"Where are our gay voices, and why are we suffocating them?"
November 7, 2013 12:58 PM   Subscribe

"Resources that should be going to empower LGBT voices are instead going to enhance the visibility of straight people. We've created professional allies (or, as the history major in me would call them, mercenaries). We've created famous allies. Think of how absurd that concept is. I have a public presence because I treat gay people with respect." - Patrick Burke of You Can Play writes for OutSports about the role of LGBT allies and his decision to step aside to let former NFL player Wade Davis, who came out in 2012, become executive director
posted by Copronymus (12 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
There is a word for Patrick Burke -- mensch.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:05 PM on November 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Well," I responded, "We should probably talk about the fact that two straight guys just spent thirty minutes talking about the issues lesbian athletes face."

Wow, this is great. It really shows that he's thought deeply about this and is acting in a way that puts the cause he cares about first. (I recognize the irony of praising an ally for writing this article, but there you go.)
posted by en forme de poire at 1:09 PM on November 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Burkes are a great family - previously, previouslier
posted by troika at 1:11 PM on November 7, 2013


The Burkes are a great family

It nearly causes me physical pain that I respect Brian Burke as much as I do considering his years of crazed ranting about the importance of "truculence" and that time he challenged Glen Sather to a literal fist fight in a barn for signing one of "his" free agents.
posted by Copronymus at 1:23 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


It nearly causes me physical pain that I respect Brian Burke as much as I do considering his years of crazed ranting about the importance of "truculence" and that time he challenged Glen Sather to a literal fist fight in a barn for signing one of "his" free agents.

*shrug* no person is pure. One can be pro equity and be an asshole in other areas. So you respect and admire their positive points and despise their despicable ones. Some of the folks I agree with most with politically I can not stand to be in the same room with because of other factors, and I am sure their are others who feel the same way about me.

We are complex beings.
posted by edgeways at 1:37 PM on November 7, 2013


i love that article so much. my absolute only critique is that he shoulded have ended the article with a big picture of wade davis, to compliment/contrast his face at the top. it would really accentuate his point, i think.
posted by nadawi at 1:47 PM on November 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is also part of why I think that having more organizations is better for a lot of things. Like, in particular, having lesbian organizations, or trans* organizations, or organizations for queer people of color, rather than just lumping everything in as "LGBT" and assuming that one organization can speak for everybody's interests adequately. Having more people in the conversation is better. Allies' voices matter, too. But if there's only a spot for one person to go on a show to talk to the host about minority issues, it should be the person who can speak about it personally. Cheers for some people starting to voluntarily make that transition.

Now if we could get some proportion of the talking heads on TV going on about poverty to be people whose incomes are actually below four times the federal poverty guidelines... hey, I can dream.
posted by Sequence at 1:48 PM on November 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


if a straight ally is effective in the job, and if their view is that queer inequality is bad for society and not just for the queer culture, then i don't begrudge them whatever appreciation they get for their work. i think it's presumptuous that because he decided his time is up, at a moment that works for him, all his straight ally counterparts should take a hike as well.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 6:44 PM on November 7, 2013


fotb, I think that's less the point than that allies should be sensitive to when they're eclipsing voices from the community, or are complicit in their being ignored in favor of people who are more palatable (often straight people) - I don't think he's claiming to speak for anyone outside of gay sports journalism, for instance. It's great that straight allies have scored some slam-dunks (Kluwe comes to mind) but you need to also make sure they know when to pass the ball. omg sports metaphor.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:57 PM on November 7, 2013


also, kluwe agrees and retweeted the article. he doesn't seem to think it was presumptuous.
posted by nadawi at 7:45 PM on November 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


That was exceptional.
posted by arcticwoman at 5:47 AM on November 8, 2013


"It nearly causes me physical pain that I respect Brian Burke as much as I do considering his years of crazed ranting about the importance of "truculence" and that time he challenged Glen Sather to a literal fist fight in a barn for signing one of "his" free agents."

He challenged Kevin Lowe to the barn fight, not Glen Sather.

But yeah. That was a thing that happened.

Regarding the article, beyond the primary importance of having LGBT voices in positions of prominence, it is also important to just generally change up the voices and leaders in any organization every so often. Make sure the campaign can handle changes in leadership, keep the message fresh, that sort of thing.
posted by striatic at 5:43 PM on November 18, 2013


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