gay inc.

Gay Activists to Dan Choi: Know Your Place, Boy


SOUNDBITES — “I’ve gotten [shit] from other activists. I know a lot about initiations and traditions that people have to sort of pay your dues — in the military, there are procedures and protocols. You gain rank. Here, you don’t have that as much, but there are different traditional ways, that we have paid dues within the community, at least from what I’m understanding, and so a lot of people have pointed out that. I wouldn’t go to the point of saying that I don’t deserve to be in this role, but they say, ”You sort of came out of nowhere.’” —Dan Choi, who went from unknown to nouveau gay rights activist, on the reaction from Gay Inc.’s establishment

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #activism #danchoi #gayinc. stories and more


  • Justwow

    I’m speechless.

  • Crunch the Numbers

    In other words,,,you’re taking the thunder from the white gays and they don’t like it…

    GO DAN!!!!

  • egoiste

    Wow. You have organizations like GLAAD making stars their spokesmodel of the year after years of denying their sexual affinity and then who suddenly get outed, and there’s no drama (Ellen, TR Knight, am I wrong here?).

    Heroes are not made.

  • Lady Ga-Gasp

    I have been in Dan’s company many times and have never seen anything but enthusiastic — even ecstatic — support for him. I think he’s commenting in the abstract here, and for people to try to turn this into another platform for racist comments (crunch this, numbers) is silly.

  • Tommy

    Gay, Inc. needs to die.

    We’ll replace it with a new Gay, Inc., of course, but at least it’ll have that “new gay” smell for a bit.

    Then the honeymoon will end and we’ll repeat the cycle.

  • Jayson

    We need more like Dan.. Those who have actually been fired for nothing more then being gay, to step up and say it’s wrong. Dan is an amazing man, who deserves his place in this fight.

  • Fitz

    There are so many people with agendas out there who probably want to latch onto this articulate, honorable, and attractive man.

  • The Gay Numbers

    I think he’s an excellent advocate. He tends to focus on questions as far as I have seen that no one else is thinking of. The problem with some like say a Dan Savage, who is okay, is that they tend to have all these talking points that I have heard forever, and so have the opponents. What Dan, the Soldier, does is add new untested arguments again at least from what I have seen. How can you argue with a guy who can say “I’ve been there so nice try.”

  • Swimmer - Chicago

    White gays are so yesterday! I am sick of ’em and I am one of them…

  • michael

    If you want to see something beautiful and powerful come from the lips of a WWII veteran then watch Phillip Spooner’s speech to the Maine legislature. But get out your tissue cause your gonna be choked up after you see it. But I promise you it will be the best few minutes you will spend today, maybe this week. An example of another wonderful human being and activist right up there with Dan.

  • DelphKC

    Some people are such effing idiots… Anyone who’s out there helping the cause is helping the cause!!! Now I’m a bigger fan of Dan! :) :) :)

  • Jaroslaw

    Can we have a little balance please? I can understand that some people may have worked for years for the cause and gotten little or no recognition. But it is also reasonable to understand that, unfortunately, life is unfair.

    Having said that, GO DAN! Let’s get the job done by any means necessary. I think he’s fantastic too.

  • extrabatteries

    there are many who should be on the front line, but they are pushed out of the way by people who made their career as activists, but havent been effective, havent been welcoming of newcomers, and were simply working hard but not smart. sure, being the face of dadt re

  • extrabatteries

    there are many who should be on the front line, but they are pushed out of the way by people who made their career as activists, but havent been effective, havent been welcoming of newcomers, and were simply working hard but not smart. sure, being the face of dadt requires some groomin and vetting, but id be weary of who is who. not all those who think they speak for us actually do.

  • The Swimmer

    Dan Choi is an American Hero who deserves to be put on the highest pedestal in the land! Any white privilege gay man who would try to make him feel otherwise should be punched in the fucking face and denied any involvement or opportunity to engage in the LGBT civil rights fight!

    I am a gay white male but even I believe that there are not enough blacks, hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, WOMEN, transgendered, disabled folk at the top of the pyramid. I will gladly step out of the way into a less visible role so we can have more minorities at the forefront of this movement.

    Heck look at Philip Spooner in Maine. He’s an 86-year old WW2 vet!! Why don’t we have more seniors helping us out on this? As of right now his video is the strongest thing in our favor. Any person who would dare tell anyone else to “get out of the way” so that they can self-aggrandize themselves needs to be castrated and thrown to the Evangelical cannibals!

