Leading from the Left

Monday, November 05, 2007

Why is the N&O Homophobic?

"How the media portrays the LGBT community doesn't make a bit of difference. It makes ALL the difference." So said my friend Neil Guiliano, president of GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) at the Equality Conference & Gala on Saturday.

Neil's right.

Which is why I finally have had enough of the N&O's homophobia. I woke up Sunday morning to read that paper's coverage of Saturday's Equality Conference. They pulled their typical "homosexuals" this and "homosexuals" that mess.

Oh, puh-lease. Homosexuals? What's wrong with saying Gay? Or Gay and Lesbian? Or LGBT? Would they refer to Barack Obama and Sherrif John Baker, who died last week, as Negroes? No, of course, not.

So why adopt the language used by the far right to sexualize gay people? It's not by accident, my friends, that the far right uses the word "homosexual" when referring to the gay community. They do so because it reinforces the stereotype that being gay is about a sex act. Doing so denies our greater humanity, and greater worth, and focuses on sex.

I called the reporter in question and asked her to never use that word to describe my people. It's time to join the 21st Century, News & Observer. African-American's aren't called Negro anymore; women aren't called 'ladies;' handicapped aren't called 'cripples;' and Gay people aren't called 'homosexual.'

Contact the N&O and let them know that it's time to join the rest of us in the 21st Century.

How the media portrays gay people doesn't make a bit of difference; it makes all the difference.