gay leaders

When Michael Lucas Asks Where The Gay MLK Is, Is He Nominating Himself?

International porn mogul Michael Lucas is known for being a bit of an opinionated press whore. Which is, to be perfectly honest, fine by us! But in a recent op-ed, in a magazine willing to tolerate his general phobias, Lucas whitened our somewhat jaundiced eye towards him. It’s entitled “Leaderless” and has the porn impresario musing on why we lack a national leader. This is not a new question; we’ve discussed it many times on this website before. But it’s the first time we connected the names “Michael Lucas” and “Martin Luther King Jr.” in the same brain synapse.

It’s been 30 years since the murder of Harvey Milk and yet we still have no powerful gay organizer with as much appeal or name recognition as he did, opines Lucas. We can’t really rely on our eloquent democratic leadership to move on marriage equality or DADT. Meanwhile, our “so-called” gay leaders — the salaried leaders of Gay Inc. — are more interested in rubbing elbows with power than actually holding them accountable or empowering the gay grassroots.

Before we get to his argument, here’s a bit of Lucas’s gripe in his own words. It’s characteristically bitchy and adamantly pro-Jew (just like we like him):

I don’t judge by words. I judge by actions. Politicians take gay votes for granted, and who can blame them? They probably should take our votes for granted because we don’t ask for anything from them in return. Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act and gay people still gave him their votes. Indeed, they cheer him whenever he speaks before a gay organization. So maybe we don’t deserve a real fighter. Gays are looking for fashionable icons and nothing more than that.

Last year, I saw Jane Fonda at a Broadway fundraising event for gay causes. This is a woman whose contribution to the world was 25 aerobic workout videos. Many will never forget her visiting Communist troops in Vietnam. At the Broadway event, Fonda got a standing ovation before she even opened her mouth. Why? She’s a tired diva. But when Harvey Fierstein, one of the most celebrated gay artists in America, came on stage, he didn’t get a standing ovation. He gave an amazing speech that was directed at Obama, demanding that the president fulfill his campaign pledges. This event occurred a long time ago when people were still excited about Obama, and yet Fierstein still chastised him harshly for his lack of action.

Maybe the crowd didn’t applaud Harvey because he isn’t a diva. He didn’t produce workout videos, nor did he ever express support for Vietnamese communists. Perhaps if he had, the left-wing gay community would cheer for him. Even that scumbag ex-governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey, is invited everywhere. I was actually shocked to see him speak at an event for the Stonewall Community Foundation, an organization that I respect. This corrupt ex-politician, who had to resign because he put his lover on the state payroll, was giving a speech and the entire gay crowd was applauding him? What a shame.

Lucas bemoans the current ineffectual state of gay political organizing, and though he ends by saying, “It’s time for a new generation of gay leadership,” he leaves a gaping (butt)hole of reasoning on where this new generation will come from. Which, of course, is part of the problem: Finding new gay leaders must start with finding new gay leaders.

The U.S. has some amazing, hard-working gay activists right now, but none have articulated a cogent strategy for nationwide mobilization. Even the politi-blogger created Dallas Principles are just a series of guidelines and goals, not a strategy for actually achieving them. It’s possible that in this age of insta-media rehash that MLK and Harvey Milk’s efforts would have gotten snowed under a wave of criticism about their sex lives and other political minutiae like Michael Lucas’ pal Dustin Lance Black. That gay leaders must achieve some amount of celebrity to be effective is not new, but reaching trusted celebrity status is. Which is why Kim Kardashian and is considered a celebrity, when she is not; she is merely famous. Why, exactly, we’re not sure. But for a gay leader to rise from the pack, he or she must also battle the never-ending appetite for, and vomiting up of the always-on media cycle. To which this blog contributes.

Surely, having an entire generation wiped out by the 1980s AIDS epidemic and a younger generation raised with less stigmatization than its predecessor have probably robbed us of some of the drive to dedicate our lives in widespread social disobedience. After all, we admire MLK and Harvey Milk, but few of us want to end up on their side of the gun. That’s why the names you recognize are David Mixner and Richard Socarides, and why we’re only starting to hear the names of Dan Choi and Heath Tucker.

