Friday, June 22, 2012
We're Not All Like the Gays Who Went to the White House and Flipped Off Reagan's Portrait
When I saw this on Huff Post, I wanted to post something about it while it was still fresh.
I'm old enough to basically remember what it was like during the 1980's. I remember the criticism about how President Reagan wasn't doing anything. From what I recall he didn't do anything, and allegedly that's even been mentioned by his wife, Nancy, who was surrounded by gay men in her own personal circles all her life. If I had been old enough to vote at the time, I most likely wouldn't have voted for Reagan.
But if I were invited to the White House today I wouldn't do this:
If several raised fingers are any indication, some LGBT activists who visited the White House last week are fully evolved on what they think of President Ronald Reagan.
In a photo, removed from her Facebook page Friday afternoon (but posted here by the Philly Post), Philadelphia photographer Zoe Strauss is pictured waving two middle fingers at Reagan's presidential portrait. She did, at least, have the courtesy to tag Reagan in the photo.
I would have respect for the White House, respect for the sitting President, and respect for the fact that Reagan was President whether I agree with his politics or not (most of the time I didn't). I wouldn't be there as a "queer" American. I would be there as an American hoping to change things.
If I heard something like this,
President Barack Obama told attendees that he would be their "fellow advocate," saying he and first lady Michele Obama "have made up our minds" on marriage equality.
I might be so inclined to politely ask the current President and First Lady what took them so long to come to this decision, and if they have to power to make positive changes why they aren't doing it immediately. And then I would thank the President and his wife for their support, because we need all the support we can get.
But I wouldn't be flipping the bird to a dead President. I would be trying hard to let the rest of America know I'm not that much different than they are and I only want the same things they want.
And there are more like me. We're not all like the gays who went to the White House and flipped off Ronald Reagan's portrait. Unfortunately, that's all we see in the mainstream.