“The Gay State” by Garrett Graham– Something to Think About

Graham, Garrett. “The Gay State: The Quest for an Independent Gay Nation-State and What It Means to Conservatives and the World’s Religions”, iUniverse, 2010.

Something to Think About

Amos Lassen

It has become a rarity these days to find a book dealing with GLBT issues that gives the reader something to think about. Garrett Graham punctures that void with “The Gay State” and while his ideas may seem to be a bit radical at first, they make a great deal of sense. His thesis is that we have reached that point in history that we consider the creation of a gay state where the majority of residents are gay and where they are free and in their own place and equal to all other nations. While this idea may seem preposterous, I beg you to look at history and see that the very reasons for creating such a place are very much the same as those for which Israel joined the nations of the world. Persecution only reinforces the fact that one need not suffer because of who they are and if the nations of the world want to find a way to eradicate said persecution, the best answer is to provide a haven for those who do suffer. I may have many people come down on me when I state that the creation of the State of Israel is a direct result of what happened to Jewry because of the Holocaust. Can we afford another Holocaust in the world today simply because people are different? I am sure that you will agree that the answer is no. In Graham’s words, “The Gay State is a proclamation that the world of tomorrow can be far better than the world we have today”. Overt homophobia may have lessened but it still exists, especially in less enlightened areas of our world just as it is for anti-Semitism. With this book, Garrett Graham has brought about a movement that will bring oppression and suffering to an end. The time has come to make sure that all who seek freedom are able to find it. It is time that all rights given to everyone else now are accessible to the GLBT populace as well.

Toleration is not acceptance and I have grown to hate the word. I do not want to be tolerated; I want to be regarded just as everyone else is. Toleration does not satisfy me. To me it is the same as saying that I tolerate mashed potatoes but I do not like them and I will not eat them. However, if you want to have them, go right ahead. Here in America, GLBT people pay taxes like everyone else yet they do not receive the same protections that others do. What about the rest of the world where gays are jailed and executed when their only crime is loving someone of the same sex. The freedoms that we do have in many cases are little more than token freedoms. Hate crimes are still a part of our lives and even with legislation against them, they continue to exist.

Homosexuals have been around since the beginning of time and for the last 3000 years we have suffered abuse and in many cases this abuse is dealt to us in the name of religion. Yet we are a country that prides itself on the separation of church and state. In today’s modern world there are some eighty counties that consider us to be outlaws and all this comes about because of the majority that is non gay. Is it fair to give a death sentence because of loving someone? We are attacked by gangs and we are psychologically beaten down because we do not represent what the majority feels is “normal”.
Along with a preface and a foreword, Graham outlines for us not only the origins of the gay state but the problems facing our community. He looks at the diversity of the GLBT population and discusses the contributions that GLBT people have made to our world. He also looks at the discriminatory laws that have existed and that still exist.

Whether you agree with the premise or not, this is a book that must be read if for no other reason than to make you aware of how we stand in the eyes of many. I find this to be an invaluable resource that gives us the full picture and frankly, I find it alarming.

Graham closes his book with a chapter entitled “The Conclusion of the Gay State and How We Will Move Forward” and a list of sources that are useful for furthering the Gay State Movement as well as a petition for a Gay State, a request for asylum and citizenship in the Gay State and the “Virtues, Sins and Philosophical Steps to Good Citizenship”. I recommend this as highly as I can and charge you to add this book to your reading list. You will not be sorry and you learn something and I can think of nothing better to say about any book.

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