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« Reflections on the Los Angeles pet sterilization law | Main | HSUS and USDA: Which one works for you? »

28 February 2008

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nancy

kudos!

Border Wars - Christopher

I don't think I understand the need for public people to be mascots and flag wavers for some "group" they belong to. Even better, some number of people who share a trait.

I doubt anyone has to sign up for a membership card in the "Gay community" (you make it sound so cohesive and lockstep), even if they live the lifestyle. Are all homosexuals appreciative of the "community" or the "movement?"

I doubt it.

There's a very selfish tone to your logic, a sense of entitlement. "what's in it for us?" Must everyone appened their sexual choices as a prefix to their profession? Need one be a "gay actor" or can they chose to avoid being pidgeonholed and double labeled.

Part of public acceptance is not constantly beating them over the head with information that is irrelevant and only serves to make such distinctions more obvious, imply relevance, and emphasize abnormality.

I personally find celebrity's choice in pets much more interesting than their sexuality, but you're not going to find me demanding that Viggo out himself at every turn as a Border Collie owner to promote greater acceptance of the Border Collie lifestlye on behalf on the Border Collie community.

Actors are by their nature creatures of artifice. The less committed and pidgeon holed they appear to be in their private life, the more readily they will be accepted in a range of roles in their professional life. Foster pulls of numerous straight characters and takes scripts where sexuality is an integral part of the script. Actors like Nathan Lane do not.

Perhaps people like Foster are not being selfish, but rather they don't identify with the politics of the "gay community" despite their personal and emotional choices.

Lisa

Any thoughts re: Susan Sontag on this subject? I find her attitude towards her own sexual orientation--as exhibited in "AIDS and Its Metaphors," for example--passing strange. She also declined to mention her experience with breast cancer in "Illness as Metaphor." Some would call this reticence; I call it denial.

Christie

First of all, Christopher, if you want to get your fucking ass kicked from here to hell and back, just ONE. MORE. TIME. compare my civil rights and my sexual orientation to WHAT FUCKING DOG BREED SOMEONE HAS and call it a LIFESTYLE.

I don't have a "lifestyle," or rather, I do, and it does indeed have plenty to do with my dogs, but NOTHING AT ALL to do with my sexual orientation.

And this is why your whole idea is a pile of steaming horse shit, because the fact that a bunch of people with visibility are cringing in the closet and brushing off a simple question about who they're married to with white lipped protestations of privacy means people like you can make your assumptions and draw your insulting conclusions without being challenged with yet one more little bit of reality.

This isn't about THEM, Christopher. It's not about poor widdle Jodie Foster's life or feelings. It's about the POLITICAL IMPACT on an entire group of human beings of the actions of an individual.

Celebrities, like anyone else, have have a perfect right to live however they wish, and say or do whatever they want, including saying nothing. I didn't question that in my article and I don't question it now.

And I have a perfect right to say, hey, Anderson? When you do that, it has an effect on me, whether you want it to or not. And this is what it is.

So get over the whiney little OMG WHY DO THESE PEOPLE HAVE TO BE SO UPPITY? I promise I'll be less uppity when I'm equal to you under the law. Until then, not so much.

Red

Uh oh, Christopher, you got the caplocks of death!

As a straight person, I would never want to presume that I know what someone else is thinking or feeling, and can only express my own thoughts. The idea of going up to someone and asking them, "are you gay?" is tantamount to asking an overweight woman if she was pregnant. In other words, it's rude.

I would imagine that in some cases, a celebrity keeps their sexuality hidden for a myriad of reasons, the most common being a fear of not getting plum roles or assignments. This is a problem in and of itself, because it suggests that there's no way a gay actor can play a straight character. If more celebrities were open and forthright, it would begin to break down that stereotype and force people to understand that who you love or have sex with is irrelevant. The number of people who don't understand this is truly sad.

Of course, that would mean that straight people would have to change what could be called an instinctual and learned response. Example: assuming that all women have husbands or boyfriends, or that all men have wives or girlfriends. The idea of me asking someone if they were/are married during a 'getting to know you' conversation is not out of line, IMO. Assuming that the significant other is of the opposite sex, is.

I see life as a learning experience. The more I learn, the better off I am. My queer education may be a bit late coming, but better late than never. And in learning, I can better help present the case for total equality, which is, after all, the main goal, yes?

Border Wars - Christopher

The ends don't justify the means, Christie, no matter how much you care about the ends. Your threats of violence and foul language are unfitting a discussion between peers, so forgive me if I don't stoop and powder my statements with them.

