Doesn’t it feel sometimes like the more progress we make and the more dialogue starts opening up, the more the whack jobs and haters come out (so to speak) of the woodwork?
After WWII, America was a hot pot of artistic activity that drew a lot of attention because of its homosexual influences. From Samuel Barber at the Met, to Gore Vidal’s The Best Man on Broadway, homosexuals were everywhere. We’re not even going to touch Hollywood back then. But without the political organizing of average citizens, social progression wouldn’t have been as successful. By now we’re all pretty familiar with the wild styles and radical politics of Harry Hay and his seminal group, the Mattachine Society. But check out a few other great and eccentric personalities that advanced civil rights for LGBTQ people in this country. Life wasn’t always one big happy musical.
You simply can’t “turn” a gay person straight or “pray away the gay,” no matter what Michele Bachmann’s husband thinks. Now that we’ve established that as a fact, let’s talk about how The New York Times reported that Dr. Robert Spitzer essentially wrote an open letter to the gay community, published in a psychology journal this week, saying—of all things—my bad. Spitzer never became a household name, but he was responsible for removing homosexuality from the canon of mental illness, right next to alcoholism and catatonia, which was a huge step forward for gay rights in 1973. But, he also argued that therapy could cure unwanted gayness…which was a huge step off a short pier.
This video of a North Carolinian pastor spewing homophobic hate has been making the rounds. Made “pukin’ sick” by the thought of men kissing men, Pastor Charles Worley comes up with a big idea to get rid of homosexuality once and for all — a “final solution,” if you will:
Build a great big large fence, 150 or 100 miles long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. Have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed ‘em, and– And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.
The timely cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker celebrates President Obama’s decision to make a very public stand in favor of gay marriage which he believed was important for him to “go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” I think its long been clear which side SUNfiltered falls on this debate, which in my mind shouldn’t even be a debate in the same way interracial marriage is no longer an issue. Bob Staake, the artist who created this cover
That the POTUS took a position on gay marriage, which led Andrew Sullivan to writethe thirtieth state to ban gay marriage.
No two incidents better reflect our country’s schizophrenic political and cultural zeitgeist as it pertains to gay rights than this above photo taken by Charles Dharapak on one end of the spectrum and on the polar opposite end, the crowd’s reaction at a Santorum rally of seeing two men kiss. As the two kissers, Timothy Tross and Ben Clifford, were escorted out, the crowd lustily chanted “USA! USA!” (you know, because nothing screams American values quite like oppressing personal choices and because PDA is totally “ew” and unpatriotic) as if it were the 1981 Olympics “Miracle on Ice” hockey match.
A lot of people think the end of the world is something that will happen abruptly when no one’s expecting it, like a great flood (Katrina), or massive earthquake (there’s a big one yearly—Haiti, Virginia all the way up the east coast—but who’s counting) or even an alien race intent on genocide before plunging the planet’s natural resources. But good social conservatives, and the occasional homophobe, have been seeing the warning signs for decades. Slowly but surely equal rights have been granted to homosexuals in America. Can you believe it? They want to be like everyone else. Here are a few highlights from the past that make this eschatological theory plausible.
With Santorum’s recent surge in the polls, it’s important to take time out to remind ourselves what a crazy sex-police zealot he is:
Writing about Santorum’s “Google problem,” a New York Times writer says Dan Savage’s prank was in response merely to the senator’s opposition to gay marriage, so Dan Savage sets him straight (try Santorum’s comparison of homosexuality to bestiality and child rape); the writer corrects his mistake.
On Funny or Die, Dan Savage comedically threatens to change the definition of the name “Rick” if Santorum doesn’t agree to stop attacking gay people during his campaign.
Our photographer friend David Jacobs (he took our deceptively flattering bio pic) was hired by Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, to document New York’s first day of legal gay marriage this past Monday at Manhattan’s City Hall. HRC will soon have more on their site, but for now here’s a round-up of the day’s events by their National Field Director, Marty Rouse. And below is our friend Dave’s take on events (he’s not gay, but he’s married and does rock the occasional pink shirt with flare), followed by more of his cool photos of the happy couples.
Mart Crowley’s landmark play The Boys in the Band was first produced in 1968, a year before the Stonewall rebellion changed the face of modern gay movement with defiance and pride.
In its bitchy and witty portrayal of a group of friends sharing dangerous New York party games that often verge on the sadistic and self-loathing, it represents a darker moment in gay identity—one the LGBT community has long wanted to turn its back on in shame.
But enough time has passed that people are more willing to embrace the play (and the 1970 film version, directed by Wiliam Friedkin) as an important step forward in gay representation and catharsis.
In fact, Boys has engendered so much new lovin’ that it’s the subject of a documentary, Crayton Robey‘s Making The Boys, coming out this month in an attempt to put the work in its proper historical place.
As one of the talking heads in the film—along with Crowley, Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, and many more—I’m qualified to make several defenses of the original play.
Jeff Sheng’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is ongoing photo project which is a “series of portraits of closeted men and women currently serving in the United States military. [The artist] purposely shot each image in a way that obscures to some degree the identity of the individuals, and the final image that is released to…
It is hard being a homo these days. Every time I turn on the TV I see more crimes against us and more laws passed limiting gay marriage and then, on top of all that, we have to put up with hateful protesters. One of my gay brothers, Chris Pesto, a student at Syracuse, had…
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c The Gay After Tomorrow www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Ron Paul Interview We sure do wish Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” would address reproductive rights more…ever. Oh, well, nobody’s perfect. At least there’s one sexual issue they tackle well…and often:…
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown last week issued a postmortem formal apology to Alan Turing for its “appalling” and “utterly unfair” treatment of Turing because he was gay. Turing was a brilliant English “mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst” whose work led to the breaking of World War II Germany’s Enigma codes as well as developing theories which…
Rainbow colors were displayed everywhere in New York City (even Mother Nature got in on the celebration) this weekend, which culminated in the annual gay pride march down Fifth Avenue. Worldstudio presents some alternatives for a redesign of “the ubiquitous symbol of gay pride: the rainbow flag.” I think they’re a bit “meh,” but I…
On this day in 1967, the Supreme Court unanimously decided in Loving v. Virginia that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law was unconstitutional and violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.