I read The Handmaid’s Tale either during my senior year of high school or my freshman year of college. By then I’d already heard Lou Sheldon’s Traditional Values Coalition recommend quarantining people living with AIDS in “cities of refuge.” I remember thinking then that it wouldn’t be a far leap to suggest quarantining gay people altogether, and that Lou would probably think it was a good idea.
Then I read about “gender treachery” and how it was punished in Gilead.
Those who do not conform to the new norms, or who in the past became pregnant and did not immediately embrace the new ways are pressed into service as handmaids and personal servants or deported to “the colonies” (regions where pollution has reached toxic levels). All those who threaten the ideology of Gilead, and those who will not repent — political and religious dissidents, pro-choice advocates (called abortionists) and homosexuals (gender treachery) — are executed by hanging and displayed at “The Wall”. The government has proclaimed martial law owing to the destabilizing effect of “hordes of guerrillas” roaming the countryside. This is reinforced by the roadblocks, sandbags, and the sounds of gun and rocket fire that are mentioned repeatedly, yet almost glossed over by the characters, who seem to regard living in a war zone as normal.
My guess is that Reb. Steve Kern, husband of Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern would be right at home in Gilead, and would have his own ideas on what to do with those of us guilty of “gender treachery.”
According to Gossipboy.com, in a bid to court conservatives, the duo seem to be teaming up to rid the state library system of all gay and lesbian materials, as well as those their church-based philosophies find objectionable. A source close to Cornett told Gossipboy:
Gays are easy targets for him. He tried to use them in 2006, but it backfired. This round he wants to make it clear he is without a doubt against gay rights.
And Kern, who Cornett is courting, definitely has some harsh words about homosexuals:
We have to get rid of that and start curing those sinners. It’s past time that this nation stopped placating sin and start putting them in education programs. Courts can force drug offenders into treatment centers and violent people into anger management. There’s no reason our courts can’t do that with homos.
Back when I had time to play video games, I seriously got into playing The Movies, a movie studio simulation game by Lionhead Studios. Needless to say, they storytelling possibilities intrigued me. I started up a couple of studios in the game, trained up my start and started making a few dystopian movies. One of which was something along the lines of what Rev. Kern envisioned; my idea of a gay Handmaid’s Tale, called A Time to Forget.
I managed to upload it to YouTube around then.
The dialog/subtitles aren’t anywhere near as good as I’d like them to be, but it took so long to get it close to where I wanted it, that I decided to upload it. I went on to finish part two, and give some closure to the main characters, while also telling the story of what happened to the one who stayed behind. But a fried motherboard ended up trapping the sequel somewhere on the hard drive I salvaged from that computer.
(Also, I was just days too late to salvage it from The Movies Online, which apparently went bye-bye around Dec. 5th.)
At least I think it did. I’d really hate to have to make it all over again. Anyway, it just seemed interesting enough to share.