Saturday, November 08, 2008

Adding to the Prop 8 discourse

A good article in The Nation. It's short, but I'll give the shorter version: Anti-Prop 8 folks were outmaneuvered on their organizing efforts.

This is a problem endemic in the gay movement (well, to society in general which is reflected in the gay movement). Leaders in the gay community like to talk about diversity, but they've all too often portrayed their community as overwhelmingly upper middle class and white in order to project a vision of "normality" to the straight community. Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Drag Queens, Leather folks, transvestites, transexuals, bisexuals, working class, lower class, and so on are a crucial part of the community and are indeed some of it's most ardent supporters. Yet, when it comes to pushing the image of homosexuality in a positive light, it's predominantly "We're just like you - white and upper middle class."

Now, part of this is just folks working in our particular media environment which is dominated by white and middle to upper middle class imagery. But this critique is hardly new and it's been ignored and dismissed for years. If there is validity in the position put forth in the article above, then it appears as if such bias penetrated deeply into the No on 8 organizers. Hopefully in defeat they will have learned a much needed lesson. Too bad it had to come about this way.

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