27 July 2011

Oh The Oppression

A lesbian couple is asking for changes at Dollywood after an employee asked one of the women to turn her T-shirt reading "marriage is so gay" inside-out to avoid offending others on a recent visit to the Tennessee theme park complex.
Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton said Tuesday they want the park to be more inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families after Odom was asked to reverse her shirt when they visited Dollywood Splash Country next to the Pigeon Forge amusement park. The story was first reported by WBIR-TV in Knoxville.
Dollywood spokesman Pete Owens said on Tuesday that Dollywood is open to all families, but their dress code policy is to ask people with clothing or tattoos that could be considered offensive to change clothes or cover up.

There are a couple of things worth noting from this.

First, a privately owned and operated business, such as Dollywood, has the right to refuse service or require customers meet certain requirements.  This isn’t publicly owned land, and isn’t (or, more accurately, should not be) required to follow anti-discrimination laws.  Dollywood is privately owned and operated, and it can do what it pleases with its property.  If anyone has a problem with that, they can take their business elsewhere.

Second, since Dollywood’s main customer base is Bible Belt conservative families, their dress/behavioral  code, as enforced, is good for business.  Religious conservative parents do not like having their young children exposed things that are properly considered part of the adult world, like human sexuality.  Families go to Dollywood to have a good time, not learn about two random adults’ sexual orientation and political preferences.  Furthermore, it should be noted that the general preferences of religious conservative parents is merely anti-homosexual; they would not exactly be supportive of slutwalks, or of, say, men wearing shirts emblazoned with a slogan saying, “I just f*cked my wife.”

The issue here isn’t simply that two openly gay people went to a park.  The issue is that the vast majority of Dollywood’s customers don’t want to take their families to a place where sexual mores are discussed, debated, and supported openly.  They are there to ride rollercoasters; they are not there for a conversation on human sexuality.  As such, Dollywood is not only well within its rights to ask that people with offensive clothing to change or cover up, given its consumer base, one could credibly argue that it has a responsibility to.  Dollywood exists to make a profit, and having your target market boycott or desert you is not going to help accomplish that.  Just ask Six Flags.

Third, it’s not conservative Christian families’ fault that homosexuals have an inferiority complex and need validation.  Just because homosexuality is a completely unnatural way of life that increases practitioners’ risk for STDs, alcohol and substance abuse, and depression and thus leads them to conclude that what they’re doing may not be the best idea in the world doesn’t mean that they need to pester other people into validating their lifestyle choices.  If you choose to practice homosexuality, accept the consequences and just accept you for who you are.  After all, if you already have self-validation, what does it matter what others think of you?

Finally, conservatives would be more accepting of practicing homosexuals if they just weren’t so obnoxious about everything.  Is it really that great an injustice to turn your potentially offensive shirt inside out?  Wouldn’t you prefer for someone wearing a shirt that says “God hates gays” to be told to turn his shirt inside out so he doesn’t offend other patrons?  Civility cuts both ways, which is a lesson that at least two homosexuals have apparently failed to grasp.  Most Christians have (they call it “The Golden Rule”), which is why it is very rare to see Christians wear shirts with anti-homosexual messages to theme parks, and why you never hear them complaining about the injustice of having to turn their offensive shirt inside out.

Quite simply, homosexuals need to get over their obvious self-esteem issues and stop seeking validation from other people.  And, in the meantime, they would do well to quit forcing others to accept their sexual preferences.  This isn’t endearing to anyone, and quite counterproductive to their cause.


  1. My dad, who doesn't mince words when talking about gay marriage or gay rights parades or any other such nonsense, has, with my mother, eaten dinner at the home of those two guys from church, the ones in their forties who live together, vacation together, take pictures together, and have never married. There's no mystery about those guys. My dad uses an old quote when asked about such people: I don't care what goes on in their bedroom as long as they don't do it in the street and scare the horses.

    I suspect a lot of other conservatives feel similarly.

  2. That's how I feel about it. I just don't care about complete strangers' personal lives, so the easiest way for others to make me dislike them is for them to burden me with details of their lives that I didn't ask for.