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Why’d Ft. Worth’s Activists Have to Scream and Shout at City Council Meeting?

rainbowloungevigil

Last month’s raid on Rainbow Lounge in Ft. Worth, Texas, was nothing short of the police’s way of celebrating the 40th anniversary of Stonewall … by targeting a gay bar. It left one guy in the hospital, plenty of others harassed, and the police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission playing the blame game with each other. But ya know what’s not going to solve anything? Storming a City Council meeting and demanding to be heard — when they were going to listen anyway.

Seven protesters from the group Queer LiberAction were kicked out of last night’s Ft. Worth City Council meeting as they shouted “Hear us now! Hear us now!” in an apparent demand to have the bar raid issued moved up to the top of the meeting’s agenda. City marshals removed them. As Mayor Mike Moncrief tried to speak, the group’s founder Blake Wilkinson interrupted, “We’re sick and tired of being put on the last of the list.”

Speakers representing Fairness Fort Worth, which formed after the June 28 raid on the Rainbow Lounge, a gay nightclub, were scheduled to speak before the council later in the meeting.

“Nobody is trying to put anybody last on the list for any reason,” [Mayor Mike Moncrief] insisted. “We have every intention of being here as long as you are. We’re not going anywhere. Neither is this staff. We’re here to listen to everyone who is here to speak to us.”

When Wilkinson kept interrupting, Moncrief gave him a choice of either staying and participating in the meeting or being forced to leave. When he did not quiet down, Moncrief ordered city marshals to remove him. Two marshals then escorted him out by the arm.

A second man was also escorted out of the chambers after repeatedly interrupting the meeting.

Some in the audience applauded the men’s removal.

At that same meeting, Mayor Moncrief apologized for the raid — to which the crowd applauded.

We get it: Local activists are pissed over the raid and want their voices heard. But there’s something called “decorum,” and without it there is no order — and no point to even holding a council meeting to let the community be heard. (If, after demanding Barack Obama listen to your concerns, he invites you to the White House, do you run through the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue demanding to speak before your turn?) In this instance, the protesters’ interruption of the meeting did nothing to further the cause; actually, they just made the gays look like whining complainers, rather than community leaders concerned about discrimination.

Especially when the mayor is agreeing to go balls out on this issue, calling for for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to conduct its own investigation.

MORE:

Earlier Tuesday, in the pre-council meeting, Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead gave the council an update on his investigation of the incident, when officers with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Fort Worth police department conducted an inspection at the Rainbow Lounge and made six arrests, injuring one patron.

The episode has galvanized Fort Worth’s gay community and grabbed national headlines.

Some key points from Halstead’s presentation:

– Internal affairs investigators have conducted interviews with 33 attendees at the Rainbow Lounge and expect to complete the investigation in about 30 days.

– The Fort Worth police department considers the investigation a priority, taking some internal affairs investigators off other cases to focus on the Rainbow Lounge incident, he said.

– Halstead expects to update the police department’s policy regarding bar raids, after taking input from the community.

“I don’t want a police officer to say, ‘I’ve never been in that bar. Let’s do an investigation,’” Halstead said.

Soon after the bar incident, Halstead said he decided he needed a police officer to serve as a liaison to the city’s gay/lesbian/bisexual community, just as the department has people serving in a similar position for other minority communities. Officer Sara Straten, a neighborhood officer in north Fort Worth and 17-year veteran of the department, volunteered for the position.

“I plan to work hard to heal the community as a whole, both the police department and the GLBT community,” Straten told the council.

Moncrief and council members praised Halstead, but said they still wanted the U.S. attorney’s office to review the police investigation.

“While June 28 was a difficult day, I’m pleased to hear that we are moving forward and not backward,” Moncrief told Halstead. “This city is an inclusive city. This is not an exclusive city.”

(Thanks, Andrew!)

(Photo: Dallas Morning News)

By:           editor editor
On:           Jul 15, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

  • 29 Comments
    • dellisonly
      dellisonly

      First you need to stop with the Sotnewall BullSh*&! What happened in New York 40 years ago obviously has little impact outside New York. We here in Texas don’t expect you to recognize Texas Independence Day. The City Council Meeting was scheduled to be several hours long. While I understand that city business comes first, even you would get frustrated after a while. The activist groups that sat on their hands and were too paranoid to rock the boat are now shouting to be heard. I would call this a big step forward in progress. Stop criticizing what you are not here to witness first hand.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      Wow this is HILARIOUS!

