Sunday, February 25
by Sue on Sun 25 Feb 2007 07:30 AM EST
Local opinion seems to be that our own con-alternative paper, the Tribune Review, is pretty anti-gay. The fact, however, is that most of their gay coverage has been consistent with mainstream thought on gays -- we aren't so bad after all, its not such a big deal, don't we have better things to worry about (usually the libertarian columnists), and an abhorence of violence against gays. Its a benign quasi-tolerance that keeps us fimly in our second-class seats, but protects us (mostly) from being bashed by pipe wielding maniacs. They may not want their sons to be gay, but it would be okay if their daughters have a quirky gay confidante. Who could ask for anything more than that? (I'm being ironic here b/c a 72 year old harmless man was killed by a pipe wielding maniac in spite of the fuzzy Will and Gracism pervading pop culture).
Two Trib columnists have tackled gay stories of late. In an interesting display of better late than never, Matt Sober weighs in on the Tim Hardaway furor. Sober went to Penn State with John Amaechi, the former NBA player who recently came out. Sober recalls Amaechi as a very bright guy who probably appreciates the tough conversations his coming out have inspired throughout the sports world. Then Sober takes an interesting twist:
Saying you hate gay people is silly -- that's the teachable moment Sober draws from all this? Huh. Declaring you love gay people is silly? Its unfortunate that Sober opted for a jab at Pitt fans in lieu of actually saying something meaningful about the pervasion of homophobia in the sports world. Its great that he's a fan of John Amaechi, but he trips right over his blase attitude into the treacherous world of "let's pretend there are no difference and see everyone as the same."
Columnist Tom Purcell uses gay sheep experimentation to underscore the collapse of civilization. Not because of gay sheep, but because of America's obsession with gay sheep and Anna Nicole Smith. Some researchers were exploring the sexuality of sheep. Hue and cry ensued about the ethics of such research, bringing the attention of such entities as PETA and Martina Navritalova. Purcell takes the obligatory "nutty advocacy group" shot at PETA, dismisses any possibility that genetic research on sexual orientation could possibly be used against gays and then wraps up his analysis with this overreaching comparison:
I'm sorry, Tom, but in a nation that has collectively handed over our welfare to a despotic idiot, I'm feeling pretty good when groups like PETA bring our attention to potential landmines. Especially when I look at your previous columns which don't seem to focus on evil dictators, torture or genocide. But they do feature a lot of italicized words and exclamation points. Its practically the same thing.
So more gay-benign pablum from the Tribune-Review.
Tuesday, February 20
by Sue on Tue 20 Feb 2007 04:40 PM EST
That's apology-take two. He didn't mean to hate on us. And he's surprised at the reaction --- as if he had killed somebody. He even lost an endorsement.
How much you willing to wager that he ends up in "rehab" like Isaiah Washington, Mel Gibson and Michael Richards?
Monday, February 19
by Sue on Mon 19 Feb 2007 07:05 AM EST
That's a great line.
Saturday, February 17
by Sue on Sat 17 Feb 2007 05:33 PM EST
This is just too delicious. The Concerned Women for America are taking former NBA player Tim Harding to task for his recent homophobic rant. The CWA fears that Harding's blatant bigotry will taint the anti-gay movement. Or something like that. Just check this out:
I can't make this shit up.
This is the kind of Christian-flavored bigotry that makes me puke. As I was trying to explain to H's Mom in an earlier post, hate is a slippery slope. H's Mom and her fear of lesbian-association for her daughter might seem a far cry from "I hate gay people," but if you interject the intermediary step described above ... its not so crazy a leap is it?
Friday, February 16
by Sue on Fri 16 Feb 2007 07:44 AM EST
From today's Sports Mailbag, Harriet L. Schwartz of Squirrel Hill:
Well put, Harriet.
by Sue on Fri 16 Feb 2007 07:40 AM EST
There is nothing earthshattering in the Valentine's Day PG chat transcript featuring Jerry Micco. He simply makes a few comments about Penn State retaining Rene Portland as their women's basketball coach and former NBA player John Amaechi's coming out. What's interesting is the opportunity for the rest of us to note that while there is a long way to go, the sports world is not entirely filled with homophobic bigots.
