There is nothing more ordinary then human diversity.  Some of us are blue eyed, some brown, some green.  Some of us have blond hair, some black.  Skin color, height, weight, proportion of leg to torso…ask anyone who observes and draws or photographs the human form how identical we are to one another.  Some of us are left handed, some right. There are males, females, and also transgendered individuals.  There are mathematicians, mechanics, chefs, doctors, painters, musicians, actors, soldiers, firefighters, teachers.  There are people who just seem to light up a room whenever they walk into it no matter the gloom that was there before, and people who bring their own little grey cloud with them wherever they go.  It is normal to be different.  And very young children, generally, accept this in each other.  As the song goes, You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught.

For decades now the homophobes have warned about the “normalization” of homosexuality.  Dire consequences would follow.  Very dire consequences.  What everyone is beginning to see now, finally, is that when the homophobic static is gone, normalcy returns.  Here in Maryland, the Baltimore Sun today has an article about how the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is playing in at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.  The answer seems to be a catastrophic decent of society into pure unadulterated normalcy.

Gay cadets at the U.S. Military Academy and the Coast Guard Academy are forming clubs. Gay alumni at the Air Force Academy hosted their first football tailgate last fall, and gay alumni at the Air Force Academy and West Point held their annual dinners on campus for the first time.

It’s not all roses of course.  Some worry about the effect coming out will have on their careers once they leave the academy.  Others insist it will have little to no impact.  But the effect here in Maryland, as elsewhere, of lifting the outcast status on gay people, that dangerous alien other label, has been mostly…business as usual.  Or rather, business more usual then it previously could be when people had to be afraid.  The sense you get is of peace descending, finally, after a long and brutal battle.  We are all neighbors once more.  Now that the fires of prejudice and hate are subsiding a sense of community becomes possible once again.  Normalcy returns.

This recently, from a Canadian Evangelical

Most of us evangelicals in Canada, regardless of personal beliefs about homosexuality, can admit that since same-sex marriage has been legalised in Canada, our society has not gone to hell in a hand basket, nor has traditional marriage, or our families been under attack. Scare tactics and wild-eyed fear-based rhetoric rarely turns out to be true.  In actual practice, our society has become “live and let live” which is actually a rather tolerant and comfortable place to be.

Behold the dire consequence.  A reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog, responding to a question put to Maggie Gallagher about the harm to individuals and society where same-sex marriage has been legalized, noted that her reply was basically worry about the status of homophobes like herself…

Essentially, Maggie Gallagher is concerned about the affect of same-sex marriage on people like Maggie Gallagher. She cites no data or statistics or study which shows how any heterosexual marriages or children in families with same-sex parents have been damaged. She makes no claim that any such damages has occurred, only that people like her have been made social pariahs instead of the gay people who ought to be the pariahs. I’m sure there’s a social science term that describes what she is doing, but I guess I just find the complaint that “you’re making other people not like me” to be a rather petty and self-absorbed. Where, I wonder, is her concern about the affect on people other than Maggie Gallagher?

There’s the problem.  To fear and loath your neighbor over some trivial difference just isn’t normal.  To incite those fears and loathings in others is damaging to community and nation.  Once the homophobic static is gone everyone just gets along with each other.  The horrible outcome of the normalization of homosexuality is world where we are all neighbors once again and we just get on with life and things get back to…normal.  The scapegoat, the hated other, no longer hate themselves, and are no longer hated.  We are neighbors once again, each of us just going on about our business.  And the only thing that warning anyone who will listen about the homosexual menace teaches them is what an creep you are.