      We get it: Local activists are pissed over the raid and want their voices heard. But there’s something called “decorum,” and without it there is no order — and no point to even holding a council meeting to let the community be heard.

      We get it, there is something called national order of priorities (health care, economy, and the war effort above gay rights). But there is something called decourm (which insulting the president probably isn’t the best example of) and without it there isn’t much of a point to the Congress and President trying to work with a group of people that want equal rights.


      (If, after demanding Barack Obama listen to your concerns, he invites you to the White House, do you run through the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue demanding to speak before your turn?)

      Apparently, only if you are QT.


      In this instance, the protesters’ interruption of the meeting did nothing to further the cause; actually, they just made the gays look like whining complainers, rather than community leaders concerned about discrimination.

      Oh, maybe you should take note of this when speaking of Obama.


      Especially when the mayor is agreeing to go balls out on this issue, calling for for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to conduct its own investigation.

      You mean kind of like how Obama is going balls out calling upon congress to put DADT repeal on his desk so he can sign it?

      In other news: POT MEET KETTLE! QT only accepts lip service from white mayors not black presidents.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 10:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • prissysissy
      prissysissy

      @Galefan2004: I second your comments. Queerty must have missed the irony in their post.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Landon Bryce
      Landon Bryce

      The commenters thus far sadden me almost as much as the bad behavior Queerty is describing. The people who were ejected from the meeting because they refused to wait their turn make all gay activists look like babyish whiners making mountains out of molehills. Being asked to wait until the public comment portion of the meeting is not the same as being silenced.

      And Galefan2004 takes me back to the ugly days before the election, when ANY criticism of Obama was jumped on by as racism. Here, saying that people who want to participate in the political process should give it a chance to work before disrupting it– that’s proof as racist sentiment against Obama. You should apologize to everyone who has actually experienced bigotry of any strip for that lulu.

      This is a blog. If you do not understand the difference between a blog and a public meeting, your opinion on the matter is too stupid to be worthy attention.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 11:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David McFatridge
      David McFatridge

      Let me set one fact straight:
      In the Dallas Morning News:
      “Kathy Colvin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Dallas, said Friday that Jacks and Moncrief have discussed the issue. She said that the department would review any documents and reports that Fort Worth provides it.”

      If Ft Worth is supplying the documents, this is not acceptable, we require an INDEPENDENT investigation.
      The rest of the story:http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-rainbow_04met.ART.State.Edition1.4bee913.html

      ABOUT PROTESTING,you should read this artical before criticizing
      http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/211482/protesting_is_the_most_patriotic_act.html

      Jul 15, 2009 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Now they just raided another bar and this time apparently the police wore masks so they couldn’t be identified by cell phone cameras. Apparently they learned how to hide their faces when committing assault.

      http://unitethefight.blogspot.com/2009/07/second-lgbt-bar-raid-in-texas-by.html

      Jul 15, 2009 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • orpheus_lost
      orpheus_lost

      We’re racists!

      We’re noisy!

      Our “concerns” aren’t that important!

      Don’t we understand that Obama is too busy with “real” issues?

      How many fucking excuses can morons like galefan2004 and his mouthbreather breathren come up with? Is the Obama administration pushing this propaganda through blast faxes or mass emails?

      Anyway, what these guys in Ft. Worth did wasn’t helpful – not because they demanded to be heard but because they were being heard and didn’t accept that fact. What’s even less helpful is having really, really stupid people act like there’s no difference between disrupting a public meeting where your issues are being addressed and posting a blog entry that criticizes someone who isn’t addressing out issues. We can try to explain it to them all day long but there’s no point. Either they actually are too stupid to understand or they’re just here at the bequest of the Obama camp trying to push disinformation.

      My guess is that they’re a combination of the two.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 11:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      How embarrassing for gays in Dallas-Fort Worth. Queer Liberaction is just engaged in self-promotion. No, Blake the Advocate isn’t going to put you on their cover – this is 2009, not 1969.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 11:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Travis
      Travis

      1) @Cam – Eagle wasn’t a raid. Think before typing, please.
      http://www.dallasvoice.com/instant-tea/2009/07/13/eagle-owners-take-blame-for-shutdown-accuse-unnamed-competitor-of-tipping-authorities/

      2) @ anyone who thinks this was an effective bit of political action, and not just juvenile, ego-driven theatrics… The goal here was, I suppose, to keep the story in the news? To keep attention on the struggle? Well here’s what the (mostly straight) commenters at the Ft Worth Star Telegram have to say:

