Monday, October 03, 2016

Equality Forum, I love your list but I have a problem with two of your lgbt 'icons'

It's that time of the year again when the Equality Forum selects its 31 iconic figures for LGBT History Month:

I've always supported this endeavor and will continue to do so and I have a dream that one day I will included in a future list.

However, there are two choices this year which I must cry foul over.

 Granted, Equality Forum's list is always controversial and this year is no different. Malcolm Forbes was a multi-millionaire and owner of several successful ventures, including Forbes magazine. But he was not an out gay man. Instead, his outing as an alleged gay man generated a lot of controversy.

James Buchanan, the 14th president of the United States, was the subject of many rumors about his sexual orientation. His status as possibly the first and only gay president is can be considered the only reason why he is included in this list.

But honestly speaking, a lot of historians think of him as one of the worst presidents we ever had.

According to U.S. News and World Reports:

 Even before he became president, he supported the various compromises that made it possible for slavery to spread into the western territories acquired by the Lousiana Purchase and the Mexican War. (Particularly hurtful to the cause of restraining slavery's spread was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, for example, allowed settlers to determine the status of slavery in their proposed state constitutions.) In his inaugural address, the 15th president tacitly encouraged the Supreme Court's forthcoming Dred Scott decision, which ruled that Congress had no power to keep slavery out of the territories. More damaging to his name, though, was his weak acquiescence before the secessionist tide—an unwillingness to challenge those states that declared their intention to withdraw from the Union after Lincoln's election. Sitting on his hands as the situation spiraled out of control, Buchanan believed that the Constitution gave him no power to act against would-be seceders.

My point is  if one is to be considered an official "lgbt icon," one should have more on his or her resume than being an lgbt or an alleged lgbt. An icon is one who is idolized because he or she creates a standard to emulate. Being considered one of the worst presidents of the United States or being a deep-in-the-closet millionaire who gets yanked out at the time of his death shouldn't be a standard anyone should want to emulate.

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