Burroughs Adding Machine

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

Like Kanye, But for a Cause

While I was teaching about gender stereotypes of Asian American women (check out Jessica Hagedorn’s excellent essay about the lotus blossom and tragic, weeping woman-stereotypes in The Joy Luck Club), Lt. Dan Choi was taking this warm afternoon to handcuff himself to the White House.

During a rally to protest Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, organized by the Human Rights Campaign and featuring funny lady Kathy Griffiin, Choi took the stage to call for immediate repeal of DADT. Kanye may have done the same thing at the Grammys to perky Taylor Swift, but this afternoon it was Choi taking the mic to call for gay rights.

Choi, of course, has been a longtime spokesperson for the rights of gay soldiers. It was surprising to hear recently that Choi was not officially discharged from the Army; his paperwork was still weaving its way through the bureaucracy. Technically, he’s still a servicemember of the U.S. armed forces, and a gay one at that. We’re lucky the whole institution hasn’t imploded, as predicted by naysayers (flip-floppers?) like John McCain.

Apparently, White House spokesman Gibbs was hosting a press conference in the Rose Garden at the same time; when asked by a reporter about the civil disobedience, Gibbs knew nothing of the incident. Here’s a video of Rick Sanchez reporting on CNN:

Filed under: gay rights, military, , , , , , , ,

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, , , , ,

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)
February 2020
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About Me

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

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