"The military's role is not to advance social issues. That's Hollywood's job!"
May 1, 2002 4:18 PM   Subscribe

"The military's role is not to advance social issues. That's Hollywood's job!" So argues gay cutie-pie Danny Roberts, who made waves as a cast member on MTV's Real World for his relationship with a closeted military man. Meanwhile, Michael Signorile has taken Rosie O'Donnell to task for "some rather homophobic whoppers of late – e.g., saying she wouldn’t want her children to be gay...that betray she’s got some issues to deal with." Is it smart for queer people to rely on newly out Hollywood stars to do their talking for them?
posted by mediareport (13 comments total)
Is it smart for anyone to rely on Hollywood stars to do their talking for them?
posted by mcwetboy at 4:25 PM on May 1, 2002

i rely only on Hollywood stars to speak for me, because our lives are so similiar.
posted by tolkhan at 4:42 PM on May 1, 2002

Signorile is a drone- anyone who listens to anything he says is foolish- he has a narrow, mean-spirited agenda, and anyone who doesn't fit his mold is liable to get torn apart by him. Those are the same tactics used by some on the fundamentalist Christian right and, as far as I'm concerned, he's no different than any of the James Dobsons or Jerry Falwells out there.

I'm happy that Rosie finally 'came out', but I don't feel that anyone has a responsibility to their 'community', whether they be gay or black or Asian or whatever; the whole 'outing' tactic is a fundamental violation of people's right to privacy. If someone chooses to be an advocate, that's a noble decision. But it should not be a mandatory one.

And it's not smart to look to Hollywood people for anything, in my opinion.
posted by evanizer at 5:01 PM on May 1, 2002

i'd rather not think that a clone like danny roberts has anything to say for the likes of me.
posted by patricking at 5:19 PM on May 1, 2002

What evanizer said.

That, and the people at GLAAD, they who said Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was a homophobic movie, need to go away for a long vacation.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:54 PM on May 1, 2002

Ugh. I can't believe WolfDaddy (mmm.. wolfdaddy... oh sorry!) brought up those GLAAD jackasses. They are a blight on society. Why, you ask? Because politics don't exist in a big gay vacuum. Because spokesmodels are full of crap. Because "positive gay portrayals" are heinous stereotypes. Because being gay is so... 1989.

Dannie Roberts is an inexperienced, sad, naive, misguided ninnie. If he was the last man on earth, I'd gladly be straight. End rant.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:13 PM on May 1, 2002

Hey, RJ.

I'm super ... thanks for asking.

posted by WolfDaddy at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2002

So Rosie states she doesn't want her children to be gay - BFD! In Signorile's world view this is homophobic, but upon hearing her say it, I agreed. Yes, it was/is tougher to be gay and in my personal experience, junior high and high school would have been a hell of a lot easier had I been straight.

My mother voiced a similar opinion when I came out to her. Does this make her homophobic? No. It makes her a loving parent who doesn't want her child to have to endure any hardships!

It is interesting that while Signorile has been demanding people come out of the closet, he is unable to accept that much like the rest of the population, the person still is an individual who is part of the whole.
posted by sillygit at 8:11 PM on May 1, 2002

I'm gay and I truly hope against hope that my son is not!!

Does that make me homophobic? No, it makes me a concerned mother. Unless society is willing to take some major steps toward acceptance of homosexuality-- yeah right! -- then life would be easier for him being straight.

That's what all parents want for their children. Life is difficult enough, why would I want it to be harder for him.
posted by bas67 at 8:39 PM on May 1, 2002

Actually, I think the relevant question here is, Is it smart for gays to let stereotypically bitter columnists tear apart their own in furthering an agenda? You'd think that Rosie keeping quiet about her sexuality to advance her career was the worst thing in the world, something she's still "lying" about. As if, to use a convenient example, Tom Cruise's actor-celeb persona is itself anything but a careful construct. Even assuming he's really straight. Please! Not to mention Musto and Signorile's own constructs as gossipy party animal and gossipy bitter hack. Will he admit that he's nasty to further HIS career?

The fact is that ordinary gays and Hollywood stars alike are incrementally better off every year. Insisting that a few people like Rosie risk destroying their careers and their own opportunities for success so that others won't have to make the same hard choices is more selfish than the acts of the person seeking success himself.
posted by dhartung at 10:42 PM on May 1, 2002

My ex (ex because she finally decided she really was gay but that's another story) hopes beyond hope our son will not be gay. Conversely, I am straight (but bi-curious, aren't we all? ;-P) and I don't care one way or the other, because I know that whatever he decides, we are raising him to be able to deal with this and other life's dilemmas as best as he can, knowing he can count on our support.
posted by mischief at 4:05 AM on May 2, 2002

mcwetboy: Good point about letting Hollywood speak for anybody. But for some reason, looking to Hollywood seems particularly strong among queer people. It's also silly, since the effect of pop culture on political questions is debateable at best. (I forget, is pot legal yet?)

evanizer and dhartung: Nice ad hominem attacks on Signorile, but his point stands. Rosie is pulling the standard, newly-out "I'm not like those other queers who put it in your face" move. She needs to be called on it. Come on; the woman actually implied that marching for legal equality was the equivalent of being "myopic" about non-gay issues. That, and her characterization of Ellen's coming out as "offensive," both made me roll my eyes when I watched her on O'Reilly. All Signorile and others are suggesting is that Rosie could learn a lot from people who've been active on g/l issues for decades, instead of dismissing them as, you know, those in-your-face kind of queers.

bas67: "I hope my children don't turn out gay" often has a nugget of homo-discomfort at its core. I've interviewed a number of g/l parents and none of them would have said such a thing; instead, their reaction is, "That'd be fine with me; I'd love and help them however I could." Of course, they'd all been out longer than a few months, too. Just think about the 12-year-old lesbian watching Rosie say on TV that she hopes her kids don't turn out gay. How is that kid supposed to take that? It remains a thoughtless and hurtful thing to say.

Wolfdaddy: GLAAD missed the boat on the Jay and Silent Bob movie completely; it was their most embarrassing screwup in years. But, like other anti-defamation groups, they're paid to sit on the outer edges and patrol; it's what they do. We get to decide for ourselves, I guess, whether each "outrage" they find is worth the effort of responding. Personally, I'm glad there's a group out there drawing attention to unfair, moronic bigotry like this episode of the Alan Keyes show.
posted by mediareport at 10:28 AM on May 2, 2002

mediareport I don't doubt that GLAAD does good work from time to time. I also don't mind if one of their 'alerts' falls on its face from time to time.

What I do mind is the fact that they browbeat Kevin Smith into paying them 15,000 dollars (IIRC, Smith mentioned the amount on the DVD ... frequently) so they wouldn't issue an official alert about J&SBSB.

That's more than stupidity. That's extortion, and GLAAD has probably lost a pretty valuable ally in Smith over the whole mess. He certainly sounds bitter talking about the experience on the DVD.

Of course, I really have to take Smith to task for caving in to them. He's a big ol' softie, and I'd love to hug and kiss him and stuff for his movies, which have never failed to make me smile, but he compromises himself when he caves like this.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:14 PM on May 2, 2002

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