      “On the contrary, the uncivilized activists’ tantrums ARE the very face of the homosexual ‘community,’ like it or not. Thank goodness this was revealed to everyone seated there and to many thousands more via news outlets.”
      “Personally, I’m sure this was the same behavior police confronted at the homosexual bar. It warrants arrest, not just removal from the council chambers.”
      “Mr. Wilkinson made an donkey’s behind
      of himself -and does more harm than good with his very immature antics.
      As a member of the GLBT community, I was embarrassed for him.”
      “Isn’t this the same behavior that the police said they were confronted with at the lounge? Not saying that all the patrons acted this way, just maybe the few that were arrested.”
      “All this type of antic does is cast doubt on the truth”
      “tell Dallas to stay in Dallas and these things won’t happen.”
      “It appears that the behavior experienced at the club has shown itself to all now.”
      “When the PC “liaison” card is played, you know that we’re being dragged irreversibly to the left. It is disguised capitulation to social anarchists. Shall we also have “liaisons” to gangs, to organized crime, to pedophile groups?”
      “This is getting ridiculous, you want your own country go pollute San Fran. ”

      This is clearly not the way to achieve equality. Thanks a bunch, Queer Liberaction. Those of us concerned with the struggle for rights, and not just getting our pictures in the newspaper, really appreciate it.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin Allen
      Justin Allen

      Queerty is a bit unnerving lately. How they can call for decorum after a bar has been RAIDED is beyond fathoming… We are being tackled and held down and yet we are expected to not fight back. Queerty, do us all a favor and stop judging the people trying to make change and instead do something to help.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Landon Bryce
      Landon Bryce

      @Justin Allen:

      Please do us all a favor. Follow the rules that are fair. “Wait your turn” is not the same as “Go to the back of the bus.” “Wait until it’s time for public comments to speak” is not the same as “No one cares what you have to say.”

      Consider this, Justin: it was the dignity and courage displayed by the protesters during the 1960s that made the barbarism of turning hoses on them visible to a bigoted populace. African Americans moved toward legal equality by showing that they were ideal citizens, people America was proud of. We will make more progress when we do the same.

      This looks like a tantrum. This is the sort of behavior the Americans who found Perez Hilton’s recent antics typically gay use to justify their bigotry. It is, frankly, the Bruno approach to gay activism: draw attention to your self and make everyone look stupid.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Landon Bryce:

      1) I’m about as racist (if you consider thinking your race is better than all other races) and as nationalist (I put my nation above all other nations), if not more so, than anyone that post here, and I’m upfront and honest about it, but even I see when racism is being applied stupidly.

      2) I didn’t support Obama during the campaign, and I was able to see past the, “you must be a racist if…” rhetoric. If you couldn’t handle being called a racist then that is your problem.

      3) The comments I made were based off of the truth. QT has given this mayor a pass as he kicks the ball down the road and the person down the road undoubtedly kicks the ball even farther down the road; however, they rip Obama apart for kicking the DADT ball to congress.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Cam: THEIR JOB IS TO RAID BARS! Way to try to make something out of nothing. NOT EVERYTHING IS A THREAT TO THE GAY “AGENDA”. Even the owners of The Eagle bar say that the agents worked diligently with them to allow them to update their paperwork and that the bar itself was in the wrong. They even stated that a fellow gay bar was working with the agents in order to get their bar raided.

      Straight bars get raided ALL THE TIME and you don’t see straights bitching about their bars getting raided because they realize that when bars don’t act in accordance with the law they are going to get raided. Do some actual research instead of screaming foul because some blog tells you to.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @orpheus_lost: Anyway, what these guys in Ft. Worth did wasn’t helpful – not because they demanded to be heard but because they were being heard and didn’t accept that fact.

      The irony of this statement coming from you is beyond hilarious. You want to know what the difference between a Bush and an Obama is. Obama HEARS us. You want to call these people out for not accepting the fact that they were being heard then call yourself out on the same fact. When Obama invites Fred Phelps and the members of his church to the White House for a strategy meeting instead of the LGBT community then I will gladly get behind your “lets slam Obama” propaganda.


      What’s even less helpful is having really, really stupid people act like there’s no difference between disrupting a public meeting where your issues are being addressed and posting a blog entry that criticizes someone who isn’t addressing out issues.