  • Attmay

    No wonder Gay Inc. is pissed at Dan Choi. He’s got the gay community revved up for real tangible action for the first time since the ACT UP era. Between him and Philip Spooner I have never been prouder of those who fight to defend this country.

    The whole article is well worth reading and full of surprises. If we want to pass anything that benefits us we need more Dan Chois and Philip Spooners.

  • extrabatteries

    i dont know what to make of all of the race based comments on queerty. is the situation really like this in gay politics, or is it just a continuation of race relations that exist in general? it seems there is way too much us and them; and last time i checked being gay was an equal opportunity selector, and it has nothing to do with skin color.

  • The Gay Numbers

    I think it was the title, which implied it was about race, and so, many confused the title with the substance. My sense is that he was referencing his being the new kid on the block.

    That being said, yes, the gay white upper class (which has tended to dominate gay rights) has a huge problem with people of color and the economically challenged. Read if you are white, poor and not-not you are not going to be ignored too.

  • Kropotkin

    I don’t think it’s such of a race issue (though prop has been turned into one by white activists) on a large scale basis than a class issue. We’re being “led” by wealthy, politically connected people who have grown unbelievably out-of-touch with the needs of LGBT community and have aligned their goals more with the goals of the Democratic Party and wealthy (mainly white) queers just like them. The HRC is basically a Democratic subsidiary.

    But yeah, white activists don’t mind leaving out queer people of color, and that’s an issue to.

    I will now wait for the plethora of “you’re a politcally correct whiner” or “but I’m not racist, I have 10,000 Hispanic friends!!!” posts. Sit back and wait.

  • ricky

    dan and the other guy kicked out are on the cover of the latest instinct magazine.

  • GrandPoobah

    He is my current crush. I want him!!!!

  • Fitz

    I think Choi is great– and much more eloquent and sacrificing and hard working, and a million other things than I could ever hope to be. But HERO? How are you defining hero? What insurmountable obstacle has he overcome? He joined an organization that warned him that they didn’t want him, then when they kicked him out he told the world what BS it was…. He’s a strong advocate activist, not a hero. Save that word for someone who can really save the day.

  • Jack

    GLAAD and HRA have become self-serving. Ever review the salaries that the executives are paid in HRA? It’s about schmoozing with the ‘beautiful people’ and maintaining the pecking order.

  • Joe Schafran

    Dan Choi spoke tonight at my school and let me just say he is amazing… if you have never seen him in person you really need to… he may have come out of nowhere but there is most definitely a reason he is where he is today… maybe its time to upset the older generation of activists… this isn’t about who gets to take credit for what or whose worked harder than who… this is supposed to be about saving and changing lives… sometimes I think the ‘gay rights leaders’ are just as callous with the lives of lgbt people as are the people who oppress us…. its time to break all barriers within this ‘movement’ and get moving before one more person has to lose their job or is denied the chance to see the love of their life as they are dying simply because of who we are

  • michael

    Dan is amazing because he is real. I hope he stays that way because if he does he will become one of our movements greatest leaders. As LGBT folks we have to take responsibility for allowing the HRC and its milk toast leadership to take the lead over our movement. Joe Sol. is milk toast. The problem is not that he is paid so much the problem is that to him its just a job and not a passion. He commands no respect, his words instill no hope or passion in those he has been hired to serve. He and his “people” in the typical pissy, wannabe fagg style, have let us know what they think of the general LGBT population.

    My father has served as CEO of one the largest corps. in America, as well as been on the boards of more org. than I can count. He told me that a lobbying organization, with a success record like the HRC’s, would have been out of business years ago if they were working for anyone else. We have to take charge and let them go to make room for new leadership and we need an organization with real passion and not a bunch of Uncle Tom’s who think they have made it life cause they get invited to the White House. Martin Luther King would have had more invitations to the White House if he had of been the passive whimp they are.

  • tavdy79

    In other words,,,you’re taking the thunder from the white gays and they don’t like it…

    –Crunch The Numbers

    I don’t think it’s quite that simple – when I read the post, my first thought was of the Leffews. They’ve spent the last 12 months or so acting as very effective advocates for LGBT rights, targeting the people whose opinions matter most: voters. And they haven’t tried any clever arguments, they’ve just shown who they are.

