Re:       Passing the Lemon; Card-Carrying Heterosexual

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sun May 16 04:15:14 UTC 2004

On May 15, 2004, at 2:56 PM, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:

> In a message dated 5/14/04 10:27:27 PM, Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:
>>    Heterosexuals are supposed to carry cards?  Where do you get these
>> cards?
> Hmmm. Why wouldn't Barry already know the answer to this question?

oh, he's been busy at the NYPL and in Bobst and in traffic court and
must have missed the Heterosexual Registration Act of 2003, which
requires that persons displaying heterosexuality in public (by public
displays of affection with members of the opposite sex, flirting with
motos in public places, attendance at PTA meetings, couples' groups,
singles bars, motos-oriented strip clubs, and the like, not to mention
the wearing of highly gendered clothing) must be able to present a
Straight Card (obtainable at major police stations, all FBI offices,
and, when they are built, Homeland Security Centers) to justify their
presence there.  there are rumors that tattoos of HT on the inner thigh
will soon be required, and even suggestions of "rest camps", but our
nice mr. ashcroft assures us that no such things are contemplated, so
of course i trust him.

but seriously...  haven't we had a discussion of "card-carrying"?
going back at least to sen. mccarthy's (the point-of-order-mr.-chairman
sen. mccarthy, not the pointy-headed liberal one) "card-carrying
communists" and through to today's "card-carrying members of the ACLU"
(of which i am one), and then on to extension to just about anything:
card-carrying liberals, revolutionaries, republicans, chocoholics,
columnists, libertarians, preppies, pot-smokers, beer judges (i'm not
making any of this up), and of course queers, which is surely the model
for "card-carrying heterosexuals".

some years ago, with the collusion of an ohio auto registrar, i
obtained a Queer Card from the state of ohio: i wore my QUEER QUEER
QUEER t-shirt, and she got it into the frame, and then i had that for
five years.  about this time, a friend on soc.motss had queer cards
printed up for us all, but *i* had a photo i.d.

it's a frequent trope in lgb circles that if you display
less-than-fabulous gayness -- like, not getting references to the
classic movies and songs -- They will come and take away your Queer
Card.  yes, a joke, but not entirely without its point.

arnold (zwicky at

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