We also have a alphabet goulash of issues such as HIV, HCR, anti-LGBT legislation, DOMA, EDNA and DADT. But I’m tired of hearing how the LGBT community is too fractured in and of itself to ever have a single unifying voice. Truth is, the sooner we are willing to go to jail in droves for rebelling against unfair practices, then we’ll see movement. Power is never given. It’s always taken.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #politics #doma(defenseofmarriageact) #don'taskdon'ttell(dadt) stories and more


  • Chitown Kev

    I actually do agree with the snippet of Michael Lucas’ essay that Queerty published here, though I do think that he’s a racist. I do want to read the rest of his essay (which I assume is at one of the links above) for context, though.

  • EdWoody

    A man who is loathed by so many within his own community is not the man to lead us into the promised land.

  • dan j

    Martin Luther King, Jr. acknowledged that real change takes time; yet he also warned against the “tranquilizing drug of gradualism” and instructed the oppressed to demand equality now – not on the convenient time schedule of those doing the oppressing.
    Yet we must convince and persuade those who would deny our equality, while fighting on all fronts against efforts to marginalize, stigmatize, and demonize us.

  • Drake

    Michael Lucas, the aging “he whore”, with so much make-up and spray tan that he looks like he is maintained by a mortician, is no credible leader but for Michael Lucas. He is looking more and more like Putin’s little brother.
    The gay community does not need a spokesman with a large body of porno films with him peeing on his partners and sniffing ass holes.
    To be truly a civil rights leader,one can not be a narcissist as is Lucas. One must be a humanitarian, one who wants the advancement of all of humankind without exception, one who takes the high road, and who is not on the record as being so militantly anti arab and pathologically anti moslem.
    The gay publications which write about his so-called “ideas” (Queerty and Advocate) are foolish to offer him such platforms, and to make gays look so desperate as to need his leadership.

  • Chitown Kev

    LOL, OK I disagree with the portion of his arguement whre he says that at least the Republicans are getting better.

    And George Bush would have vetoed the hate crimes bill (or any other gay rights bill). So the Democrats are better and it is better to have Obama in office than to have, say, Bush or McCain. That’s cannot be questioned.

    Now how much better it is CAN be questioned.

    And the Jane Fonda story is just typical catty queen shit.

  • Chitown Kev

    Now as far as Lucas being a Gay MLK…I’d have to smoke a lot of crack to even think about that.

  • hardmannyc

    It pains me to say this, but I agree with everything he says in that snippet.

  • Thomas Reed

    Queerty has an obvious hate toward Michael Lucas…always bashing him and projecting their hate. Every word in this article is truth and it’s a truth that needs to be told. The full article I found here:

    It does not have much to do with Jane Fonda so I wonder what kind of PERSONAL problem the owner/editor of queerty has with Lucas?

  • Victor

    @Chitown Kev: What kind of “crack?”

  • lolstupid

    Judging from this snippet, it doesn’t sound like he wants to be a leader.

    He just wants the gay community to stop being so focused on people like Madonna, Gaga, Kathy Griffin, etc. to be a ‘leader’ for us and to start focusing on finding a leader within our own community…

    Plus, most of these ‘gay’ icons are terrible and not the sharpest of tacks in the box.

  • Michael W.

    There’s too many gays enjoying the warm, complacent comfort of the closet. Unlike black people, most gays don’t have to wear their discriminatory feature on their sleeves. Maybe the gay MLK doesn’t realize he’s the gay MLK cause he’s married and fine with sucking off other “straight acting” discreet guys he meets on Craigslist. Maybe the gay MLK doesn’t know he’s the gay MLK cause he’s only “bi” and feels that he has all the necessary rights granted to him as an American citizen. He’s not a faggot, so what does he care?

  • AndrewW

    I think the objective analysis of our movement is accurate, but I don’t think a “leader” is what’s missing. Those days have past. What we need is a solution – a strategy to win. This will require letting go of the past and acknowledging that we live in a new world. What worked in the 60s is not effective today.