    Can anyone reading this imagine the HRC doing something that effective? Of course not! It would be focus-grouped to death, and when finally released it would be either a damp squib (last year’s Prop. 8 campaign) or counter-productive (Stonewall’s “Some Peaople Are Gay” campaign).

    It seems to me that people like Choi and the Leffews will inevitably represent a threat to more established LGBT rights activists, especially those whose track record is unimpressive compared to their supposed influence &/or whose enthusiasm for LGBT rights seems somewhat jaded. Compare UK activists Sir Ben Summerskill (head of Stonewall) and Peter Tatchell (head of OUTRage!). Stonewall & Summerskill have little or no links to grass roots activists, don’t support marriage equality, won’t advocate for Trans rights, have been largely silent over LGBT asylum seeker deportations (other than occasionally when others have made it front-page news) and are increasingly unpopular. Tatchell is the polar opposite on every count.

  • Bill Perdue

    If all Dan Choi was doing was fighting for an end to the endemic harassment and violence of GLBT folks in the military, caused by Bill Clintons DADT, then we could all support him.

    But the sad truth is that Dan Choi wants a career helping the US military suppress and kill Iraqis, Afghans and Pakistanis fighting for the right to exploit their nation’s oil and other resources.

    He’s no more heroic than the fakers at HRC.

  • hardmannyc

    If the worst they said was “You sort of came out nowhere,” that’s an observation, not a slam.

    I call bullshit. Unless (horrors!) Queerty willfully misnterpreted his comments to get people to look at this.

  • hardmannyc

    Oh — and please don’t respond to Bill Perdue. He only posts crap like that to get attention. Troll.

  • Bill Perdue

    hardmannyc (sic), aka hellskitchen guy is the same wanna be racist killer who said, speaking about all Iranians, including the GLBT folks, students and unionists who are trying to overthrow the ayatollahs, “I say, go bush – nuke the bastards.” Then, after several people expressed their revulsion with his rank racism he repeated himself “Yeah, I’m a Bush/Hill supporter. Whatever. Bomb ‘em. Bomb ‘em. They’re beyond redemption at this point. they’re a hateful mass of religious fanatics whose only purpose on this earth is to spread hatred, ignorance and intolerance.”

  • extrabatteries

    @bill and hardmannyc : are you fighting on the internet? how useless

  • hardmannyc

    ^^^^ Flogging him is like teasing a crying baby. You don’t want to do it, but it’s mean fun watching him flail around.

  • Bill Perdue

    ^^^^^ Those steriods are kicking in again, which explains the fantasies of rage. It’s sad to watch.

  • Brian

    How do we plan a takeover of Gay, Inc? They are useless.

  • schlukitz

    My father used to say that if people are talking about you, then you must be doing something right.

    It’s when they stop talking about you, that you need to be concerned.

  • uffda

    queers can be super pissy you know. I’m just sayin

  • B

    The Gay Numbers wrote, “I think it was the title, which implied it was about race, and so, many confused the title with the substance. My sense is that he was referencing his being the new kid on the block.” You are quite likely right about that. What actually happened is that he was in the “right place at the right time” (or “wrong place at the wrong time” since the military is not treating him fairly), which resulted in him being noticed. When the person in that situation is also articulate and otherwise very appealing, he’ll get a lot of attention.

    As an Arabic translator, it is obvious to just about anyone with half a brain that booting him out just because he is gay is singularly stupid. It’s easy to imagine seeing some panicky Iraqi trying to tell you something and only finding out after being shot that he was trying to warn you that there was a snipper on the third floor of a building just around the corner, third window from the left. Even a homophobic bigot would accept a gay translator when the alternative is no translation at all leading to getting a limb blown off.

  • Chitown Kev

    This does beg the question that if this was Victor Feherbech (I know I got the spelling wrong) would the reaction of Gay Inc. be the same as the reaction to Choi.

  • TikiHead

    Dan Choi also mentioned that his being a Born-again Christian took many activists aback.

    Not being religious myself, I still think that makes him a hugely valuable spokesperson for LGBT. He’s better equipped to debate on the religion side.

  • Fitz

    Not for me. If he is a Christian after-birth, I have zero use for him.

  • Republican

    Go Dan!

Comments are closed.