These two interpretations of the success, or lack thereof, of the gay community last year certainly illustrate the phrase “looking at things ‘half-empty’ versus ‘half-full’.
First, the optimist….. Deb Price at the Detroit News: 2005 Was a Year of Good Cheer for the Nation’s Gays
But we should honor 2005 as the year Maine voters overwhelmingly refused to repeal a law banning anti-gay discrimination and the year Illinois adopted such protections. Connecticut quietly followed Vermont’s 2000 lead, becoming the second state with civil unions. In Congress, legislation to allow gays to serve openly in the military was finally introduced and gained 109 co-sponsors.
In the past two centuries, our planet has warmed up to the rights of women, people of all races and religious minorities. Gay people have been part of that warming trend for decades, but 2005 marks the moment when it really heated up.
And now the gloom, doom and fundraising-esque picture reflected in most of the Gaystream Media….. courtesy of Chris Crain at the Washington Blade: A Year of Living Dangerously.
After almost a decade of editing gay newspapers, this was the year that our struggle against ignorance and intolerance for me became personal — really personal.
For most of my thirties, covering our fight for equality and fairness, from government and from society, was more a matter of principle. If you believe in American and Judeo-Christian values, and I do, then you believe that informing people about the injustices of the world is the first and most important step toward correcting them.
I have never approached this task with rose-colored glasses. I have lived almost all my life in the Deep South, and I know a thing or two about how misguided even good people can be about our lives and our “agenda.”
But each and every week, as we reported about hate crimes and unjust laws, I felt mostly empathy. Not anymore.
Now in defense of Chris’ piece, he did have a very horrible 2005 at a personal level — he and his partner were attacked in Amsterdam and Chris was hurt quite badly. So I can cut him some slack in his anger.
But the overall negative ‘victims-R-Us’ themes are reflected in other places (the Blade labeling the Pope as 2005’s Anti-Gay Poster Child…while ignoring hangings of gay kids in Iran — a country we are in a virtual “cold war” with), the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force having an Imam attack Christianity (under the cover of the “religious right”), and finally Chris himself has now firmly and finally planted his seed of anger in the “Forced Outing” coalition of the Rabid Gay Left. (I can’t give him slack here… he knows better).
My wish for 2006 is that those dwindling moderates who remain in positions of influence (hey, Patrick…. this means YOU!…I think.) in the gay community will start to speak more of the language of America and less of the language of victims.
There are too many examples in the year 2006 of successful gays across America (“out” or not) for our community to be continuing their self-loathing victimization much longer. Especially when all it serves is to advance the Liberal political agenda and so-called non-partisan “charitable” fundraising efforts. It is really getting old and pathetic.