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The Rosie Aftermath: Now People Compare Gays and Islamic Extremists September 19, 2006

Posted by newsfittopost in lgbt Issues, media.

As Rosie O’Donnell continues to be bombarded with criticism for her comments comparing radical Islam and radical Christianity, others have begun using the Islamic comparison for other minority groups. Over at GayPatriot, a conservative gay blog, readers have started making comparisons between the way Muslims and gay and lesbian people portray themselves to a “mainstream” audience. Although their comments are in good-faith, they are also severely misguided and point the blame towards the wrong people.

Here are selections from the GayPatriot post:

Muslims and gays have the same problem. Who is doing the talking. The crazy ones. Whenever there is a gay issue who is doing the taliking [sic] some freak in pants with the ass cut out and nipple clamps. Most gay people aren’t like that why domn’t [sic] they tell that freak to sit down and shut up. Most Muslims don’t think burning churches and stoning women is a good idea. Why don’t they ever stand up and say shut up you backwards ass cave dwelling freaks. You don’t speak for us…

And from another GayPatriot reader addressing the topic:

…Am I endorsing this behavior because I don’t say that I disagree with it publicly in the same way I believe Muslims are endorsing radical Islam by not speaking out against it? My problem of course is what forum do I have for speaking out against the outrageous behavior of gays and Lesbians in my community, but then what forum does your average Muslim have for speaking out?

Although I agree that the more flamboyant in the LGBT community probably shape an image of gay people that is not accurate, there are several problems with this comparison. The first and by far most important point is that a gay man wearing nipple clamps is in no way harming any individual aside from himself (I would imagine that nipple clamps hurt like hell). Islamic extremists, not Muslims in general, often times brutalize and murder people for no reason beyond a warped view of the Quran. There is an enormous difference between someone who is outside the mainstream and someone who murders because of ideology.

This is important to note because the GayPatriot post advocates publicly condemning the flamboyant in our community, just as it encourages Muslims to speak out against Islamic extremists. It is entirely fair to say one does not identify with those who wear nipple clamps and buttless pants (I know I sure don’t), but it is entirely different to condemn them for it. These people are causing no harm, and for a heterosexual or gay person to attack flamboyant gays is no better than the anti-gay groups who attack gay people for expressing themselves differently than the “mainstream”. I am a cookie-cutter New Yorker who is unlikely to stand out, but unless the feather-boa wearing gay is harming me, I say live and let live.

My other disagreement with the GayPatriot post is the belief that “crazy” gays are the ones speaking for the LGBT community. This is ridiculously inaccurate. When a gay or lesbian representative is on Fox News or other mainstream news programs, it is very rarely someone in full queen garb. We see people like Joe Solmonese of HRC and Neil Guiliano of GLAAD… hardly the dress-wearing nipple clamp type. Where we do see the more flamboyant gays is in b-roll footage used for news stories. Although this does not help the image of our movement, it is the irresponsibility of the media, not flamboyant gays, for using images of Pride to talk about non-related issues like discrimination protection and marriage.

So if you are going to blame anyone for casting gay people as fashion-loving, cross-dressing queens, blame the media. I believe Fox News purposely uses video of Pride to help stereotype gays and lesbians, since many other networks have become much more careful when selecting footage. Nonetheless, those who do tend to be part of the non-violent extreme have every right to do so in this system we call democracy, and it is not anyone’s place to tell them how to act. Calling on Muslims to denounce radical Islam, which lives off violence and murder, is a much different scenario than a couple of drag queens on a float during Pride.


1. Anonymous - September 19, 2006

I find it extremely offensive when other gays begin to criticize people for being who they want to be. You are exactly right: if they are hurting people, that is one thing, but you don’t hear much about nipple clamp wearing people attacking other gays, or anyone else for that matter, do you? Gay people spend so much of their lives trying to justify who they are… I find it hypocritical for these same gay people to force some of their own into justifying themselves. This is disappointing.

2. Jeff - September 20, 2006

I agree with your post completely. Nicely said.

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