to let some of the locals speak for themselves.

Here is a sampling of what they had to say here. (italicized input on the commentary per Willo) (TW for general bigoted horribleness)

Petition: We don’t want events promoting this sickness in Cookeville. This is a 95% heterosexual town full of church-going families. This is not an event that is suited for young children. Trust me that y’all will not be holding this event in Dogwood Park.

Yes we will.

Sassy Tranny: Jesus did NOT come back and write a New Testament saying that it is all the sudden okay for women to sleep with women and for men to sleep with men. They will be cast down into the fire of the land of Satan to burn with horrific pain for disobeying the word of God! I know that God did not decide to sleep with Satan one night. I may have sinned but I have never ever wanted to sleep with the same sex! Gays are evil and the carriers of HIV and AIDS. That is the early curse that God has placed upon those that don’t follow the word of God! I now cast your evil soul to play with Satan!

You should have stopped with “Jesus did not come back.” The rest of this is incoherent bullshit. 

Why: I’m sick and tired of the gay community going on about how they are just like everyone else except for one little aspect of their lives, then they turn around and hold public events to let everyone know how different they are. If you’re gay, just be gay. Don’t get in everyone’s face about it.
The reason straight people don’t have straight pride day is because being straight is normal. Straight people don’t feel the need to have a special day to show the world they are straight.

Straight people have 364 special days, 365 every leap year. How childish of you for not wanting to share.

crazy: The only publicity you are going to get by pushing this on our community is going to be negative. We are accepting but do not appreciate this being pushed on us. I don’t think it’s appropriate for my 4 and 6 year-old children to say that a man dressed as a woman is what is considered as acceptable in today’s society. Because it isn’t! My children are so far happy being innocent boys and girls.

And they will continue to be happy and innocent after seeing LGBTQ people having fun being who they are. The won’t continue to be innocent and happy when you shame them for not automatically assuming that LGBTQ people are icky.

Happy: gay germs are called aids

I just want to comment on the fact that ze thinks the “s” in aids means that it is plural.

FYI: Any type of homosexual event is most definitely NOT family no matter how you disguise it! Of course you are encouraging families to attend because the whole agenda is to try to get people to accept the lifestyle as normal. Well, it is NOT normal no matter how much you rationalize. It is wrong on all fronts. From a biblical standpoint it is a crime against nature. From just looking at nature, animals aren’t “confused” about it either. Oh don’t bother about giving me exceptions, I am aware of a few but it doesn’t really matter because people have the Word and an innate sense of right and wrong no matter how you rationalize. I have no idea why gays feel that it is important to advertise their sexual orientation. That is private so keep it to yourself!

Cause LGBTQ people don’t have families. Or at least in your imagination they don’t. From a biblical standpoint eating clam chowder is a crime against nature (I might agree with the bible on that one).  I have to agree that non-human animals probably aren’t “confused” about wanting to pair bond with or fuck their own gender. They probably just do it.

Tolerant: There is a huge difference between tolerance and acceptance. Tolerance means that while you may not like a particular thing, you tolerate — or leave alone undisturbed — it. Acceptance, on the other hand, is something entirely different.
In the case of homosexuality, tolerance is good. If a person is gay, who cares? Live and let live. I see gay people every day in society and they don’t bother me and I don’t bother them. But to accept homosexuality as normal and equally beneficial to society is simply unrealistic. Homosexuality is NOT normal.
The problem I have with a gay pride day at the park is that it is an attempt to “normalize” homosexuality in the eyes of society. By inviting the community and encouraging families to bring their children, they are hoping to change the minds of the current generation and shape the opinions of future generations that being gay is okay and normal. Well, it isn’t.
And for those about to label me homophobic, remember that “phobic” means “afraid of.” I’m not afraid of gays. I just wish they’d quit making a big deal of their gayness.

Yes we are attempting to normalize perfectly normal behavior. “These rascally kids these days going around acting like queers are normal. ” I don’t give a fuck whether you “accept” us. I just give a fuck that you don’t allow your laws restrict us in ways that straight cis people are free from restriction.

Well: I  say give’em what they want.Take your camera and take a pictures of EVERYONE there…it IS a public place and lets post them on Facebook.
Thats right..everyone, the freaks, the supporters, the children. Lets show as much of the greater public whos’ proud. Maybe names could be added to the faces on a “public” forum as others reconize their friends, neighbors and coworkers!

Yeah, let’s  blacklist them so they can’t shop, eat, work, or live in this town because they had the gall to be unapologetic about existing.

recruitment: That is all they want. To have their queer festival so they can recruit more and more fags to come to Cookeville. Eventually the whole city will be infested with queer freaks and Goddamn drama. Queers do nothing but sleep around with everything that moves. They want their little queer festival to get bigger and bigger just like the number of cases of HIV/AIDS. The lesbos will attempt to get all women to hate men and convince them that all men are shit. Next thing you know, there will be a rural sex change clinic. Welcome to the future new Knoxville which is Cookeville.