    In the old days we needed to march and protest and scream – because people didn’t know our plight. Today, everybody knows. If we take to the streets again, in that context, we are only complaining. Complaining doesn’t work.

    Our world has changed and people have changed, too. We need to enroll them in our equality. Instead of being a “protected minority” we need to be a powerful majority by getting people to stand with us and our equality.

    I think it’s time to put everything on the table and be very honest and objective about our so-called movement. We must decide what actually works and what we should invest in. We must seek new ideas, strategies and plans – with the only result being “winning.” We need to be inspired – a plan to win would do that.

    For the first time in the history of our Movement we must figure out how and when we can win. To that end, I am offering $100 million to the individual, group or organization that can create a verifiable strategy to win our full equality. We have many creative minds in our community and I am convinced that if we shift our focus to winning, we will find the solution.

    Email me your ideas: [email protected] Yes, I am serious.

    I have no reason to believe we have “tried everything” and I am not willing to accept “one of these days” as our goal. Let’s find the solution. Let’s win.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Thomas Reed:
    Oh, the Jane Fonda reference is significant.

    Lucas is referring there to the gay male “cult of the diva.”

    Lucas follows it to its’ logical conclusion on the political level; that Gay Inc. would rather blow kisses and throw flowers (and money-our community’s money) at the political elite simply to be in their presence rather than demand equality from those leaders.

    The Jane Fonda reference is still catty. But significant.

  • Chitown Kev


    Whatever kind you’re think of.

  • youngandold

    I would have to agree with him. Gays have no business supporting anyone in politics until that politician does something real for us first. We’re not asking for forty acres and a mule, just some respect and civility, justice.

    Also a handsome out politician is on order. Someone with charm and brains who can handle the Washington game (wishful thinking).

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    Wow, where to begin?

    Lets see, “It’s been 30 years since the murder of Harvey Milk and yet we still have no powerful gay organizer with as much appeal or name recognition as he did, opines Lucas.” Unless you happened to live in San Francisco in the mid-to-late 1970s, no one know who Harvey Milk was. It is a sad reality the his murder is what made his name well known. Twice Harvey lost City-wide elections before he won his seat from the City’s Castro District. Quick, who was the mayor who was shot minutes before Harvey? [Not a Jeopardy question; just making my point about the mischaracterization of the above statement.]

    Further, re: “yet we still have no powerful gay organizer…” Really? Anarchy group ActUP! broke the ice and kick started HIV/AIDS funding (that HRC was then able to push through Congress), the Name Project/Cleve Jones created an awareness among middle America about the disease and its toll, the Hawaiian marriage-equality groups that forged forward pushing our rights, the Massachusetts marriage-equality groups that fought and WON our right to marry. The NGLTF that fought for and won multiple employment protection legislation and law suits. And through GLAAD, gay/lesbian TV and movie characters gained momentum from the prior years where the almost non-existent gay/lesbian characters were villains.

    [I am not defending the current status of HRC, NGLTF, GLAAD and other “Gay, Inc.” groups, they all need a swift kick in the ass. Nonetheless, and despite when these groups were originally founded, between the time Harvey Milk was assassinated and today, many groups worked very hard to gain the gains that we do have. When Harvey was killed, more states than not had sodomy laws criminalizing homosexual conduct; there were absolutely no laws ANYWHERE that provided gays/lesbians any protections, rights or privileges for hospital care, survivor rights, child raising — NOTHING.]

    Then there is your declaration: “…having an entire generation wiped out by the 1980s AIDS epidemic…” hmmm, well there still are some of us who contract HIV in the early 1980s who are still here, and of course, the many many many more HIV- guys over the age of 48 (18 when Milk was killed) and all those many more valiant lesbians, not in the AIDS harm’s way, who toiled for gay rights, AIDS funding, et al.

    One very positive side effect from the HIV/AIDS crisis was the mass organization within the community. After being repeatedly snubbed by government, health care, insurance companies, bigots and homophobes, the gay/lesbian community generated from within multiple approaches to gain our rights. Queerty and others regularly, and not without merit, bash “Gay, Inc.” for messing up over the current status of gay rights. But “Gay, Inc.” groups still receive the funding and exposure you all complain about because it is those groups that those of us who were fighting the fight, created and continue to support. Other groups sprung up too; I attended ActUP! planning meetings.

