Flaunting the Flag

The State Department’s directive against flying the Rainbow Flag during Gay Pride Month has been widely criticized.  The Fleming Foundation’s ace reporter, Anteaeus S. Vaught, recently sat down with a disgruntled embassy official in San Francisco.  (It is not widely known, but San Francisco, which is considered outside the territorial United States, now has an American consulate to handle any problems encountered by Middle Americans who visit the beautiful city on the bay.

“So tell me, Mr…—can I use your name?”

“No, Andy,  and don’t call me ‘mister’.  M-I-S-S will do.”

“You mean ‘miss’?”

“No, M-I-S-S.  It stands for ‘ Misconstruing Identity and Sexual Stereotypes.’”

“So you are in favor of this?”

“Yes, anything that creates confusion among the bigots.”

“But you work for the government.”

“Yes, a lot of us missfits—that’s our little joke—work for the government and for both political parties.”

“Even Republicans?”


“Surely not Conservative Republicans?”

“You’d he surprised.”

“Well, then, to get onto the subject.  You are protesting the State Department’s directive not to fly the Rainbow flag on the same staff as the Stars and Stripes.  Why?”

“It’s pure bigotry.  It’s like accusing Jews of dual loyalty just because they have dual citizenship, American and Israeli.  I can be a loyal American citizen at the same time as I am a loyal Missfit.  Think of the message this is sending children all over America.”

“You mean, the implication that people’s sex lives are their own business and nobody else’s?  That government should pretty much leave everyone alone?”

“Exactly.  My sex life is your business, everybody’s business.”

“What about straight married men and women.  Are their sex lives everybody’s business?”

“No, they’ve had everything their way for thousands of years.  The only way to end this oppression is for us to tell our story everywhere.”

“Haven’t you pretty much been doing that for several generations?”

“We haven’t gone far enough.  There are still so many stigmas attacked to being Gay or Lesbian, and, my dear, the poor Trannies!  How they suffer.”

“How exactly do they suffer?”

“Do you know what all that surgery and hormone treatments do to a person?  And then, all those drugs you have to take to suppress your immune reactions to the implants.  Why, it’s like having AIDS.”

“But isn’t that pretty much the consequences of their own decision?”

It’s easy for you to talk—a cis-gender straight.  If you could walk in our shoes for a few days, you’d know better.  In fact, one of our plans is to force a certain number of you people to undergo the full treatment.  Then you’d know.”

“I still don’t quite get it.  You say that transsexuals damage their health by the transformational procedures?”

“Oh, not just that.  Of course, they’re dying like flies everywhere, but they also suffer from depression, and you can’t believe their rates of suicide.  Both are many times higher than in the regular Gay population, and that’s very high, as it is.”

“You mean homosexuals and lesbians suffer from depression and are prone to suicide?”

“Oh all sorts of things, and that’s where the stigma comes in.  Some people actually think because our gender-identity decisions lead to disease, depression, early death, and suicide, they want to discourage their children from walking down the road to a richer fuller life.  Why not tell young men not to be soldiers because they might get killed in a war?  I thought those kinds of ideas went out when they ended the Spanish Inquisition.  We’ve come a long way, but there is still so much ignorance to overcome.”

"Well, thanks, M-I-S-S X for the interview."

"It's my pleasure, Andy.  Any time."


Avatar photo

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

5 Responses

  1. Harry Colin says:

    In my virtually endless perusal of books of quotations, I found this gem from one of the esteemed paragons of society’s unbridled sexual freedom – “Sir” Elton John: ” There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. People should be very free with sex, but they should draw the line at goats.”

    I’m shocked that this blatant display of “species-ism” hasn’t earned Sir Elton the opprobrium of the guardians of enlightened erotic fantasies.

  2. Robert Reavis says:

    This “soft humor” is hilarious at least for those like myself who still find it possible and necessary to laugh to conquer the absurdity. Thank you, Anteaeus.

  3. Ken Rosenberger says:

    Excellent reportage from Andy Vaught. He managed to ask all the right questions. I wonder, is he a member of the prominent Birmingham Vaughts, perhaps a nephew of the eminent physician Sutter Vaught? Proud Alabamians, all of them.

  4. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    As it happens, Andy’s middle initial stands for Sutter, but I don’t know if there is a connection there. He told me, however, that his mother was a Lang. I don’t know if that means anything either. He also said that he was distantly related to a famous prankster named John Towne, whose antics were memorialize by my late friend George Garret.

  5. Ken Rosenberger says:

    A very scurrilous and insulting man, if it’s the John Towne I’m thinking of. By what call did he refer to Fred Chappell (from all I can tell, a very warm and genial man) as the John Boy Walton of American letters? And how would he, Towne, have known that life with Kim Novak was hell? Still, he did do some good when he turned his sights on some of the more egregious celebrities in entertainment and academia.