Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-12-12
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  BLACKLINES

Viewpoint
by Michael Young, GLAAD
2003-01-03

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


"You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem [homosexuality], just like alcohol ... or sex addiction ... or kleptomaniacs."

-- Sen. Trent Lott, 1998

When Trent Lott made these comments in 1998, I was appalled. An elected official in a position to influence decisions that would ultimately affect my life, the life of my partner and the lives of our friends showed incredible contempt for gay people.

My Southern Baptist family undoubtedly heard Lott's comments, and as accepting as they are, I feared they might share some of his views. I wish I had been more vocal about it.

Fortunately, even though I remained silent, many in our community reacted quickly and aggressively, showing that our collective voice does matter. Unfortunately, we are frequently put in the position of defending ourselves from the onslaught of anti-gay comments often hurled at us by elected officials or those allegedly interested in promoting "family values." We've become veritable experts at it. We are swift when a member of our community is defamed or discriminated against. Or are we?

While we are highly aware of the damaging effects of anti-gay epithets, we often lose sight of how racism directly affects our diverse community. We stand by and think, "how awful," but don't take action, possibly because we don't see it as "our issue." Well, it's time to see things differently.

Perhaps we are beginning to, but I would argue not quickly enough. Our community has not been as swift in responding to Lott's recent comments on Strom Thurmond.

Lott defines racism as one of "the discarded policies of the past." Clearly, he fails to understand that racism was not an idea simply "discarded" or that fell out of favor, rather it was--and continues to be--fought against. Even President Bush condemned such remarks. Lott's statements of regret don't seem to be taking hold.

But it's not shocking that our community didn't react quickly. What is shocking is that the Family Research Council was among the first to condemn his remarks. FRC urged the Republican Party to "…ask themselves if they really want … to continue to be represented by Trent Lott."

The FRC has never been all that concerned about civil rights for every American. The organization is more interested in dispelling the stereotype of straight, white, conservative men as racist, than with effecting any real social change. Where was an FRC statement of support for our civil rights in 1998 when Lott compared homosexuality to alcoholism and kleptomania?

As a community, we have to remind ourselves that racism and homophobia are indisputably linked. The reality is that racism, as homophobia, impacts our allies, friends, families and loved ones. The LGBT community does not exist in a vacuum. In order for our civil rights struggle to be successful, we need to be aware of all social issues and how they impact us.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.