    I get the frustration, see any of my posts on Obama and/or Gay, Inc. I am pissed off, too, and post regularly about that frustration. But to make the necessary changes to jump start renewed progress for gay rights, one should really understand the history, understand the broad approach, and be willing to actively participate in the action.

    [PS: Michael Lucas doesn’t know shit about Jane Fonda, a gay rights supporter dating to BEFORE Harvey Milk moved to SF. She was featured in 1971 in the Advocate supporting gay rights. On the other hand, Lucas is too easy on Jim McGreevey and those who provide a platform for him as a gay rights advocate.]

  • Chitown Kev

    @Mike in Ashville

    Michael Moscone was Mayor, after Moscone and Milk were assassinated they were succedeed by Dianne Finestein (who found their bodies) and Henry Britt, respectively.

  • Shade

    I’d vote for Harvey Fierstein or Ellen Degeneres. Lead us home!

  • Chitown Kev

    @Mike in Asheville

    Now whether our community even needs a MLK type figure is a different question.

    I mean, even in the black civil rights movement, it wasn’t all about MLK, Jr, he had folks pushing him from more directions than people typically acknowledge.

  • Anthony in Nashville

    Michael Lucas needs to GTFOHWTB!

    He’s a racist and is only talking about this because he hasn’t been mentioned in a couple of weeks.

  • Anthony in Nashville

    @Michael W.:

    You’re right. As long as people can retreat to the closet at their convenience, the LGBT struggle will not make the kinds of advances we say we want to see.

    Too many people are unwilling to put it on the line to get equality.

    There were plenty of African Americans who were not active participants in the civil rights movement. But there were enough to create a critical mass that couldn’t be ignored. LGBTs are not at that point yet.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Anthony in Nashville:

    Oh, I agree, Lucas is racist.

    That doesn’t make many of his points invalid.

    I love Mike’s in Asheville “Cliff Notes” summary of GLBT activist history since the late 1970’s (I was sketchily aware of Jane Fonda’s gay activist history). While I do think that Lucas was speaking more of the present, I doubt that he has an adequate understanding of LGBT history in the United States…in fact, I think far too few LGBTs have an adequate grasp of LGBT history.

    That must be one of the minimum requirements to be the gay MLK.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Anthony in Nashville:

    They’re either too comfortable in the closet or in their gay friendly urban areas and don’t want to come out of them. In those gay friendly areas (such as myself being in Chicago) many of them have the protections that they need.

  • Sam

    I don’t the question should be “who?” I think the more important question is “how?” I’ve lived through more than 40 years of numerous organizations and I fell for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But of those “leaders” were hugely disappointing.

    I think if we knew how to finish this struggle once and for all, we might get active again. I’m 55 years old and except for getting excited about Obama (and quickly frustrated) I haven’t made a contribution in years. I see a lot of young people calling themselves activists, but all they want to do is express anger. I don’t think anger is the answer.

    Maybe all the LGBT non-profits and all the leaders in the activist community should get together and figure out how we can get excited again and how we can create a movement. Right now all I see is too much cynicism (myself included) and too much infighting among groups. Finding a leader from the ranks seems a real long shot. I’d be satisfied with a plan or strategy.

    The truth is 30 years ago, when I came out it was challenging and I was afraid. But, at that time I thought we’d be considered equal in my lifetime. Now, I’m not so sure.

  • Cinci Chris

    Michael Lucas is HARDLY (no pun intended) a credible pundit for this issue. Martin Luther King Jr. was prominent in an era when the media and dialog was controlled by the oppressor. Today, we have the internet and social media– the “leaders” of now are hundreds, if not thousands of us. However, I’d hardly expect an uneducated porn star like Lucas to have the intellectual capacity to arrive at such an obvious conclusion.

    Different times, different reality, different formula for success.