      Which isn’t nearly as bad as someone that simply can’t understand that our issues are being addressed by Obama, just not on the time table that you want to try to force.


      We can try to explain it to them all day long but there’s no point. Either they actually are too stupid to understand or they’re just here at the bequest of the Obama camp trying to push disinformation.

      My god dude, you have no fucking clue how much I really do hate Obama do you? I hate the man. I personally do. It has nothing to do with gay rights issues or the color of his skin. It has to do with the fact that Obama the man and Obama the candidate are not the same person.

      So far, Obama reminds me more of Bush than Obama the candidate. I don’t even plan on voting for Obama in 2012. However, I am smart enough to see that there is a HUGE difference between hosting Fred Phelps and hosting GLBT organizations. If you don’t see that then you are an idiot.

      The very fact that you think that I would be here to support Obama at the request of anyone associated with him is laughable. I was asked by his campaign to work with them when he was a candidate and couldn’t even bring myself to do it then. I backed McCain all the way through the election. I even attended a McCain rally. However, in the end John McCain was just to old and to senile to be president, so I ended up voting for Obama.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Justin Allen: You couldn’t be more wrong. The problem here is not that you weren’t being heard but that you took your opportunity to be heard and acted like (sorry to all you bottoms out there) bottom bitches that whined about having to wait through an actual meeting to be heard. The result is that the people that were willing to hear you suddenly don’t give a flying fuck what you had to say. That is not activism, that is stupidity at its finest.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      If the city was smart, someone on the council would have made a motion to change the order of the agenda to accomodate the activists. The city and police were completely wrong and to expect people who are royally ticked off to sit through hours of things like “motion to buy two boxes of paper clips etc.” is stupid. Get the burning issue off the table and then move on to the mundane stuff.

      Not excusing the activists for interrupting but this didn’t show any common sense by the politicians….

      Jul 15, 2009 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • orpheus_lost
      orpheus_lost

      @galefan2004: Can you contradict yourself any more and still keep a straight face (if you are now). So you hate Obama and won’t vote for him but we’re all racists for saying the same thing. Yet we’re the stupid ones. Um….riiiight!

      Jul 15, 2009 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      Except the 1960s-Protester-Wannabees, last night was very helpful and enlightening. It shows progress.

      Thank you City of Fort Worth.

      Jul 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Williams
      Jason Williams

      First off, I am a leader of Queer LiberAction, and I was escorted for chanting “Hear us now” several times.

      To start, I want to post the mission statement of QL so you can understand our place in the community: In order to liberate ourselves from this oppression, we must directly, visibly, and publicly confront it along with organizations, institutions, groups or individuals who support or promote discrimination toward the Queer community. We are a DIRECT ACTION group dedicated to building the Queer civil rights movement in order to secure our equality and end our oppression. We do not ask for equality. We demand it. We are Queer LiberAction.

      (1) This was the largest gathering ever for a city council meeting — three rooms filled with LGBT and allies to support hearing this issue (clearly, several people there for answers).

      (2) This is the second time we were put on the back burner. EVERY major television network and local print publication was there for the coverage of this issue. The Ft. Worth community and the world should not have to wait for answers any longer. It has been two and a half weeks and nothing has changed.

      (3) The media keeps printing this story as if we are some anarchist group. The Ft. Worth Freedom group had THANKED us moments before the meeting for keeping this issue hott in the press. We have been the ONLY group bringing attention and heat to the city officials and spreading the word through the media. Standing up for our rights means not waiting until 1:00am (our estimated time to be heard at the city council meeting). There were 77 issues before ours and that is unacceptable when something has made such an impact on the community (clearly due to the turnout at the event).

      (4) Lastly, the second “man” escorted was not a man and I am offended that our community is so insensitive to the transgender community. Nicki Kerksieck is her name, and she is also a member of Queer LiberAction.

      Jul 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Landon Bryce
      Landon Bryce

      @Jason Williams:

      Dear Jason Williams,

      Shame on you for making all of us who are fighting for our rights look like Bruno. If you cared about the issue you are fighting for, you would care about the comments from straight people who were turned against your case by your childish behavior. If you don’t care enough about the fight to think it’s worth waiting until the end of the meeting, you don’t care enough to be an effective advocate.

      Jul 16, 2009 at 10:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DJ Anderson
      DJ Anderson

      @Travis: Travis, do you think that if those people didn’t have a forum to publish their ignorance that they would hold those views any less? I don’t believe so. You can’t blame members of Queer Liberaction for the ignorance of the public.

