Burroughs Adding Machine

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

Dan Savage to CNN: Stop the Hate

“We need a cultural reckoning.”

This is Dan Savage’s response to a CNN reporter’s question of how mainstream society can increase acceptance for gays and lesbians. Savage goes on to make his point even more unequivocally: Stop providing hate groups like the Family Research Council to spew hate under the guise of impartial journalism. Said Savage:

“There are no ‘two sides’ to the issue of LGBT rights. Right now one side is really using dehumanizing rhetoric. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels these groups as hate groups and yet the leaders of these groups, people like Tony Perkins, are welcomed onto networks like CNN to espouse hate directed at gays and lesbians. And similarly hateful people who are targeting Jews or people of color or anyone else would not be welcome to spew their bile on CNN.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently added 13 virulently anti-gay organizations to its list of “hate groups”–a designation based on each group’s propagation of lies against the minorities it wishes to demonize.

Savage lambasts CNN for its seemingly innocuous journalism. Why shouldn’t the cable network question the anti-gay–now officially categorized as hate-mongering–“experts” that it regularly provides a megaphone for?

Filed under: hate, media, , , , , , , , , ,

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.”

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

Daphne is For Boys

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I love this mom. Sarah, from Missouri, let her 5 year-old son dress as Daphne–one of the female characters from Scooby Doo. Why the hell not?

Because some of the mothers in her son’s elementary school were dismayed by her son cross-dressing as a girl. Mom’s blog post about the Halloween costume went viral last week: more than 33,000 comments. As she explains on The Today Show, only a few of the comments were negative. 95% of the commenters expressed support.

Doesn’t this mom deserve applause–not criticism? For shucking norms? For doing what parents are supposed to do, be supportive?

For loving her son above all else?

Mom admits that she doesn’t care whether her son is gay or not; it’s the homophobia from her community that angers her. If a boy wants to dress like a girl, why make him feel embarrassed by his choice? Why not celebrate this 5 year-old’s originality?

Filed under: education, homophobia, kids, sexuality, , , , , , , , , , ,

Journalists on gay man’s murder: gossip or analysis?

I’m not sure what to make of this clip. CNN’s Rick Sanchez and L.A. journalist Lisa Bloom discuss the murder of WABC radio news host George Weber. The New York journalist was murdered this past weekend by a man he met through Craigslist.

It seems to me that Sanchez and Bloom veer from the facts to revel in the salaciousness of the story, seemingly appalled by the victim’s behavior to “find companionship.” Ostensibly, the interview is about social media. However, the focus of the discussion seems to be on the victim’s poor judgment and their disbelief that he met his killer on the internet. The tenor of the discussion reveals some homophobia. Would the journalists have been as appalled if the victim and the murderer were straight?

Sanchez: “Are you kidding me? He invited somebody to his house who had a picture of himself holding knives to his throat?”

Bloom: “He didn’t deserve this horrific outcome, but it was terrible judgment on his part.”

If this ain’t reporters simply gossiping, I don’t know what is.

Filed under: homophobia, media, , , , ,

Back from hiatus: A flagrant homophobe, a subway hero

As the little girl in Poltergeist says, “I’m back.” My dog, Lucy, recently passed away and my fear in blogging again has been that all of my posts would be about her. She was a loving, smart, one-of-a-kind dog and she will be missed. Enough said.

18subway190Two interesting stories of note: poet Mark Doty was strolling with his partner in San Francisco this weekend, and was told to “Get lost, faggot,” by homophobic passersby and restaurant owners in North Beach. A disturbing account, not only because it happened to such an articulate, beloved writer, but because it happened in this day and age. Think we’re in a post-homophobic era? Read Doty’s account or Houston’s reaction to GLBT mingling or to  China’s censoring of the Oscars or this hate crime involving a 62 year-old man in Vancouver.

To combat these depressing state of affairs (not to mention our downward-spiraling economy), here’s an article I read this morning about a subway hero who lifted a man from the tracks, saved him from an oncoming train, and then quietly left the scene before the media and authorities could congratulate him.

Filed under: gay rights, social justice, , ,

Writing

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)
June 2017
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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