If you plant mines everywhere around you, Christie, you shouldn't be too surprised if someone steps on one when they try to get close enough to talk without shouting.

You know what the problem with mines are? They kill many many more innocent and well meaning civilians than they kill enemy combatants intent on causing you harm.

It seems that I have stepped on the PC language land mine that you have set out to blow up people who engage you on anything but your own terms or more accurately, with your own terms.

(1) I give up on and frankly don't care what the PC language of the moment is for discussing homosexuality in all its forms. From my perspective, the "community" can't seem to decide what words are appropriate from day to day, so forgive me if "lifestyle" is somehow offensive or doesn't make the right political point you want to make with it.

I'm NOT making a political or any other point with my choice of words in that regard. If I want to say something negative, I'll make it crystal clear. I'm not dropping shady ambiguous insults with clever choice of loaded words. If "lifestyle" is a loaded word in "gay speak" then realize that I'm not fluent.

I have no idea where the wind is currently blowing on the choice versus biology versus whatever debate. It seems to me that the entire war on this issue is about which definition is politically advantageous, versus what is the truth.

(2) I don't care what the truth is in this regard. I see it as irrelevant, especially as far as rights are concerned. Anti-Gay marriage folks say that it's a choice and that all sorts of other evils are also choices, therefore we need laws against it, instead of for it. Pro-Gay marriage folks say it's biological and thus beyond rational choice therefore it's natural.

I see it as a libertarian issue. It doesn't matter if it's biology or pathology or a fetish or a wholesome natural beneficial wonderful thing. "Freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to."

(3) I will not concede that there is a monolithic "gay community" and that any one member can or will represent or agree with or want to officially represent that community.

If anyone needs a dose of facts, Christie, it's you who needs to appreciate that maybe there are gay people out there who don't march with the movement, who don't appreciate the antics, and the tactics, and who don't find common cause with every other letter in the endless and ever expanding acronym.

Perhaps there are gays whose play book for equal rights isn't the same as yours or "the movement's."

And perhaps there are gay people who don't appreciate gay-on-gay outings of highly visible people for the supposed benefit of the movement or the cause.

In college (not too far from S.F., the mecca of gay issues and PCness) during my mandatory health class I was informed that Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender wasn't even sufficient and that "Men who have sex with Men," and other wordy phrases needed to be included in various discussions because self identification as "gay" and "LGBT___" wasn't cutting it.

The more letters you add, the greater diversity you're going to have to accept. And maybe the minority in the minority (the Gay Republican, perhaps) doesn't feel the need to march in tune with the band.

I understand the political desire to join forces with every other minority group who has something unique about their gender, their view of their gender, their choice or experience of their gender, their desire to be with or sleep with or emulate or transform into a certain gender. It's the strength in numbers tactic.

So is co-opting the fame of visible people. Sure, it's a great tactic. The greater good for the greater many, who cares if the outed person suffers, the movement is better off. But be careful who you call selfish.

Let me flip your argument about "poor widdle Jodie Foster" on its head.

You said: "This isn't about THEM...It's about the POLITICAL IMPACT on an entire group of human beings of the actions of an individual."

How about the political impact that the more "uppity" members of the movement have on the individuals who are gay but who do not support their antics? How about the effects on them, whether they are wanted or not?

I don't think the rights of the gay community are being helped by, say, what happens every Halloween in the Castro (any more than the public opinion of college kids is helped by Spring Break and the "Gone Wild" DVDs.

But don't the actions of the few have political impacts on the many? Or more specifically the few, visible, members. Don't they pay the price for every indiscretion that happens somewhere in "the community" simply because their outing has pegged the name of that community to their names and occupations. Anderson Cooper, noted homosexual. Anderson Cooper, gay journalist. Jodie Foster, gay actress. Jodie Foster, A-list life-partnered lesbian artificially inseminated mother.

Your doggy lifestyle and your sexual orientation obviously play a big part in where you earn your living, writing for PetConnection and AfterEllen and all. But you should appreciate that people like Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster are trying to appeal to a larger, more diverse audience. He reports for CNN, not LOGO.

(4) Maybe, just maybe, the quiet and reserved homosexuality of people like Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper is doing more for the greater acceptance of gays than all the pride parades put together.

Christie

Maybe, just maybe, the quiet and reserved homosexuality of people like Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper is doing more for the greater acceptance of gays than all the pride parades put together.

Except we know that's not true. Did you even read my article?

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