      In all this controversy about those actions, it seems we have lost sight of the real issue – that patrons at the Rainbow Lounge have alleged excessive force on the part of FWPD and TABC which left a man hospitalized, another hurt and many humiliated. Many people are understandably upset and angry about the raid, some angry to the point where they would, yes, disrupt a city council meeting. That anger is theirs, their acts are theirs, and though you have the right to disagree with them, you do not have the right to invalidate them. Allow them to own their feelings and acts – it is no one’s business but theirs.

      Travis, it’s easy to criticize – it’s more difficult to see the other side of the story and give credit for what good is there. You make it sound like you’re particularly involved in the fight for equality. I would love to know what ideas you have to achieve it and how you’re actively involved toward that end – I would love to help, and hey, maybe even some of Queer Liberaction would come out to join you. I’d also like to know if you were even at the Fort Worth City Council meeting to lend your support. After all, you clearly can’t trust others to do exactly what you think they should in every situation – best to do it yourself.

      Jul 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      @Jason. First, thank-you for you energy and passion – too many people are not angry enough or involved enough in the fight for equality.

      The behavior at the City Council meeting and your other “protests” were NOT necessary. A day after the incident many people called for formal investigations and several began almost immediately.

      This whole idea that your group has to run around and “make demands” is misplaced. Had they City of Fort Worth decided NOT to investigate (and apologize, which they did) perhaps some kind of protest would have been in order. But, that isn’t what happened. In fact, it appears the opposite happened – there was a swift and probably very “sincere” effort by EVERYONE involved to understand what happened and what needs to be done.

      No, you are your group can’t run around fighting oppression and injustice when people and government agencies are being responsive. We see this and wonder why you are to create a “reason” to demonstrate, when there isn’t one – yet.

      Maybe your little group can come up with some activity that benefits the community while waiting, like the rest of us, for something that actually calls for “direct action” and angry marching. This was NOT that time.

      We do not need a little “army” of gay protesters waiting for something to happen = we’re ALL in that army IF something does happen.

      Jul 16, 2009 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Travis
      Travis

      @DJ Anderson:
      Don’t worry, dear, I’m blaming Queer Liberaction for dumb hicks who hate gays. I’m blaming QL for doing absolutely nothing to address the actual problem – that people feel that way about us to begin with. And in this particular instance, I’m blaming them for behaving so terribly that dumb hicks are able to justify and convince more dumb hicks that the gay rights struggle is a crock of shit – no more important than getting out of a meeting early. (or getting a free pass on a liquor license violation, as per the eagle.)

      How dare you say that their actions have no effect on me? When they are selling themselves as the only real representatives of gay men and women in DFW (see Jason, above), then yes, I have plenty of reason to invalidate them. They are making me look like a fool. They rob the movement for equality of its dignity. We should all be saying that these petulant screamers don’t represent us.

      When QL slaps the hand that’s reaching out to us, it makes it harder to find allies. When they get splashed across the news for making a scene over a non-issue, it makes it harder to get a real issue taken seriously.

      And you know what the real issue is? That people think homosexuality is inferior, deviant, and wrong. And until that changes, any equal rights victories we achieve will be hollow. Because we may enforce tolerance, but we’ll only breed resentment. Angry, in-your-face demands, particularly over fabricated injustices like scheduling, reinforce the bigotry we should be working to end. QL is an unnecessary and inhibiting distraction from that actually important mission.

      Jul 17, 2009 at 12:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dougjosh
      dougjosh

      @Travis: Please never call me or anyone else you don’t know ‘dear’ … it’s demeaning. I appreciate your respect.

      You continue to offer no solutions to change the mind of bigoted people. It’s fine if you don’t know how – I certainly don’t. I don’t believe it is correct to assume that this mention of the gay community more than any other would encourage bigots to spread their ignorant views.

      I also disagree that they’re claiming to be the only real representatives of gay DFW. The claim was that they are the only group keeping attention on the story and heat on city officials. I don’t believe this is any more true. But if you get their updates, you would notice that they came to support the initial protest the next day, organized an event for the following week, a candlelight vigil and the latest rally this past Sunday. Each one that I’ve been to has drawn at least a couple hundred participants. That’s a lot for a two week period, and I appreciate their work.