  • jason

    I think Lucas has a point in that we tend to embrace the trendy over the substantial. We tend to go for the color and the glitz rather than the oily rag and the greasy ball bearings. We admire people more for what they look like than what they really are.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @ No. 16 · Chitown Kev

    Sorry Kev, but the judges have ruled and we cannot accept your answer. The assassinated mayor was GEORGE Moscone. Dianne Feinstein did succeed Moscone as mayor.

    As mayor, Feinstein appointed HARRY Britt to succeed Harvey Milk.

    So, always from Chicago? That you could pull out the Britt name is good. Not to sure many from SF would have gotten him. I could name Richard Daley as mayor from way back, father of the current Mayor Daley (though different middle names?). There was Jane Byrne (or was it Byrd?). Can’t name a single Adlerman, past or present.

    My point though remains, with little exception, that outside of San Francisco, very few even in the gay community, knew of Harvey Milk. I was a high school senior in the East Bay and was dumbstruck in awe that Milk finally won (his 3rd attempt) in 1977. And as a Berkeley freshman, I remember the shock and disbelief hearing the news of the double assassination.

    Perhaps the biggest contribution of Milk’s life is the inspiration that his goodwill bestowed on the gay community as it gripped the heavy burden of having to take control of and own HIV/AIDS. There were several times, attending some HIV/AIDS activist event, when I, and everyone else there, heard “If only Harvey were here.” As is often the case, the legend becomes greater than the history, and that can be, and in this case, is a good thing.

    [Okay, I don’t want to hear gripes that I have belittled Milk; at 17/18 and trying to figure this sex identity shit out, Milk was my hero. I was always an avid follower of current events and politics, and there in the midst of local news, finally, a gay man to whom I could look up to and took guidance for the honesty in my life I was seeking. I can’t help but cry when I remember his amazing smile when the local station covered his victory party. A couple years later, when I came out to my parents, my dad made a comment that he remembered my happy reaction to Milk’s win as the first time he wondered about me, and wished for me that I would always be that happy.]

  • TheProfessor

    More wisdom coming from a man whose cinematic oeuvre includes such masterpieces as “Piss” and “Farts”.

  • Chitown Kev

    @28 Mike in Asheville

    Hey, don’t I get points for saying that Dianne Feinstein found the bodies (though I’m not sure if she was the first to find the bodies of Moscone and Milk)

    Not always from Chicago, and even I can remember Harold Washington. Hell, Daley has been mayor since I lived here…Oh, there was Eugene Sawyer too…

    As far as Alderman are concerned…well, that’s a cast of characters in itself….

  • Chitown Kev

    @28-Mike in Asheville

    For the record, born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I vaguely remember about the Milk and Moscone assassinations when I was a kid but maybe the Jim Jones massacre (that investigations was still ongoing) was still topping the national news?

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No. 28 Chitown Kev

    Kudos and Partial points applied!

    My memory is that Feinstein approached White as White headed for Milk after White had killed Moscone. I believe it was Moscone’s secretary who found Moscone. Hearing the shooting of Milk, Feinstein entered Milk’s office, finding him already dead; White had just left the office through side exit and was exiting City Hall.

    Unfortunately Feinstein had left her purse in her office; she carries heat and knows how to use it.

    I’m sure you can Google the event and get a more accurate timeline.

  • Chris

    I’m really sick of seeing stories about Michael Lucas on this blog. I don’t care about his politics, his religious beliefs, I don’t care about his business ventures. And actually I don’t even watch his movies.

    To be honest I really don’t want to hear from porn stars unless they are saying “give me that cock” or “you have a nice ass”.

    Yes we all have a right to be give our opinions, but this site does not have to cover every single word or action that this guy makes.

    I’m giving you one more chance Queerty, cause if I see another story about him, then I’m really done with this blog.

  • Pete

    I am convinced that Queerty is getting paid to run all this Michael Lukas crap all the time. How about finding a new subject Queerty editors ???

  • Kieran

    Lucas gives a bitch slap to former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey—no doubt because McGreevey refused to pay extortion money to his gay (and greedy) Israeli boyfriend Golan Cipel who was threatening to out him. Lucas is full of venom for an an openly gay McGreevey, but I’ll bet you a chopped liver knish that he thinks we should all welcome back Elliot Spitzer the disgraced former Gov. of New York.

