The Pie in the Face
Remember, the anti-gay activist Anita Bryant that received a pie in the face, she's still alive. To think, I was living in Miami at the time, within blocks of her house, this was the late 70's. I had no idea that this former American singer and beauty pageant winner would within a few short years become one of the most hated bigoted women ever to have lived. I was always under the impression the wicked witch of the west was the most hated woman in the world. You can see where my mind was at the time.
During the AIDS epidemic of the 80's the Fundamental Christians came out publicly backlashing against Gay Liberation. It seems so archaic talking about it now. Her analogy and the use of metaphor were to compare AIDS to Vampires and Zombies. Why? In her words,
"The male homosexual eats sperm, the most concentrated form of blood, they are eating life! As vampires need to recruit donors to survive, so does the homosexual."
We all know how that worked out for her.
The more conservative Fundamentalist saw homosexuality as a decay of social morals. Even President Ronald Reagan used imagery of disease, infection, contagion, poison and degeneracy to describe America's lowering morals.
To Anita, she saw gay men as vampires, she compared vampires to AIDS, and AIDS to a "gay plague." The gaunt look of the 80's gay man, the dark eyes and pale skin, the wasting syndrome, she compared to Vampires, Ghouls, and Zombies.
The vampire, with Anita's help in the age of AIDS, became a symbol of transcendence rather than that of social decay and decadence. A complete reversal for her and unknown to her, her actions at the time, though mean as hell, helped inspire Gays around the world to unite and conquer the world of prejudices and discrimination.
I might be the only one to say this, but thank you Anita Bryant for your bigotry and hatred, you helped (in a sense) with the gay cause and the fight against AIDS by bringing our issue to the forefront. The gay movement went into overdrive since then, and has never looked back.
Anita on the other hand, lost her marriage and her career, millions of dollars in endorsements. Her husband Bob Green died bitter, broke and lonely. A man full of hate, blaming gays to the end for what his sad life became and for sabotaging Anita's career.
Others that cast stones like Nancy Grace and Rush Limbaugh, should take note.
Which reminds me, Gay Pride is coming up on August the 3rd this year, here in Vancouver. My birthday!