      I would agree with those who believe that homosexuality is deviant. We shouldn’t be working to change this view, rather we should accept it. We shouldn’t reinforce heteronormative values by attempting to fit into a version of gayness which isn’t defined by those who constitute it. You want equality and freedom – the irony is that we will NEVER have it until we are allowed to define ourselves.

      Jul 17, 2009 at 12:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TexasLiberal
      TexasLiberal

      I was at this meeting at QueerLiberActions antics were a disgrace
      to the entire North Texas GLBT Community. This spoiled brat,
      Blake Wilkinson, is a media-whore who will set his hair on fire if he thought the news cameras were paying attention.
      Meanwhile, responsible “adult” organizations like several officers of Stonewall Democrats and Dallas Gay & Lesbian Alliance etc. sat politely and patiently in support of Fairness Fort Worth who has taken the lead on this incident, along with
      Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats.

      QueerLiberAction can scream and yell and interrupt people-
      but unfortunately it seems that that’s ALL they can do –
      and that doesn’t advance the GLBT cause. I’m sorry.
      If anything, it sets us BACK !

      Mr. Wilkinson needs to crawl back to the hole he crawled out of.
      He’s an embarrassment.

      Jul 17, 2009 at 4:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Dougjosh- we shouldn’t be working to change the view that homosexuality is deviant? Then you say “We shouldn’t reinforce heteronormative values by attempting to fit into a version of gayness which isn’t defined by those who constitute it”

      Those are mutually exclusive things.

      Homosexuality is a normal part of human culture, has been in many, many societies over many centuries if at the very least it is only a puberty intitiation rite, but still it is there AND it was or is normal. A berdache (a “Gay” Native American) visited the White House in the early 1900′s – I have a book with his photo in it (Mi Wha I think was his name)( which totally contradicts the notion that marriage has ALWAYS been between a man and a woman.)

      Also perhaps the word “deviant” needs to be explained. Very often it is NOT a bad thing – people who live minimalist existences for either the environment or to help the poor are very deviant.

      As to your third statement in your last paragraph – please explain how some (my words) are attempting to fit into a version of gayness by those who don’t constitute it and how this reinforces heteronormative values. Big words but what the hell do you mean?

      Jul 17, 2009 at 8:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @orpheus_lost: I never said that anyone was racist. I said that the racist card was used A LOT during the election cycle. If you weren’t willing to stand up and say, “I might be a racist, but so fucking what, I still don’t like Obama,” then all you actually did was back down and support Obama because god forbid you be a racist. I don’t like Obama, but I don’t have a problem being labeled a racist either.

      Jul 17, 2009 at 8:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DJ Anderson
      DJ Anderson

      @Jaroslaw: I agree that deviant is not bad.

      Deviant simply goes against what’s accepted as the norm. Many Native American cultures had what they saw as a third gender – so they would disagree that they practiced what we today call same-sex marriage.

      Many in the community try to appease heterosexuals thinking that they might feel more comfortable with gay rights if we appear more like them. This is evidenced by the privileging of masculinity and derision of femininity in gay men. Some wear the badge of ‘straight acting’ while others are said to be ‘flamers.’ You can see this perpetuation of gender stereotypes in the attempt to end homophobia is actually encouraging sexist attitudes.

      Those who are loud, proud and unapologetic are ridiculed as harming the cause of the community. Many still feel that drag queens and trans-people are holding us back. I wonder what kind of freedom it is that these people are seeking if, when we get our rights, they’re tied to expectations of behavior.

      The truth of the matter is that homophobia is not ended by us pretending not to be homos. It is ended by being ourselves, acting in a manner we are free to decide for ourselves and being visible. Change in attitudes takes time. The polls show how generational homophobic attitudes are. We can’t head back into the closet for the sake of bigots.

      Jul 17, 2009 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @DJ Anderson: While I agree with you on everything you say. I don’t think its the same thing when someone can’t sit through a meeting and wait their turn patiently when they are being heard.

      I have my own feelings on the topic, but what I can say is that no culture has done more for NE Ohio than the drag culture. The majority of drag queens in my area are very much responsible for welcoming new gay men and lesbian women into the fold at the bars. Many of the drag queens have a great deal of respect from straight chicks and even *gasps* straight men that come to the bar scene just to see them. If you are fierce and fabulous then you attract attention from everyone. I still remember my history teacher back in high school who looked at a picture of RuPaul in the middle of class and said, I don’t give a damn that she is a dude she is hot I’d still do her. Of course, he was fired at the end of the year, but still.

      Jul 17, 2009 at 10:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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