Tuesday, April 1, 2014

RuPaul's Transphobic? Modern Family is Poison? Boy Scouts Fire Troop Leader

RuPaul's Transphobic?

Update Below

There are so many new politically correct words, terms, and phrases these days that when I key in words like transphobic I get a spell-check alert on some devices and not on others. Even computers are confused. And I think this article that talks about RuPaul's TV show coming under fire for using "transphobic" terms is a good example of the way many of us wonder whether or not we're using the right terms these days. Even the most innocent slip-up, never meant to harm anyone, seems to get the most aggressive zealots on the fringes of society up in arms and I think a lot of us are getting tired of dealing with it. In this particular case, the terms "Female of She-Male" were used on RuPaul's Drag Race and RuPaul has issued a statement in defense.

“We delight in celebrating every color in the LGBT rainbow," RuPaul Charles, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Steven Corfe and Mandy Salangsang said in the statement. "When it comes to the movement of our trans sisters and trans brothers, we are newly sensitized and more committed than ever to help spread love, acceptance and understanding."

I think the key word in RuPaul's statement is "sensitized." I've posted about drag culture in the past several times and how the word "tranny" often comes under fire. I don't use it, but it's actually very common in some places with LGBTI people. This could be generational. It could be many things. And until we all understand which terms and phrases are correct I think the zealots should back up a little and try to educate us instead of slam us. No one's perfect. And intent is always the most important factor with anything like this.

You can read more here.

Modern Family is Poison?

I've always had the feeling it would only be a matter of time before TV show, Modern Family, came under fire. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association is making claims now that the show is "poison" and it gives convoluted impressions of what he thinks family life should be all about.

Modern Family," Fischer said, is "designed to make you think that same-sex households are wonderful" and "the optimum nurturing environment for children," which depicting heterosexual marriage as "bondage, dreary," and "gloomy."

I've only watched Modern Family a few times, and I never thought it portrayed heterosexual marriage as dreary. In fact, the main reason I don't watch is because I often think they make gay marriage look too heternormative in a stereotypical way. But I don't think that's poisonous.

Fischer also said this:

Watching the show, he added, was "like getting a little bit of poison over a long period of time, eventually getting enough accumulation in there where it can be kind of lethal to the organism."

He then concluded, "People are just watching TV to be entertained, not realizing that their view of life is being twisted in a way that's very harmful to them and harmful to our culture."

Now that's an interesting spin on something harmless. Last I heard Modern Family wasn't forcing an agenda on anyone. What they're doing is portraying the way thousands of gay married couples are living right now, and have been living for a long time. I know Tony and I didn't need Modern Family to teach us how to be a gay married couple. In fact, there are a few things I could teach Modern Family.

Fischer needs to rethink this argument a little more, and learn more about gay people and gay marriages. He doesn't sound credible. He's also highly underestimating the viewing public and not giving them enough credit.

You can read more here.

Boy Scouts Fire Troop Leader

Update: Here's another article on this topic I found interesting because I still don't feel as if I have the entire story. It sounds as if the troop leader was fired because he was gay (if he was that's just wrong), however, if you read between the lines it doesn't all parse. Was he fired because he was gay or because he couldn't keep his political activism separate from the scouts? I think there should be a distinction clearly made.

This is one of those things that makes me wonder. The article seems to be saying that openly gay troop leader, Geoff McGrath, was fired because he's gay and was promoting the "gay agenda." It also goes on to mention that McGrath took his troop to a gay pride last June and they marched, carried flags, and promoted the scouts at gay pride. They allegedly fired McGrath because they didn't think this was appropriate...that he mixed his politics in with the scouts.

McGrath, who is a software developer by day, said: ‘They are complaining that the problem [his homosexuality] is a distraction to Scouting and they don’t seem to understand the distraction is self-inflicted’.

 Officials said they did not ask the scout leader about his sexuality when he applied to set up the new troop, known as Troop 98, because it is against their policy, but said they took action once they found out.

'It was then that we became aware of his intentions to make a public statement about his orientation and use our program as a means to further a personal agenda,' Sharon Moulds, from the BSA, said in an email.

Deron Smith, another spokesman for BSA, added: ‘Our policy is that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation, and it’s not an issue until they deliberately inject it into scouting in an inappropriate fashion.’

I wonder if McGrath would have been fired if he'd been gay and just like other hetero troop leaders who are not political activists of any kind. Just a regular guy who happens to be gay but without a label who wants to be a troop leader who knows when to separate his politics from things related to scouting. In other words, if I had a kid in the scouts and that kid was taken to ANY event other than something related to scouting I'm not sure I would have appreciated McGrath putting my kid into an activist situation. If a troop leader were to take a kid of mine to ANY political event that's geared toward ANY kind of activism I would have hit the roof and pulled my kid out of the troop.

So I just have to wonder about this one, and whether or not McGrath overstepped his boundaries this time by interjecting his activist politics into a group that isn't supposed to be political at all. I'm well aware of the issues with boy scouts being anti-gay. And I've never been a huge fan of them for this reason. But what McGrath did is not something I would have done, and I don't think gay pride is appropriate for everyone in this case. I'm not even fond of these gay pride events myself because when they aren't capitalizing for profit they are pushing political agendas that have nothing to do with equality or discrimination. More often than not they bully, and I'm starting to think we should all be re-thinking gay pride as it stands. The people doing most of the work now are fighting the issues in court.

You can read more here. I wish there was more information that would answer some of the questions I have, but like most news pieces these days this one seems to have a slant, too.





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