This week, the Supreme Court made the historic ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 are both unconstitutional. It’s an enormous victory for gays and lesbians, their families, and anyone who cares about equality.
So how did The New Yorker, arguably the most reputable magazine in the country, memorialize the occasion on their cover? With Bert and Ernie, two puppets from “Sesame Street,” watching a television with the Supreme Court justices shown the screen.
The background, in case you aren’t aware, is that there have long been jokes that roommates Bert and Ernie are actually extra-special roommates. Predictably, some whackadoodles have gotten upset about children watching “Sesame Street” and wondering why two male puppets (and their rubber ducky) live together.
I’ll be honest: I think the cover is a little cute just because I like Jim Henson puppets, especially the ones from “Sesame Street.” I also think it’s an eye-catching image, which means it may sell better on the newsstands (and is likely the primary reason The New Yorker chose it). The media is a business after all.
But not everyone feels the same way I do. Let’s ignore the National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, who posted the image under the homophobic title “Innocence. Lost.” Blogger Tyler Coates of Flavorwire, whom I implicitly trust to interpret all things LGBTQ-related, blasted the cover as “infantilizing,” “offensive,” and click-baiting for Internet outrage. Keep reading »
On Wednesday afternoon, the president of Exodus International, one of the largest “ex-gay” organizations in the world, issued an apology to the LGBT community. “I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage,” Exodus President Alan Chamber wrote in a sincerely worded letter. “But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God’s command to love my neighbor as I love myself.” Hours later, Chambers announced that Exodus would be closing its doors permanently, after 37 years in operation. I felt two distinct reactions to this news: relief for LGBT people who have felt attacked and abused by the social and political messages perpetuated by Exodus, and hope for what this change means for both gay and “ex-gay” people alike.
I have some first-hand experience with Exodus – not as a participant, but as an observer. In November 2007, I attended the organization’s North Atlantic Regional Conference in upstate New York. At the time, I was producing a short documentary film, “Just As I Am,” which explored the “ex-gay” movement through two opposing perspectives: an active Exodus ministry leader, and an ex-”ex-gay” minister who belonged to Exodus in the 1980s. BK, the ministry leader, was going to the conference to lead the music during the worship services, so she brought me along. Keep reading »
A woman in Kalamazoo, Michigan claims that she has been fired for showing up to work at the restaurant, Harvey’s on the Mall, in dressed as a man. The restaurant, however, claims that her termination had nothing to do with her gender-bending outfit, but rather with her failure to comply with the restaurant’s dress code.
Myah VanTil dressed in drag (image above) for LGBT Pride last Saturday and says that she spent two hours drawing a 5 o’clock shadow on her face and then 45 more minutes binding her chest. She then showed up to work dressed like this, in solidarity with the LGBT community.
According to Equality MI, Kalamazzo law does support VanTil in her freedom to express both her gender identity and/or sexual orientation at work. But Harvey’s argues that she was fired for insubordination because she specifically asked them if she could dress in drag and was told “no.” Keep reading »
Pakistan, Nigeria, and Kenya are some of the world’s most vehemently anti-gay countries. Coincidentally enough, these countries also have some of the highest Google searches for gay porn. Searches like “shemale sex,” “teen anal sex,” “man fucking man,” “gay sex pics,” and “anal sex pics” have the some of the highest volumes of searches in these countries. Pakistan and Nigeria rank in the top five on Google searches for “gay sex pics”and “anal sex pics” while Kenya ranks number one for these searches. It makes a lot of sense that people in these countries would turn to the Internet for their needs. Since homosexuality is so widely opposed, there are very few openly gay people. That does not, however, mean that there are any fewer gay people. Unable to foster healthy and public homosexual relationships, gay people predominantly restrict their sexuality to Google searches. Additionally, since homosexuality is neither commonplace nor understood, there is also a fascination with it. People tend to be curious about what is forbidden, and apparently gay sex is no exception. [Huffington Post; Google Trends; Pew Global] [Photo of URL search via Shutterstock]