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January 18th, 2009

Just So You Know You’re Still Second Class Citizens…

So…did you catch Gene Robinson giving the opening prayer to the Inaugural Festivities? 

No?  Well don’t fret…neither did anyone else…

Permission To Get Upset?

Posted by Dan Savage on Sun, Jan 18 at 5:35 PM

When Barack Obama chose anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-porn Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, gays and lesbians—still smarting from Prop 8—were understandably upset. Well, I thought our dismay was understandable. But a lot of folks in the comments threads here, there, and everywhere disagreed. Barack was just trying to bring the country together, to find common ground, and Rick Warren invited him to his church, and how dare you get upset, trust the man, let him get into office before you start grousing at him about this, why are you worrying about symbolism when it’s policy that matters, and blah blah blah.

Then when Barack Obama chose Gene Robinson, the gay Episcopal bishop, to give the invocation at tonight’s pre-inaugural festivities—the concert tonight at the Lincoln Memorial—the folks defending Obama were all like, "SEE? Obama is bringing the country together! Anti-gay preachers, gay preachers—everyone is equal and equally welcome!" And Gene Robinson did give the invocation at tonight’s concert…and his words were very moving. You can read the full text of Robinson’s prayer here.

But if you were watching HBO’s broadcast of tonight’s concert you didn’t see Robinson, or hear his remarks… because Robinson’s invocation wasn’t included in the broadcast. Skipped over during the live broadcast, edited out of the rebroadcast.

Dig it.  Not just skipped over, but edited out.  And Bishop Robinson wasn’t the only thing edited out…

How about the fact that tonight’s other big gay moment—the D.C. gay men’s chorus singing with Josh Groban—passed without the chorus, unlike every other performer, being identified?

Nice.  Welcome to morning in America.  No matter what little token we may think we’ve managed to win, never doubt the ability or the willingness of the corporate media to make sure we remain invisible.  And it’s not just that they’d rather have republicans in power then democrats.  It’s not just that allowing people to see their gay and lesbian neighbors for the human beings we are, makes it hard for us to be the monsters we have to become every election year so that republicans can gay bash their way into winning elections.  Homophobia is as much a fact of life in the high testosterone boardrooms of corporate America as it is in the megachurch stadium seating big screen TV cathedrals of the heartland.  They hate us.  First of all you have to understand that they hate us.

The democrats are sill late in coming to this fight.  Obama and his people probably genuinely thought they were being actively inclusive in bringing in Gene Robinson.  They were probably totally blind-sided by all this.  Like a lot of decent rational people, they just don’t get the depth of contempt toward gay people.  They never believe it until they actually see it for themselves.  You can’t just take a rhetorical stand in favor of gay equality.  You can’t just make a few gestures of sympathy and expect any progress to be made.  This is a knife fight.  They hate us.  They hate us with a venom that is as bottomless as it is bitter.  Every inch of progress in this fight, every inch, every painful, bloody inch of progress we make toward equality, toward the day when we are free to love and hope and dream and make decent lives for ourselves to the best of our ability, is its own poisonous scorched earth total war.  Every inch.  It will be like that right up to the bitter end and for generations after.  They hate us.  They will never stop hating us.  Of course HBO censored Gene Robinson.  Of course they shoved the Gay Men’s chorus into the closet.  The corporate media will keep on making us invisable, will keep on shoving us back into the closet, will enable the demonization of gay people, and look the other way at the toll of death and destruction until someone makes them stop.  Asking politely will not change one single solitary thing.  They hate us.

[Edited a tad…]

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