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April 20, 2006

Comments

brian

I don't know where I read it -- maybe I read too many blogs -- but a great parallel was made in the 1950s when black children were not invited to the Easter Egg Roll. Maybe it's an urban legend, but the story goes Mamie Eisenhower saw the black children at the fence and the following year, she integrated the Easter Egg Roll -- probably to the horror of millions of white Americans.

She used children politically because it was a statement that had to be made. If the parents are willing, why not? It is likely that many of these children, 10, 15 even 20 years from now, when their parents tell them the story, they will be proud to have been part of it all.

The problem using children is the bigots and haters who might use those images against the children.

Unless you don't think gays should have kids at all.

Queen Conservative

Gay people want to be treated as just normal everyday people with jobs, kids, mortgages, etc. Yet they'll do everything short of dousing themselves with gasoline and striking a match to stand out and apart from the mainstream they claim to want to be included in. Even exploit their own children.

Why not just show up at the Easter Egg hunt - no fabulous leis, no "my lesbian mom can out golf your lesbian mom" t-shirts - and hunt the damn eggs like everyone else.

Robbie

Unless you don't think gays should have kids at all.

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Thank you for so beautifully illustrating the hysteria I'm criticizing.

Your analogy falls more than a bit flat, because gay families aren't banned from the Easter Egg Hunt. Sure, once it became a massively politicized event, the White House went seven circles of asshole, but it definitely wasn't a comparable situation. It wasn't as if gay families were banned, and they were crashing the gate. No, they took a fairly innocuous children's event and decided they were going to "make a statement," using their kids to do it.

I feel less than comfortable with dragging kids into these political battles, and I mean that for both sides, conservatives and liberals. It's one of my pet peeves. Let kids be kids. Leave the political fighting to the adults.

Toby

Maybe I missed something, but I think you and Queerty are reacting to ONE photo taken of two dads holding up their kid "Lion King"-style, which is unfortunate but probably taken out of context.

I haven't read any articles in which the little kids of gay parents were actually interviewed, so I think you're getting bent out of shape over nothing.

Anyway, I didn't accuse anyone of being a "right-winger" and I couldn't really give a shit what anyone thinks about Easter eggs. My problem is that Queerty is a crappy blog. That's all!

Queen Conservative

How long is Toby's "crappy blog" list? I think I've lost count.

Tommy

QC - I knew you were a Tory. Freddie Mercury wants the name back.

Robbie

Actually, I had a problem with this before the photos were available. I made a comment about it a few days before the event here.

My issue isn't the photo. However, it is pretty dishonest to pretend the point of all that political coordination and ticket wrangling for gay families wasn't to shuffle kids in front of the cameras to make a political point.

There's just something very off about parents dragging their kids into staged political fights.

The right-wing stuff is from the quote I posted.

Patrick

The guys at Queerty were talking crap like everyone else. They really weren't up in arms about anything, they're just keeping their blog alive, writing whatever comes to mind to fill up the space. Isn't that what it's all about? Bitching for bitching's sake? People need to lighten up. The families who gathered may have had a political agenda, but I think it safe to say for most parents their #1 priority is their children.

Queen Conservative

It's often funny how people get so defensive about things that weren't even meant to be about them; like Toby just assuming the "How dare you criticize. You're just like right-wingers!" quote was being attributed to him.

Another example would be if I said: "God that guy is a fucking retard!" - Tommy would immediately bristle up without stopping to consider I could just as easily have meant Louis.

Toby

Queen Conservative, you have a crappy blog.

Queen Conservative

I'd already put myself on your list Toby - but thanks for confirming it. I consider it high praise, indeed.

Terrance

Ok. Somebody tell me how we counter people's misconceptions about our families by not being visible as families.

Robbie

Well, Terrance, it's not an either/or proposition. Simply living our lives will always be the most effective way of combatting stereotypes and misconceptions.

However, once "visibility" becomes activist-speak for "political circus," then I tend to have problems. People couldn't just go to the Easter Egg Hunt. They had to politically organize, and get the lais, and inform the media, and basically use a children's event for their own political grandstanding.

I suspect I'm not the only gay man who had misgivings about this.

Queer Conservative

I think showing up and participating is enough, Terrance. And it'll go a lot further toward gaining you acceptance than leis and logos, or tantrums and tirades.

Toby

90 percent of life is showing up - the other 10 percent is leis!

Queer Conservative

Toby, on that I'll agree with you.

Freddy Mercury

Thanks.

Another Gaymer

Yyyyyyeah. See, I'd feel less comfortable about "using" children if certian people weren't determined to keep their head in the sand with regard to the existence of gay families, especially if those people are in a position of power over my parental rights and seek to roll them back.

