Politics, Penguins, and LGBT Poster Children: The Week in Gay News

Gay SantasI don’t know about you guys, but I tend to save the best for last. If I have a stack of letters, I’ll open the cable bills first, and put the handwritten letter at the bottom of the pile. If I’m eating a piece of pie, I’ll start with the crust, just to get it out of the way.

This week, I’m starting with the cable bills and the crust, and working my way to tidings of comfort and joy.

Rick Perry’s Brokeback Campaign

First up, politics. Specifically, a field of Republican candidates who mistakenly think they can gain traction with their party by going after gay rights. Specifically, Rick Perry’s dunderheaded new ad, “Strong,” which pits the repeal of DADT against Christmas.

Apparently, the instant it was released it started to be mocked, with Stephen Colbert illustrating the backbone of Perry’s ad via kissing Santa Clauses, reports of his own campaign managers denouncing the ad, and folks pointing out that Rick Perry, in an overextended effort to project “straight, gay-fightin’ cowboy” is wearing the exact same jacket in the ad that Heath Ledger’s character wears throughout most of Brokeback Mountain. It’s petty, but it IS kind of ironic in an Alanis Morisette way.

Anyway, if you don’t know what all the uproar is about, it’s basically summed up in this sound bite from the ad:

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.

And here is the thing itself. Note the 20,000 “Likes” and almost 700,000 “Dislikes” on the video. Them sounds like votin’ numbers to me.

Newt Gingrich’s Gay Sister is Voting for Obama

In other Republican field news, ABC published an interview with Newt Gingrich’s lesbian half-sister, Candace Gingrich-Jones, who happens to be a gay rights activist and pretty much says what you’d expect about her bro.

The elephant in the living room at most of the gatherings, according to Gingrich-Jones, is the fact that she is married to her wife, Rebecca Jones, to the views of her brother.

“He said, ‘It’s your life and you live the way you want to,’” said Gingrich-Jones, describing Newt’s reaction to her coming out at age 21 in 1987.

When she wed Jones in 2009 at a ceremony to which her brother was invited, he did not attend because he was traveling abroad. “I don’t know whether the trip was planned before or after the invitation,” she said. “But I’ve known since the 1990s, he’s said if I ever had a wedding and married a woman he wouldn’t come.” She said he did send a card and shower gift, however.

Both Newt and his sister sound like they’ve come to terms with their opposing views…so why does the whole thing just make me sad? I guess because, like Dick Cheney, if someone in your own family can’t change your mind, who can? Thanks for the note and the card though!

Via ABC News

Son of Lesbian Moms (Sorta) Has Words with Michele Bachmann

This is a tough one. A video of a small boy, the son of lesbian moms, being gently prodded to go up to Michele Bachmann and deliver a verbal smackdown flew around the Internet last week.

According to Parenting.com, the 8-year-old boy, named Elijah, approached Bachmann at a book signing, where he whispered, barely audibly, “My mom’s gay, but she doesn’t need any fixing.”

I’m not a huge fan of this type of thing. Mainly because the boy looks scared out of his mind. Also, I’m not totally convinced an 8-year-old should/would be following politics or contemplating why this woman hates his moms so much. All I know is the video doesn’t exactly make me feel triumphant. Glittering the candidates is one thing – sending your kids after them is another. The mom who encouraged him claims that he wanted to say it all along, and just got shy when it was go time. I’ll stop judging now and let you view it for yourselves:

Via Parenting Magazine

Zack Wahls – Backlash?

Speaking of boys defending their mothers in public, the Zach Wahls video that shows him defending his two moms in the Iowa House of Representatives received a renewed round of attention last week. I’ve written about this before, so it was a little weird when people all over my Facebook page were discovering it for the first time.

The video first exploded last February, and the recent resurgence was attributed to Wahls’ appearance on the social bookmarking site Reddit, according to the Washington Post.

Look, the video is great. It’s great! And Zach Wahls is great – and cute and handsome and so straight! Yay! But as some folks in the gay community have pointed out, this model straight kid isn’t the only proof that the kids of gay parents are really, truly alright.

Specifically, I found this first-person post on the subject from a child of two lesbians (who now identifies as a lesbian herself) to be particularly interesting.

I had all the credentials of poster-child success. I was the pretty, figure-skating, Midwestern straight girl heading off to an Ivy League college. I too just happened to have been raised by two moms. I was a passionate ally for gay rights appearing in USA Today and on my local evening news. I was living proof that gay parents could raise healthy kids.

And then something happened. I fell in love with a girl. I promptly stopped talking publicly about being the kid of gay parents. Nobody outright told me, but I wasn’t a politically savvy messenger for the movement anymore. I had become proof of the Religious Right’s propaganda—gayness rubs off. Gay parents make gay children. The world is going to hell in a fabulously gay handbag!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Zack. But as the author above points out, I’m wouldn’t mind hearing from his sister Zebby, too. I guess the point is, as the movement for family awareness and acceptance broadens and becomes more public, these easily digestible, Disney-esque narratives will be inevitably deepened, explored, and expanded upon. I’m kind of looking forward to it.

Via Velvet Park

Gay penguins

…become parents!

According to the Huffington Post, a pair of male penguins in northern China has been given a chance to showcase their parenting skills through adoption. Male penguins are known to be the main caretakers of the eggs hatched by females. It’s natural, baby (bird)!

Via Huffington Post

Celebrity Gay and Lesbian Couples

In honor of Rosie O’ Donnell’s recent engagement to girlfriend Michelle Rounds, the New York Post put together a list of 32 famous gay and lesbian couples.

Some of them are a stretch – for example, the Real Housewife who briefly dated a female DJ, but who now has a child with and is married to a man. Also, Lindsey Lohan and Samantha Ronson hardly count now – they’ve been separated for over a year and I still don’t fully trust that LL isn’t just trying to get attention. But other couples are surprising and cute – like Law & Order’s B.D. Wong – who’s now a gay dad! Check out the full list here.

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