I grew up gay in the ’70s and ’80s, when things were obviously much different than they are now. There was no gay culture for a gay teen in an American suburb, at all. The overriding message was there’s something wrong with you, there’s something inside of you that’s just wrong. It’s broken. It’s bad. It’s diseased. And so it’s a pretty harsh message to internalize when you’re, like, 11. It leaves you with three different options.
One is you just keep internalizing it and keep internalizing it and tell yourself you’re this horrible, diseased, broken person. And that’s why gay teens kill themselves.
Another strategy is to say I’m going to try and convince you that you’re wrong, right? I’m going to show you that I’m actually really normal in every other way. That’s the gay lobby in D.C., who are just, like, so intent on proving that they’re exactly like straight people in every single other way, so please accept us.
And then, I think, a third strategy is just to say, You know what? Go fuck yourself. I’m going to be the one to impose judgments on you, and let’s examine the propriety of your behavior instead.”—Glenn Greenwald’s response to the question, “Was there a formative moment in your childhood that might’ve cast you in the adversarial role?” in his interview with GQ