As if getting a sex change was a simply a trip to the local clinic.  BTW for non-Tennessean’s Knoxville is the most LGBTQ friendly city in TN. Cookeville obviously is not.

Amused by your arrogance: If the city council approved this I am not surprised. Keep in mind the wife of a gay teacher is on that council. I’m not getting into a Biblical discussion with people who know nothing about the Bible. Therefore, I will just say that, after being friends with gay people during my school years, I have watched them, in great sadness, let this lifestyle consume them, lose their family, status in the community, lose jobs, and some kill themselves. While I am saddened to lose a friend, I am sad because of what this choice of lifestyle did for them. When you teach school and have children who are in same sex families, you will see first hand the problems it causes. It is not a good environment for children on many levels. I’m always intrigued that people who call themselves gay or lesbian feel the need to band together to let other people know they like sex in twisted depraved ways. You don’t see heterosexuals in Cookeville having a heterosexual pride day. Really, is it necessary? Go do your sick bondage and leather thing in the privacy of your home. Frankly, I nor anyone else cares that you are gay or lesbian. I’m not the least bit interested in knowing what will go on Saturday. If I happen to drive by going to some other place, it will be amusing that you guys feel the need to ignorantly protest and make a fool of yourselves. What would be interesting is to track you guys and see how many are gainfully employed years from now and have the insurance to pay for your fatal disease. Oh, that’s right, I’ll keep working so TennCare will pay for it.

Victim blaming? Check. Strawman? Check. Hoping you die a horrible death? Check. This must be a christian. Oh BTW teacher, I watched your type talk in the teacher’s lounges in the schools. I watched the homophobia and racism first hand. The difficulties these kids face is not their own or their parent’s faults. It starts with you, teacher.  You are a bully, you are wretched, and you shouldn’t be allowed to teach.

This is what some of them had to say here.

Freak Family: It’s obviously a genetic defect for a man to want to have sex with a man and a woman to have sex with a woman. And a mental illness too. This goes to you freaks that are bisexual as well. Anything that shit comes out of HAS to be nasty.

Well this person is missing out. Doesn’t ze know that hetero’s do anal to? Ze would really be offended by rimming.

Picket Them: This “event” is under the guise as a fun for all event. I am here to make people of Cookeville and Putnam County AWARE that this is a festival to promote tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality in the county and surrounding towns in our rural community.
It lists “Children’s Activities and Crafts” as a way to lure our young children out to this awful event. We are working on an organized picket against this type of thing happening here. Once I find out what the protest ordinances are in Cookeville or if any even exist, we will work together to organize a meeting spot and come together as a community to say that this type of thing is WRONG! Do you want your children finger painting with a man that is dressed up as a woman? I know I DO NOT!…Get picket signs ready to get the message across to these people that a public display of homosexuality is WRONG and immoral! Let’s exercise our First Amendment Right to PROTEST! We need to stand up to keep our lovely little town clean and oriented toward STRAIGHT families! In the Bible, it was Adam and Eve. NOT Adam and Steve!

I would much rather have my children finger painting with “a man dressed as a woman” than being in the same room with a bigoted fuck as yourself. Your picket will do nothing to silence us. We exist and we won’t apologize for it. I think Jamie Kilstein says it best “From the looks of it, god fucked up big time and maybe Adam should have explored other options.”

and here.

Big Mouth: I am calling City Hall about this tomorrow! You disgusting gays have to have a permit to hold an event in the park and I bet you don’t have one. Cookeville is not providing a park where churchgoing families want to take their children and end up seeing and being exposed homosexual activity and drag queens. Be assured that a stop will be put to this! It is a sin to be gay and I am disgusted over this!

I bet it stung when you found out that, yes, Cookeville did provide a park for people to prance around all gay and shit in front of your churchgoing families. What exact “homosexual activity” do you think your churchgoing families will be exposed to? Finger painting? Music? No, it’s all about the sex with you repressed fucks. You think it will be an all out manonmanonwomanonwomanonwomanonman fuck spree. Sorry ain’t gonna happen.

Wrong: No one is forcing me to go. However, I am being forced NOT to go that day and am NOT able to take my kids to have fun and play in the fountain. They are infringing upon my right to live, laugh and play that day without exposing me and my family to a sick and perverted influence. It’s all shoved in my face if I were to take my kids to play that day

“OMFG, I am so oppressed because I have one day out of a fucking year I have to hide from gay people being gay!” Fuck you.