Sometimes we need to stop and pay attention to these moments, particularly when most of the attention is focused on the stupidity of bigots like former NBA star Tim Hardaway who has recently claimed that he hates gay people. Duly noted Tim. Thanks for laying your ignorance right out there on the line and getting yourself banished from the NBA All-Star Weekend. Now if the NBA were to put a little more attention on the bigots who aren't so brazen ...
Back to Micco. Here's his perspective on Amaechi:
The snark about selling books is most likely not unwarranted. But consider the two standards he lays out ... how they treat others and how they do their job on the court. How they treat others comes first. Consider the implications for Pittsburgh's homegrown football thug Joey Porter who recently used gay slurs. How is that for treatin' people? In fact, here's an entire list of anti-gay slurs made by professional athletes. I'm sure quite a few have good Christian mamas who make them chunky soup every weekend, but they don't treat people so good do they?
Micco also express incredulity over Penn State's retention of Rene Portland:
There may be great replacements, but Portland is still a winner. So why toss her out just for being a homophobe and violating University policy when you can't guarantee a winning replacement? Its not like Portland offended the base or anything.
FYI, Suzie McConnell Serio is not exactly rah-rah lesbian material herself. She's on the record as defining sexual orientation as a "choice" but acknowledging that her player's personal lives are personal.
I suppose that's progress. It will be nice when more heterosexuals can lay off the uneasy little jabs when discussing homosexuality -- we get that you aren't gay and we certainly get that you aren't comfortable discussing it. Let's play ball.
Monday, February 12
by Sue on Mon 12 Feb 2007 07:38 PM EST
John Amaechi, once a star player for the Orlando Magic, is the first NBA player to ever publicly come out as a gay man. Now retired from basketball, Amaechi's unique story is detailed in his autobiography, Man in the Middle just released by ESPN Books.
Now, Amaechi is an official spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project, a program designed to help gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people come out and live openly.
Amaechi is launching a nationwide tour to share his story and encourage conversation about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.
Kudos to John who, sadly, will not be bringing his tour to Pittsburgh. He will be in Philly on March 10. Other stops include DC, Atlanta, Dallas and New York.
I think a few appearances in Ohio, Nebraska, Missouri and North Dakota might reach people who are alienated a bit more than say in DC which has a thriving gay community. But that's just me. We have no basketball team here so I guess we're off the radar. However, that also means we are off the hook for providing yet another new sports venue so perhaps its a wash.
Sunday, February 11
by Sue on Sun 11 Feb 2007 04:57 PM EST
In today's Post-Gazette, the inimitable Gene Collier takes a shot at figuring at the implication of Penn State's homoconnection to basketball. Actually, he contrasts the settlement of Jennifer Harris' lawsuit citing PSU coach Rene Portland's homobigotry with the coming out of former PSU bball player John Amaechi.
Let me summarize - the fact that Amaechi is a gay basketball player should not be a bigger story than the fact the Rene Portland won't let lesbian basketball players on her team.
Heather studies these things. That's good to know because I cannot begin to fathom the impact of homophobia in the athletic realm.
So Jennifer Harris settled and got her little lump settlement. Rene got a slap on the hand.
What have the rest of us gained from this sordid little situation?
Thursday, February 1
by Sue on Thu 01 Feb 2007 10:51 AM EST
Ray McGogney of Shaler on homophobia in minority communities:
Ray writes in response to Tony Norman's recent column on the furor around an African-American actor's usage of the term "faggot" to describe a fellow (gay) actor. You may have heard something about it.
A perfect example is Superbowl bound coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Tony Dungy, who is accepting honors from anti-gay Indiana Family Institute. This is the local affiliate of big Daddy Jimmy Dobson and his merry band of Focus on the Family bigots. This group makes no bones about their opposition to homosexuality, period. We are diseased beings who need to be cured and kept away from the children.
There's no discernible homophobic reason for Dungy to ally himself with this organization, according to OutSports. Dugy isn't on the record as being openly anti-gay, but he is very clear about being a Biblically based Christian.
Uh oh. Those are ominous words for us homos.
We can infer all we want, but my real point is that Dungy is using his good name to raise money for a group that wants to strip homosexuals of our civil rights in the name of religion.
Here's the take from an Indiana LGBT blogger, Bilerico:
Point well made. It doesn't look good so I'll be cheering for Chicago.