HOUSTON VOICE • JANUARY 14, 2000
VOICES AND ECHOES
Conquering the queer virus that infects us
by MARIA E. MINICUCCI
We're certainly aware that
gay men and lesbians are
beginning not only a new year, but are on
the verge of a new era. Media hype aside,
our reactions range from nonchalance to
hopefulness to anxiousness.
Most of us, on some level, are hoping,
if not expecting, that our world will be a
better place for us. And better means a
place free of prejudice, free of violence,
free to love and to live. The recent court
decision in Vermont over gay marriages
gives us a glance at what could be in
store for our community.
And over Ihe years, it's been the tireless work of many to help create such a
place for all of us "sexual outlaws." Our
efforts are sometimes valiant in the face
of seemingly insurmountable odds and
insidious obstacles thrown in our path.
We have been strident in identifying
these obstacles and diligent in working
through, around, and with them.
(Xir work needs to be cheered, celebrated and carried into this new era. Hut the
work is hampered by our inability, or
unwillingness, Io identify and attack a serious source of contamination. It is helping to
undermine and sabotage our objectives.
It's the queer virus.
The virus is running rampant among
some of us. Unfortunately, it's not endemic
to Houston—it reaches queer communities
throughout North America. And it has the
potential to be lethal to us as individuals
and to our civil rights work.
In a simple definition, the queer virus is
trashing ourselves, what seems to be the
unique ability by gay men and lesbians to
eat our own. Sometimes it's the casual, off
the cuff remark or attitude in criticizing a
person or some group or organization without regard to the consequence oi what
we're saving. It's easy to see—eavesdrop on
the crowd at local gay coffee shop or read
through the daily postings to the Houston
The queer virus has left behind scores of
the walking wounded, folks like me who
have worked in the community and
watched as the virus eats away at organizations with a good mission. They end up
dismantled, stagnant, or fraught with discontented members.
Some of us disregard the nature of the
virus and fed justified in spreading it, a sort
of barebacking without regard. "Can you
believe this group had the nerve to do this,
this and that?" I can hear the grumblings.
A quick reaction to why this happens
might point to internalized oppression and
homophobia. But whatever the causes, we
The virus is running rampant among some of us. Unfortunately,
it's not endemic to Houston—it reaches queer communities
throughout North America. And it has the potential to be lethal
to us as individuals and to our civil rights work.
need to be reminded how all of this serves
as a major impediment to our work on civil
rights for our community. We need to take
responsibility for it.
Rather than recycle these old, harmful
mindsets, resentments and self-righteous
attitudes, we need to rebuild our political
platforms, psyches and relationships that
have been infected with this queer virus.
Taking on this rebuilding is essential if
we are to claim that we're committed to
success. It's not an easy thing to do; it's
much easier to damn and criticize than
rework and rebuild. But we should consider the cost of not doing it. That cost is
Let us step into a new era with a commitment to new and positive ways of thinking, new approaches to old problems, a positive regard for our differences. Rebuild not
Maria E. Minicueci is president of the
t louston lesbian & Gay Community Center.
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For more info...
WE'RE MAKING A MOVE... we will be sharing the home of
Central Congregational Church at 1311 Holman
(right across from the HCC-Downtown campus)
on January 30, 2000
Our worship time will be at 6:30pm; with Bible Study at 5:30pm.
Offices are located at 117 Tuam.
We will continue worshipping at 3400 Montrose, Suite 600
through January 23rd; with worship celebration at 10:30am
and Bible Study at 9:30am.
And... Beginning this Sunday, January 16th,
Part 1 of an 8-part sermon series on the truth about
homosexuality and the Bible;
"Is Homosexuality a Sin or Not?"
Everything you wanted to know...and MORE!
We're starting this year oft in a new direction!
Come visit us in our
new location (Jan. 30) at
across from HCC-Downtown Campus