Monday, January 31, 2011

Where are the black lgbt characters on television?

 The Root has just come out an exceptional article talking about the absence of lgbt of color character on television.

Don't get me wrong - I love the visibility of lgbt television characters, but I wouldn't mind seeing some folks like myself. And not just for my own desires. There are million of young lgbts of color who also need that self-esteem which only comes from seeing positive portrayals:

To let Entertainment Weekly tell it, we are in the midst of a "gay revolution."

According to the magazine's latest cover story, Fox's ever popular series Glee -- and in particular its young yet openly gay characters, like Kurt Hummel, the high-note-hitting, fashion-loving teen played by Chris Colfer -- is "changing hearts, minds and Hollywood."

Joining in the praise is Newsweek, which celebrated the musical comedy-drama series by branding it "the gayest show in the history of network TV." In the Newsweek interview, columnist and anti-gay-bullying advocate Dan Savage echoed these sentiments and praised Glee and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "Really, when it comes to gay rights, there's two wars going on," Savage opined. "The first war is political. But the culture war is over. Between Glee and Ellen and how integrated and accepted LGBT adults are, that's done."

I would have joined in on the celebration going on at Newsweek and Entertainment Weekly, but I stopped believing in fairy tales after finding my mama's signature on "Santa's receipt" some 20 years ago. While I applaud Glee's efforts and adore DeGeneres for simply being alive, Hummel's high notes and DeGeneres' nonthreatening dance moves have aided only a portion of the gay population.

Many gays of color certainly don't see themselves in this revolution. Though we are seeing a lot more gay faces on TV, many of them are of the same ilk. And are we really challenging the tolerance levels of Americans that much by asking them to accept versions of gay people that they've long grown accustomed to seeing?

More here . . .

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SNL in trouble over nasty transgender skit and other Monday midday news briefs

GLAAD Slams SNL for 'Estro-Maxx' Ad Mocking Transgender Women - This situation has caused a bit of controversy in the lgbt community with some of us decrying the skit and others saying that we are too serious. I'm in the camp of those who decry the skit. Don't get me wrong - I like blue humor. But this skit made me feel uncomfortable. I didn't find it humorous at all.

And I think some on the other side of this issue are suffereing from a bit of forgetfulness. Remember it wasn't that long ago when gays and lesbians had to raise hell because some portrayals of us on television were evil. And it's not a matter of not having a sense of humor. It's about a lack of power. It's rare that our transgender brothers and sisters see a positive portrayal of themselves on television, so naturally when something like this comes out, they are going to raise hell.

It's no different than when the lesbian community raised hell in the 70s over the Police Woman episode,
Flowers of Evil which featured three lesbians brutally murdering the residents of a retirement home they oversaw.

Or when I have to see portrayals of black gay men in
African-American movies and television - places where you very rarely see us.

To those having very little power in controlling the images of themselves in the media, reminders of their powerlessness aren't funny.

And in other news

A very classy step by General Amos - The repeal of DADT marches on.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn To Sign Gay Unions Bill Monday - Good for him. Let's continue to press on to full marriage.

Charity says bigotry towards gay parents means kids miss out - THANK YOU for stating the real issue in the matter of gay adoption. Children have a RIGHT to a good home.

AFA: Tea Party Married to Religious Right, Like It or Not - And this surprises us because? I'm glad I missed THAT wedding.

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Here comes possible new victim of the 'radical homosexual agenda'

I want to get this piece out before those on the right have a chance to use this man as their new "cause celebre" against the so-called radical gay agenda:

An eastern Pennsylvania university police officer is asking a federal appeals court to rule that he had a right to refuse an order to disperse anti-abortion and anti-gay demonstrators on campus almost four years ago.

Cpl. Steve Armbruster said he was given what he considered an unconstitutional order to eject 15 members of the evangelical group Repent America from the Kutztown University campus in April 2007. He was relieved of his duties and later suspended for five days without pay.

A federal judge last year rejected his lawsuit, and The Philadelphia Inquirer said the 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia heard his appeal last week.

Students and university officials said the group showed up unexpectedly to preach against homosexuality and was confronted by hundreds of students. A judge later dismissed disorderly conduct charges against members but criticized them for demonstrating on the campus without the university's permission.

Armbruster contended that the order by the university president and the campus police chief would violate the group's civil rights and subject him to liability.

U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones II Jones ruled last year that Armbruster was serving in his official capacity, so his rights were not violated. He also rejected Armbruster's position that he had a right to refuse to violate the constitutional rights of others.

You get that? A group - Repent America - showed up unannounced on a college campus and began to protest. Since they had no permission to do so, university police were called in to disperse them. However, a member of the said police refused to do his job for his own reasons. He was suspended without pay but is trying to sue.

Seems to me that if you don't do the job you were assigned without a good reason - and his reason in regards to the First Amendment was not adequate - you should deal with the consequences.

No doubt if  they retell this story for their own purposes, religious right groups will probably mock up the details so to create more sympathy for Armbuster. They did so in past cases of former religious right cause celebres who either got fired or into trouble because they didn't adhere to very fair rules regarding conduct and then chose to make the controversy into a religion vs. homosexuality issue. Cause celebres such as:

Peter Vadala,

Crystal Dixon,

Patricia Mauceri,

Jennifer Keeton and Julea Ward ,

and the group in the center of the controversy, Repent America - who is known for making unannounced nuisances of themselves and then whining about how their rights are being violated.

I can just see the spin now (God help us).

Hat tip to LezGetReal

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