Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Carrey to Letterman: “It is Ok to Be Gay”

Jim Carrey won’t play into homophobia.

On the Late Show last Friday, Letterman asked Carrey about playing gay. Carrey is unwilling to crack jokes at the expense of gay folks, however.

Asked Dave: “And, in terms of a leading man, a heterosexual playing a homosexual, do homosexuals say ‘well, that shouldn’t have been a homosexual’ or do you worry about your image as a heterosexual leading man playing a homosexual?”

Replied Carrey: “Boy, we haven’t grown at all, have we? We haven’t grown at all…. We’re still children in the schoolyard. Honestly. No offense Dave, for god’s sakes, have you ever seen a gay man? Are there gay people in Indiana? Is it ok to be gay there, is what I’m asking. There’s not a policy against gay people there or here?”

It’s heartening to see a major Hollywood actor acting as an ally and standing up for mainstream acceptance of gays and lesbians. All before breaking into a rendition of A-ha’s classic, “Take on Me.”

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Filed under: film, gay rights, homophobia, television, , , , ,

John McCain is a Grumpy Old Man

Let gays serve openly in the military?

75% of Americans think so.

Yet John McCain disagrees. His bigoted stance against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell does nothing but reveal his age. Instead of embracing the public and military’s welcoming attitude, McCain continues to rail against gays in the military. His opinions are antiquated, out of sync with most Americans, contrary to the Pentagon’s findings, and, quite simply, wrong. The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capeheart deconstructs McCain’s wrong-headedness in the video above.

I’m almost embarrassed for McCain. His attitude is less disagreeable to me than an example of an older generation’s xenophobia and crotchetiness.

Filed under: gay rights, government, military, politics, , , , , , , ,

Brit, Army, and Gay? No Worries

Wait: You’re in the army and you’re gay?

Lance Corporal James Wharton gives a rather unextraordinary account of serving openly in the British Army for the “It Gets Better” project. Wharton celebrated his civil partnership in his regiment’s barracks and served in Iraq for seven months in 2007. He was even featured on the cover of the British Army’s magazine.

Perhaps U.S. armed forces could take a note from our allies abroad?

Filed under: gay rights, government, military, world, , , , , , , ,

Removing a Gay Joke Isn’t Censorship

Ron Howard says he won’t cut a derisive joke from his new film, The Dilemma, just because protesters want him to. Last month more than 2,700 people signed a petition seeking to cut the gay joke from the film’s trailer.

Lead actor Vince Vaughn has also defended the joke:

Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together.

“Electric cars are gay,” says Vaughn’s character in the film.

I wonder if the gay kid and the school bully watching the film in Idaho realize that the joke’s meant to break any tension and bring them happily together.

How do we measure the impact of a careless quip like “That’s gay”? Dan Savage and Margaret Cho put in their two cents on gay jokes in The Daily Beast.

 

 

Filed under: censorship, film, gay rights, , , , , , , , , , ,

Homosexuality: Like Terrorism, A Disease, “Spreading Like Wild Fire”

Ugandan newspaper editor Giles Muhami has some pretty horrendous things to say about homosexuality: that it’s similar to terrorism, that it’s a disease, and that it’s “spreading like wild fire.” Be sure to protect your kids.

Muhami recently printed a newspaper article in his Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone (not to be affiliated with the U.S. magazine of the same name) that calls for gays and lesbians to be hanged.

For mainstream media to promote hatred and violence against any human is deplorable. In my travels through central and western Africa, I have listened to hatred and ignorant ideas about gays and lesbians; it’s even worse to see anti-gay opinions published in African newspapers as fact, irresponsible journalism unconcerned with the privacy of the gay and lesbian Africans named in these articles.

But even more than privacy or social ill, the negative reporting is a matter of safety for gay and lesbians. At least four people have been attacked since the article was published:

Carrying the headline “100 Pictures of Uganda’s Top Homos,” the article came out just days before the one year anniversary of the introduction of a controversial bill in parliament that would make homosexuality, which is illegal in Uganda, punishable by death in some cases.

I had thought the Bahati Bill–anti-gay legislation introduced by David Bahati, a member of the Ugandan parliament–had died down. Apparently, the hate against LGBT Ugandans (and supported by evangelical churches in the U.S.) is as present as ever.

Filed under: gay rights, hate, homophobia, world, , , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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