From Confidential Mag to CNN, always queerly sensational
During the Stonewall riots in 1969, the papers in New York covered ala Confidential Magazine, with slurs, lurid content and cheap shots. The fact that it was the symbolic beginning of a nationwide civil rights movement was beside their point.
The New York Times refused to print the word homosexual, even in its most clinical meaning, for decades. Then, after reluctantly acknowledging there was a sexual minorities in the US, if not completely visible, the Times clinically reported Rare Cancer seen in 41 homosexuals‘ dispassionately and shoddily reporting the first years of the AIDS epidemic, essentially ignoring it for as long as possible even as the death toll rose.
The gay press started to boom because our lives, stories and the reality of an American civil-rights movement was being ignored by a homophobic straight press. The Advocate became our Time magazine and gay papers, including Mark Segal’s Philadelphia Gay News would supplant an otherwise hostile mainstream.
Now, on any given day CNN will sound like a gay news channel. The gay tv station Logo, in partnership with CBS News reported, with ledes stylized in Advocate manner, with success, but stopped the partnership after a couple of years.
There has been a serious gay-straight media melding- except on FOX where only gay scandals are relevant to prove that gay ‘lifestyles’ confirm all of the morbid myths.
Here is a sampling one day last week
– The lowest of the low- otherwise known as the Phelps clan, twisting the words of the Bible to spew their antigay hate. They are being sued by the father of a soldier who was killed in Iraq. It is a first amendment case headed for the Supreme Court. The Phelps clan picketed the soldiers funeral with revolting antigay signs that US soldiers deserved to die for letting America tolerate homosexuals.
– the pope, on a mission in Uganda where he spoke to Catholic bishops there about all issues concerning the church and Ugandans. But he had nothing to say about the pending measure by their legislature is contemplating enacting laws that would imprison and kill gay people. Just last month he had something to say against Britian’s progay civil laws, but he has nothing to say about the fact that Uganda wants to imprison and murder homosexuals. Fuck him. Miter or not, this is not a man of peace.
-the archdiocese of Washington DC is trying to figure out how to trim their charity services so it would exclude any benefit for same-sex couples. The church is tax except, but they want to make impose their religious belief on a civil matter in a democracy.
-In Denver, the church has refused to let a pre-schooler attend because her parents are a lesbian couple.
-Another Republican congressman has used a public stance against gay rights as an elaborate cover for being on the down low.
The topper was a lead story about Sean Hayes coming out of the closet. He claims that he was never in, but deliberately skirting the issue and instructing press not to ask the question during Will & Grace’s wildly successful run, is in the area of de facto denial.
But, at least the sensationalized stories are in the mix with genuine news on GLBT rights and the millions of Americans who identify themselves as gay openly, without fear.