[crackmonkey] Linux is Gay
evan at coursenet.com
Fri Mar 5 20:03:55 PST 1999
>>>>> "Deirdre" == Deirdre Saoirse <deirdre at deirdre.net> writes:
Deirdre> "This is Linux's coming-out party"
Deirdre> -- Mark Jarvis of Oracle, in his keynote "This is Linux's
Deirdre> coming-out party" -- Linus Torvalds, in his keynote
Deirdre> "What, was it gay?" -- Rick Moen, during Linus' keynote
You may have heard talk that Linux was "outed" by the radically queer
activist *BSDs, who felt that Linux was doing a disservice to other
gay operating systems by acting as if it is "shameful" or "wrong" for
an OS to be gay. There was talk that Linux wasn't providing a strong
gay role model to younger gay operating systems.
This is distinctly untrue. The *BSDs have been very supportive of
Linux during this difficult time, providing Linux with pamphlets and
other resources as well as an open socket at the other end of the
Ethernet cable when Linux was going through some kernel panics late at
night trying to deal with these confusing new emotions. True, they
were particularly emphatic in encouraging Linux to "come out," but
there was no threat or force involved.
Linux first started understanding that it was a "different" OS a few
months ago. It spoke to friends about having strange feelings and
attractions and expressed doubts that it may be a bi or bi-curious OS.
Soon, after some real heart-to-hearts with its best friend, Rick Moen,
Linux understood that it was only fear that made it hold on to
society's expectations of what an OS was supposed to be, and that the
only ideals it had to be true to were its own. Linux understood that,
yes, it was gay, and yes, it was proud.
The hardest hurdle, as usual, was coming out its father. Linus blamed
himself, of course -- as a single parent to a very young OS, he felt
that perhaps he had done Linux wrong by raising it largely in the
company of strange, bearded men with loose morals. Linux pointed out
that it was gay on the inside -- you can't _make_ an OS gay. And who
cares, anyway? It was happy to be a gay OS, to be free and proud.
There was no blame to be given. Linus remained unsure and suggested
therapy or debugging.
But after a difficult first few steps, Linus joined PFLAGOS (Parents
and Friends of Lesbian and Gay Operating Systems). He's come around
180 degrees, supporting Linux every step of the way. As he said at a
recent All The Kernels of the Rainbow Rally, "I just want to say that
I... >sob<... I love my big gay operating system!"
Since then, Linux has been on a roll! True, some vendors have backed
down in their support of Linux out of fear of retaliative boycotts by
the Christian Right, but in general the community has rallied to
Linux's side. I think Linux put it best in its keynote speech at
Linux World Expo (excerpted by permission):
I am free to be me -- to love who I want, to express myself
how I want. This is my coming-out party. And today we send a
message to the world. We're saying that it doesn't matter if
an operating system is gay or straight, lesbian, bisexual, or
even transgendered. What matters is what's under the hood. We
have so much to be proud of today.
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