Originally printed in the online version of Bancroft This Week on Sept. 15, 2013
I've been hearing and seeing those comments a lot as of late.
"Get over it. Stop talking about it. Why are you flogging a dead horse? Just move on already."
And I agree. Get over your discomfort of having some of the ugly bigotry of your town being brought to light. Stop talking about your feelings of annoyance, because your annoyance is fleeting and not worth you raising your blood pressure over. Stop flogging the dead horse of how "great" and "progressive" this town is; if it's as great as what you say then it can easily withstand a brush with constructive criticism. Just move on already, and get past your hang-ups over addressing and dealing with problems out in the open.
When I see someone post a comment saying, "It's not that big of a deal! Just get over it!" I have to wonder what their investment is in shutting down the conversation. It's big enough of a deal for you to tell people to shut up. If it weren't that big of a deal, then you'd have no interest in the result either way and the topic itself wouldn't bother you.
If the now-infamous clipping weren't a big deal, why did it stay up for a decade? If it weren't a big deal, why wasn't it removed with a shrug and replaced with a Garfield comic? If it weren't a big deal, why would anyone stand up for the restaurant owners' decision to post it and keep it up? If it weren't a big deal, why are you still reading and getting mad at me stating it's not a big deal?
It's because we understand these represent much bigger discussions and issues. It's because we know that ink on paper is not the point; it's the message underneath it that has weight and that matters and that actually affects people and their morality and their lives.
If we're honest with ourselves and each other, it's because the LGBT community still has battles to fight to be seen as equals and allowed to be visible in their home communities. That's not just a Bancroft problem; it's an everywhere problem. We just happen to be having the conversation here, where we live. Get over it.