Really: If the gays are looking for fair and just try the courts not parades and fun fests.That just seems logical.Otherwise the gay parades come off as oh I’m so proud I like having sex with my own kind.What is the point on crowing about your sex preferences And then you now want to adopt kids?The very children who come by way of the male and female relationship.Now you want to take advantage of the male female creation of life. So what gives gays that right to take that creation that they actually want no part of?

Another one of those “you can be LGBTQ as long as you don’t act like it” with a side of “you can be LGBTQ as long as you don’t put your LGBTQ genes in the gene pool.” I thought these fuckwits didn’t believe in genetics. 

Wrong: I’m friends with several gays silly! But I will never allow my kids around them. I do not allow the bad influence. That doesn’t mean I don’t personally like some of these people. Heck, I even have a gay family member! But guess what? They are not allowed at my house with their partner if they act like a couple. So, don’t give me any propaganda about my moral courage. It takes moral courage to stand up and say something is a sin and it won’t be allowed in my home as long as I am breathing. I answer to a higher power and it isn’t you.

I can’t even comment on this without laughing at all the traditional bigot clichés floating around. This idiot is hir own commentary.

Generation y: Don’t be too sure it’ll be a little picket. Fundamentalist churches around here will organize. Oh goodie! Maybe we’ll make it onto channel five news! For those of us who are into confrontation this is gonna be good! Let the games begin!

Can’t tell if ze is plugging for a local news channel or trying to threaten attendees. Who wants to lay bets that those who are “into confrontation” are also into guns.

Can Too: The fact is that homosexuality is not normal and will never be seen as normal by the rest of society. And all the sitcoms, fashion networks and dance shows on TV won’t change it.
Homosexuality is defined by a pattern of behavior, not a physical characteristic, so the comparisons between gays and blacks need to stop. All that is is an attempt by the gay community to legitimize themselves and elevate the perception of their situation to that of a legitimate social struggle. If I were black or hispanic or a woman, I’d be pissed at the gays.
An alcoholic has the natural urge to drink uncontrollably. It doesn’t mean we should legitimize that behavior. Same goes for homosexuality.

If you were a decent person you would be pissed at yourself. Nope, he is just an arrogant straight cis white male fundie moron who has no clue what it feels like to be marginalized, so he has no problem assuming what other marginalized groups feel.

Can Too: Here we go again with the blacks/gays comparisons. It’s a line of BS. Gays weren’t brought into this country against their will. Gays were never slaves. Gays were never forced to ride in the back of the bus. Gays were never forced to use separate facilities or denied access to places of business. You can’t tell if a person is gay from physical characteristics alone the way you can a black person. Black people cannot hide the fact that they are black the way a homosexual can hide his or her homosexuality.
Sure, gays have been discrimiated against. But that is because the rest of society views homosexuality as disgusting and abnormal. Gays are discriminated against in much the same way as hardcore punks and hippies, the goth kids and other groups that are on the fringes of society. It’s a form of social selection that just happens. When the punks and goth kids grow up and want to get jobs, they cut their hair, remove their piercings, cover their tattoos and enter the mainstream. Those who don’t find their career opportunities limited. Gays can do the same. Don’t make it a point to draw attention to your sexuality and society will accept you. Put it in everyone’s face and you’re asking for problems.

You hear that? The solution to all our problems is to be invisible. Never mind that there is nothing wrong with being LGBTQ and so there is nothing wrong being visibly LGBTQ. Never mind there is something wrong with being a homophobic/transphobic ass. The onus is on us to STFU and hide so we don’t offend their delicate sensibilities.

Indeed: It’s just this area. It is not common here and truly not accepted. If gays want to flourish. I honestly think they should move to an area where there are gay communities and being gay is more accepted. Like Knoxville or California. No matter how many festivals they try to hold here, it is not going to change the thinking of the people that are against it in this area. It’s just not the ideal place for a flamboyant gay male or female to be what they want to be.
Pushing it on this area is just going to make things worse for them in my honest opinion.

“We are just not ready to accept your queerness yet so if you please just be a little bit quieter about it so we can go on continuing to ignore the fact you exist. I mean, if you continue to tell me you exist I will have to deal with some difficult cognitive dissonance, and I don’t like to think that hard, so please not until I am ready to handle you.” No amount of you begging will force us back into the closet. We are here to show pride in who we are and support for who our friends are.


This isn’t anything new for us. This is the kind of hate and stupidity we deal with our whole lives in towns like ours across the country.

If you are going to be anywhere nearby on Saturday, May 5th between 4pm and 7pm, please drop by and show your support. If you can attend and run your own site, bring a camera and cover the event. We plan to do the same.

Also advertise. If you know anyone local who is either LGBTQ or allies with LGBTQ, send them our way. Help us stand up to the religious bullies.


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