Monday, February 08, 2010

I used to really like Wikipedia. Not so much anymore. This last week a young man named Brendan Burke died in a traffic accident. He was noteworthy for being a young gay hockey player who came out of the closet and was not afraid to continue being involved in the sport. His father, a major figure in hockey, was very supportive. Typically, people who have made some sort of contribution to society end up with a Wikipedia entry. You can also find many entries for porn actors, fictional soap opera characters, and minor politicians.

After his death someone created a Wikipedia page describing his life. It was quickly selected for deletion. The debate as to whether it should be deleted is an eye-opener. Guys sitting around drinking beer and watching the Superbowl game, joking about whether to remove the entry. A Wikipedia contributor who writes articles on hockey pushing for its removal.

Basically, a bunch of straight men advocating for the removal or placement of the page within his father's Wikipedia entry. Gay people should not be seen or heard from.

We are entering a time period of heightened extremism directed toward homosexuals. Many religious fundamentalists want to target us through death sentences, forced conversions, or imprisonment. At the same time, these people also want us to be completely invisible. These are not mutually exclusive, since killing, imprisoning, or masquerading as straight basically makes us disappear.

Small little things, like preventing Wikipedia entries, are part of the same pattern. Go away. Shut up. Disappear. It will be interesting to see what happens in the near future.

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