  • Derek

    Chris, Pete and others…

    Not enjoying the topics covered on Queerty?

    Here is a tip dickheads: start your OWN blog or just shut the fuck up!

    And Chris like anyone gives a flying rats ass if you stop visiting-LOL-get over yourself hun you are making me laugh.

  • Rev. D_M

    Still doesn’t change the fact that he’s a racist scumbag ho.

  • IrnBru

    I don’t believe everything I read on the Series of Tubes, but according to Wikipedia, Fonda angered some on the extreme right of Israeli politics a few years back by visiting a Palestinian refugee camp. Odd that Lucas didn’t mention her refusal to treat Palestinians as less than human while he was attacking her, but I find it hard to believe that he’s as clueless about that as he is about Ms. Fonda’s many charitable acts and long history of activism on behalf of peace and human rights (for blacks, for women, for gays, for transgender people, etc.)

    I agree that Lucas is overexposed on this site, and I find it depressing that so many LGBT people are either unaware of or unconcerned with the amount of ignorance he displays and hate he spews at both individuals and Arabs, Persians, & Muslims generally.

    While Jane Fonda’s distinguished film career clearly pales in comparison to that of the man who gave us, what, eight Fire Island Cruising flicks? – bringing up her Vietnam visit is really a cheap shot. (So cheap that it was used as a guilt-by-association attack on John Kerry’s character and record as a genuine war hero in the 2004 election.) She’s apologized repeatedly for what she readily admits was one of the biggest mistakes of her life; can we just let it go?

    I don’t go around blogging about how pathetic it is to fuck strangers for money and film it… and I bite my lip when I see what collagen addiction has done to certain people… so is it really asking that much for Michael Lucas to keep his trademark mouth shut if a. he doesn’t know what the fuck he is talking about and b. he’s unwilling to join the community of civilized human beings who leave the racial stereotyping to the Klan and Ann Coulter?

  • AndrewW

    Amazing. Just fucking amazing.

    I do not care about Luca’s past or any opinion of him. He issued a “call to action” in his own way and it should be appreciated for what it is.

    This website can be a very helpful tool for our movement (or lack thereof). It isn’t about “who” and it never will be, it is about “how.” Ideas are more important than any one of us.

    If you have ideas about gaining our full equality – see my post above. Ideas will inspire us and ignite a real movement for our full equality. No matter what any of us has done in our lives (so far) or what anyone thinks of us, we have an obligation to figure out how to win. Use your creative energy to figure that out. Winning is the goal and I will reward that. No matter who you are, where you’ve been or anything else about you. I want to win and I want to know how and when.

  • MissLaWanda

    This is so racist!

  • ousslander

    I know I can be very dense and slow onthe up take but how does that what he said make hima racist, unless because he rightfully calls out islamists.

    Evrything he said above I agree with. McGreevey only came out as t way to try to cover his corrupt ass. We should expect more fro our “leaders”

  • Same Crap

    @IrnBru: – “bringing up her Vietnam visit is really a cheap shot.”

    Not to mention it’s horribly dated. The only people who care about “Hanoi Jane” are aging, toothless cold warriors. Maybe these people are Lucas’ base?

    Most people born after 1975 just shrug their shoulders and say, “what?”

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No. 40 Ousslander

    The racism being referred to are several previous statements made by Lucas about Muslims. I am sure that others will correct any misunderstanding I have, but my impression of previous Lucas statements are akin to supporting an apartheid type approach against ALL Muslims.

    McGreevey is a pissant; hardly a poster child for gay rights. Then again, Barney Frank was dragged kicking and screaming out of his Georgetown closet.

    I do take issue about Jane Fonda (and this coming from a former 10 year-old who watched the Viet Nam report on the news EVERY night when my brother served there). Jane Fonda has been an outspoken advocate for gay rights since at least 1970, she a an Advocate feature in 1971.

