It’s hard to say if this is more offensive or just freakishly bizarre. Maybe it’s an equal amount of both.
A column written by Dixon, CA Vice Mayor Ted Hickman calling for July to be recognized as “Straight Pride American Month” (SPAM) has caused an understandable amount of outrage.
In the column, Hickman shows at least a hint of self-awareness by saying he’s not sure if he can get away with making the proclamation, “but what the heck.”
“Now hundreds of millions of the rest of us can celebrate our month, peaking on July 4th as healthy, heterosexual, fairly monogamous, keep our kinky stuff to ourselves, Americans,” Hickman wrote. “We do it with our parades in every state and county in this country with families celebrating together.
“We honor our country and our veterans who have made all of this possible (including for the tinker bells) and we can do it with actual real pride, not some put on show just to help our inferior complex ‘show we are different’ type of (crap).”
Presumably, “tinker bell” is used here to describe anyone who isn’t straight.
It gets worse:
“We ARE different from them … We work, have families (and babies we make) enjoy and love the company (and marriage) of the opposite sex and don’t flaunt our differences dressing up like faries (sic) and prancing by the thousands in a parade in nearby San Francisco to be televised all over the world…”
Perhaps the zenith of absurdity is when he references J.M. Barrie:
“So, right now, if you don’t want any faries [sic] to expire, you can clap your hands. See, I do have a heart, I just can’t type and clap at the same time… so I had to make a hard choice didn’t I?”
A “Recall Ted Hickman” Facebook page was created Saturday afternoon.
“We believe bigotry has no place in public office in the State of California. We will see you soon, and many times, Hickman. We look forward to filing the petition for your recall,” reads a post on the page.
Needless to say, many of Dixon’s California constituents are furious.
“Ted’s opinion is absolutely allowed for in this free country, but his use of his title of vice mayor in such an obvious homophobic tirade is nothing short of disgusting,” wrote Allison Hietbrink, according to the Mercury News.
“Knowing that this kind of offensive, blatantly hateful rhetoric is willingly and openly shared among city officials makes me quite weary of our decision,” says Hietbrink, who just moved to Dixon from Vacaville with her family. “We are all entitled to our opinions, but when those opinions are publicly shared and peppered with such offensive, uneducated stereotypes of a certain community of people, our opinions become more than just thoughts and words: they become hurtful and dangerous. Ted’s opinion piece in a local paper was not meant to promote pride in straight people; it was meant to demean and ostracize LGBTQ people.”
“He does not need to pretend to change his opinions: he needs to apologize for writing a piece with such shameful, hurtful examples of a misrepresented group of people,” she wrote.
You can read Hickman’s entire column (or not) at tedhickman.com
Recall Ted Hickman Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Recall-Ted-Hickman-Vice-Mayor-of-Dixon-CA-353277151869181/