"Yet they'll do everything short of dousing themselves with gasoline and striking a match to stand out and apart from the mainstream they claim to want to be included in. Even exploit their own children"

What a charming assumption that the mainstream might lay claim to us as "one of its own" in today's staus quo. This is, sadly, not a view widely held by most of its members.

On the other hand, things are changing, but in large part, I'm sorry to say, owing to "exploitation" like this.

Was anybody there who can confirm or deny? Was there child thrusting and tasteless papparazzi-chasing? I saw the picture, and I won't make an assumption from it. There's a difference between seeking out attention media-whore style and being cornered by the press over what is, given the current political climate and the current flux in status of gay rights in America, an actual story. And I can't say for certain from that picture alone if it was one or the other.

Other pictures I've seen have generally been the same boring photos of other families, grimacing parents and the smiling child. Well, I say smiling in cases where he/she isn't bawling in terror at a larger-than-life rabbit.

We get criticized for being too outre when we have Pride parades, and now criticized for the visibility of families? There's just no pleasing some people, short of completely disappearing. I wouldn't feel the need to put myself forward, if others wouldn't keep pushing me back. I'll stop politicizing sexuality when they do. Happily. Eagerly.

PatrickP

I would be less irritated with these parents if they had not worn rainbow leis. I thought the idea was to just sort of be like everyone else. So be like everyone else and just go.

(Toby, I like your blog. I sincerely enjoy reading it. I especially like it when you reveal your deep abiding passionate love for Ethan. I think it’s sort of hot.)

Jordy

VB rags on Queerty. hahhahhhaaa, that's funny. It's a gay blog war!

Watch it gurl, I'll scratch your eyes out!

Queerty is still my favorite, TOWLEROAD is a bit pretentious.

Patrick

The point is NOT to be like everyone else. The point is to be YOUR TRUE SELF. I understand why that makes some people, both gay and straight, uncomfortable, but feeling that way doesn't mean that somehow these parents are bad or wrong. I don't have any children, so I can't speak for these parents, but I can tell you that my straight parents used me all the time- to fetch things, do chores, etc. I really don't see how holding a baby up for a photo is going to damage the child. People who are reacting negatively to these parents are either blowhards or wimps. It's a molehill people! Geting bent out of shape over a rainbow lei? I'm sorry but what's the big deal? Self-expression is a key element to a healthy life.

Jordy

PS: Do gay blogs really have to have photos of nearly naked guys sprinkled amongst opinion and editorial? It's kinda' like reading Playboy for the articles. Hard to pay attention to the real issues being presented.

Robbie

There's a difference between seeking out attention media-whore style and being cornered by the press over what is, given the current political climate and the current flux in status of gay rights in America, an actual story.

Yes, but it was a staged story. It wasn't simply a matter of gay parents taking their kids to an annual White House event (something I certainly have zero problem with). There was political organization, media alerts, ticket buy-outs, and other things that made that leap from mere visibility to fairly tasteless exploitation.

I think one thing that's tiresome is the "all or nothing" attitude so many people have towards these things. If I say, "Sure, go to the event. Knock yourselves out. But do you have to make a political circus out of it?" And suddenly it's, "You don't want gay families to be visible!"

This total intolerance to any kind of criticism or even basic common sense when choosing when, where, and how to make political statements is part of the reason gay rights are so schizophrentic in this country. I'd love to know who got together and thought, "You know what will totally not piss off moderates we need? Politicizing a children's event!" and then got paid for that.

Patrick

OMG I'm so sorry but Queerty is so stale it's pathetic. They're always a day late and a three dollar bill short...

Jamie

Well, Terrance, it's not an either/or proposition. Simply living our lives will always be the most effective way of combatting stereotypes and misconceptions.

I can agree with that, Robbie, when it comes to one-on-one interaction with people in our everyday lives. While I don't think all the intentional publicity was necessary, I also think there's good reason to wear those rainbow-colored leis, or even just a rainbow pin, or whatever, to emphasize that gay families participate in the same rituals straight families do.

Like you, I live my everyday life without wearing my homosexuality like a badge on my sleeve, but there are occasions when en masse visibility is necessary to help divest people of their preconceived notions. However, the overriding concern should indeed be seeing to it that your kids enjoyed the day and had a memorable Easter.

As for photographing the children: with all the publicity it's absurd for anyone to think they could safely attend the egg roll without the possibility of their child being photographed, and I think those who attended were well aware of it.

But those who hold their children up to the camera like a badge, instead of just enjoying the Easter Egg Roll with them, shouldn't be parents in the first place, IMHO.

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