Friday, November 28, 2014

Gay Film Hero; LGBT Seniors; Gay Friendly Christmas Shopping and WTF-ery

Gay Film Hero

This article not only points out that there's been a certain stereotype of gay men in films, but also that there's now a gay hero in a new film. And I'm not talking about parody or superheroes.

Good news arrives this week with the premiere of The Imitation Game. The film features Benedict Cumberbatch as a real-life gay hero: Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician who famously broke the Enigma code and, in the process, helped bring about the end of World War II. Winston Churchill later said Turing made the single greatest contribution of anyone when it came to defeating the Nazis. That’s pretty major, though this isn’t totally a feel-good story. The man who knew secrets had his own, since this wasn’t exactly a time for Pride parades and Drag Race reunions. In fact, Turing (who was socially awkward to an extreme) was prosecuted for homosexuality, suffered chemical castration as a punishment, and was found dead in 1954 in an apparent suicide. It wasn’t until last December that Queen Elizabeth II pardoned him for his transgressions. (Mighty white of her.) But still: He was gay! And a hero! And they made a movie about him!

You can read the rest here. I realize it's not the HEA we tend to go for in books, but imagine just how many other gay heroes there have been we never knew about.

LGBT Seniors

Up until recently LGBT seniors have been almost invisible to most people. Tony and I have always had many older gay friends, both couples and those who were single. But I don't recall ever actually hearing much at all about gay seniors until now, especially since everything's always so youth oriented.

This link will take you to an article that celebrates 25 gay seniors and the things they've accomplished. Here's the first...Armistead Maupin.

Maupin’s influence on culture was recently recognized by the LGBT film organization Outfest, which honored the writer at its 2014 Legacy Awards. Speaking to The Advocate about his impact on a younger generation of readers, Maupin acknowledged that in terms of audience size, there are “not as many as I’d like, but a growing number, and they recognize the basic emotional content of the story. And the rest of it, the colorful period details, are interesting to them in another way.”

You can check out the rest here. 


Gay Friendly Christmas Shopping and WTF-ery


I once sent a flower arrangement to my mom on Mother's Day through 1-800-Flowers.com. And when she received it she sent me a photo and I liked it so much I shared it on social media. I'd spoken to a sales rep on the phone there to ask a question and he turned out to be gay, we talked for a while, and I was very satisfied. However, after I posted the photo on social media I was hit with a barrage of negative comments about how this flower company is so anti-gay. I had no idea, and it really bothered me that strangers I didn't even know personally would make comments like that to me on social media. Aside from the fact that that's overstepping, I didn't appreciate being lectured to by fools. It's not something I would have done to someone else.

In any event, I'm not a huge fan of boycotts or this kind of "gay-friendly" shopping. As I pointed out, the customer rep at the flower company was gay and we had a wonderful conversation. In the same respect, I'm not going to run out an order a cake from a bakery that refuses to bake wedding cakes for gay couples. It's a complicated situation at best, and sometimes you do have to vet where you do business to make a point. So here's a list I thought was worth sharing because I also think you don't have to be told where to shop and do business just because you're gay.

No big surprise here, but San Franciscan Levi Strauss & Co is at the top of the list, with a perfect score. Macy’s and Nike are also perfect-scorers, followed by Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren, and Aeropostale with nearly-perfect ranking. At the bottom of the list is L.L. Bean — you weren’t seriously considering buying from them anyway, though, were you? L.L. Bean has a couple of problems, ranging from failure to offer trans-inclusive health care and a lack of public commitment to equality.

And then there’s The Jones Group, owner of Nine West (among other labels).  They aren’t terrible — their score is 60 — but among their problems is a failure to offer cultural diversity training.

That last comment bothered me, because I personally know someone who worked at The Jones Group as an openly gay executive and they treated him very well. I'm not fond of this rating system either, nor am I overly thrilled with The Human Right's Campaign who are the ones who came up with the questionable list. HRC has a little too much to say sometimes, especially when it comes to politics, and not all gay people are willing to fall in line and follow their examples. The HRC should be more worried about why the President they supported can use executive order on immigration reform (which I agree with) didn't bother to use executive order to legalize gay marriage five or six years ago. It could have been done, and it still can be done. But we've had to sludge through the courts and win the hard way so the bible thumpers don't get offended.

You can read the rest here. I can't argue some cases, but I can argue a few. And that makes me wonder about all of them. And, one thing HRC always fails to mention is their own brand of discrimination against gay people who DON'T always agree with them or their politics. That's as wrong as when Pat Robertson says something stupid. And frankly, I think we need a few new voices in the LGBT community to speak up about this a little louder.

The comments that go along with this article amaze me. One person isn't going to shop L.L. Bean anymore because the article told him not to shop there. Another person clarifies this by stating L.L Bean isn't that bad and they scored low because their policy on trans people is "muddled." WTF is that supposed to mean? "Muddled?" Don't these HRC people realize that many in the LGBT community are working for these businesses?

Someone else pointed out that Amazon scored highly, but then someone disputed that with something Amazon did wrong. So he's not shopping Amazon for that reason. For the most part it's all hearsay.

 

The Sheriff and the Outlaw



by Ryan Field





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