    I also take issue with Lucas’ detractors who use his porn business against his politics. I was a friend, not close but close enough to entertain eachother a few times in our respective homes, with Chuck Holmes, founder/owner of Falcon Studios. Chuck was a very generous contributor to gay rights and HIV/AIDS causes, and mostly with confidential contributions. He was also out and proud, mixing gay politics in the highest levels of San Francisco society. Lucas’ affiliation with porn is irrelevant to his political opinions of how to improve gay rights efforts.

  • Gorbeh

    F*** no!!! Not Michael Lucas!!! I’d rather have Faggie Gallagher!!!

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No.44 Chitown Kev

    Hey Kevin: Well I checked the link, and, OMFG, that’s some craziness.

    Guess I’m glad that I was raised to be color-blind; always been an equal-opportunity slut. In 1978, as a college freshman, I made my first (of at least 200) visit to Berkeley’s Steamworks.

    On my first pass through the maze, a black guy caught my attention, he moved toward me, and hey, a cock is a cock, and we started doing our thing. Not a minute later, a white guy, hunky and handsome, grabbed me away and stated with his disapproving and judgmental voice: “You don’t want play with that!” “Sure I do!” I exclaimed as I broke free and returned to the fun I was beginning to have with the black guy. I had only had sex with 4 guys before and he was the first black guy. Luckily, he, Carl, was an employee and over my Berkeley years, we had lots and lots of fun, especially when his cousin Vince, another employee who is Blatino (first time I’d heard that term) joined in.

  • Sam

    I think MLK’s role in the black community was actually kind of unique to that community and to that time and place, but because of the civil rights movement’s success, we’ve sort of mythologized the need for a “wise leader.” Black folks needed a figurehead because of segregation. Generations of white racist politicians made it possible for a lot of white people to grow up not knowing any black people, or at least not getting to know them well. The civil rights movement needed a charismatic black figurehead to cut through the division and show white people that segregation was a problem, that discrimination hurt everyone, that black people were respectable and noble and brave. There have always been leaders in movements, but what made MLK MLK was that he was a CELEBRITY in addition to being a leader.

    We don’t need a celebrity figurehead. First of all, as a few others here have pointed out, the Internet makes it possible for a lot more people to get their voices heard. (And makes it easier to tear figureheads down, so our lack of one is probably a blessing.) Secondly and possibly more importantly, a single gay figurehead could never be as effective as regular gay people coming out to their friends and family and talking to them about the issues they face. MLK had to win over skeptical whites. But our friends and families (most of them) already love us, and WANT to love us, and want us to be happy. And most of our families (sadly, not all, but most) will choose us over homophobia. That’s our biggest weapon.

    You’ll notice that the women’s rights movement also didn’t have a singular, charismatic figurehead like MLK. You can point to leaders like Susan B. Anthony, just like you can point to gay rights leaders like David Mixner and Cleve Jones, but none that monopolized the voice of the movement on the same level. Probably for the same reason: there’s at least one woman in every family, and if she’s passionate about getting her rights, she can easily change the hearts and minds of people who already love her.

    We got an MLK when we needed an MLK because many of us were still in the closet. Then AIDS happened, and gays started coming out in droves (or were outed when AIDS killed them), and we didn’t need an MLK anymore because each of us became a little MLK to our friends and families. And it’s still that way. And I’d argue that we’re actually more effective without it. Consider how long it took us to get from abolishing slavery to electing a black president. And there’s STILL racism and discrimination against black people. The gay rights movement has accomplished a huge amount in an incredibly short period of time, historically speaking. And it’s BECAUSE we don’t have an MLK – or, more precisely, because we’re not in a position where we NEED an MLK.


    If Lucas knew anything about civil rights he would have asked where our Bayard Rustin is. He pretty much taught MLK and planned the strategy of the civil rights movement. AND he was a Black Gay man.

    Funny how on Queerty most seem to get what this guy is all about, yet, over at Advocate, the comments section blew up when I called him out in his favor. Elitists audience perchance?

    I’ve said it before, I like Queerty. It’s bitchy like when we talk amongst ourselves. You may not always have all the facts right, but, you do jump on stories right away and you seem to have respect for people of color and women which is sorely lacking at other blogs.

    Keep up the Snark!

Comments are closed.