Tag Archives: Bullying LGBT

LGBT Pride and History Month 2014: Rachel Maddow

18 Jun

RachelToday we honor and celebrate Dr. Rachel Maddow, a woman who is trying to bring real discussion back into television journalism.  While a freshman at Stanford University, she was outed in a campus paper interview before she was able to tell her parents.

I always love papers that out people just for the sake of outing them–my what code of ethics does that follow?  Where is the journalistic integrity in outing people for no reason, save that it makes money, or causes a scandal, which just colludes with the dominant discourse? It would be different if they were outing someone with power that was using that power to hurt the LGBT community, but such was not the case with our Maddow. Fortunately, her family were supportive, and she has been out and proud ever since.

After receiving her degree in public policy from Stanford, she was awarded a Rhodes scholarship, becoming the first openly LGBT Rhodes scholar. She received her Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University with her thesis entitled HIV/AIDS and Health Care Reform in British and American Prisons.

These early events clearly hinted at her outspoken nature and her dedication to open discourse. She won a contest to become a radio announcer shortly after returning to the U.S., launching her broadcast career. She worked in radio for local Massachusetts stations and then joined Air America. Unabashedly liberal, she has observed the rightward drift of this country’s politics with the quip

I’m undoubtedly a liberal, which means that I’m in almost total agreement with the Eisenhower-era Republican party platform.

While still on Air America, she began regular guest spots on MSNBC’s nightly programs. Soon she was offered her own show, a TV version of her radio program, The Rachel Maddow Show. This made her the first openly LGBT host of a major prime-time news show in the U.S. She also routinely has her network’s most highly rated show – in what still remains a “white hetero male dominated” industry.

Her program is a wonderful mixture of straight news, opinion, and interviews–all offered through a social justice lens. In fact, I’m not sure there are other national programs that stand in such solidarity with those that are marginalized and oppressed by those in power and charged with the task of representing all Americans.  I love that Maddow holds these hypocrites’ feet to the fire.

Maddow’s work has been consistently recognized for its quality and insight. She has been repeatedly nominated for the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Journalism, winning in 2010 for her expose on Uganda’s horrific anti-gay efforts. Both the Advocate and Out magazine regularly include her in their lists of the most influential out media personalities. Her coverage of health care netted her a Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood in 2010, the year she was also awarded the Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award. It’s nice to see that an outspoken media voice with an interest in social justice can be recognized for her important work.

I’m also grateful for her visibility as a lesbian, for the more visible we are individually and collectively, the more difficult it is to target and marginalize us! Brava, Ms. Maddow!

Standing Up For the New Civil Rights Movement

16 Mar

Stop Discrimination

For those that actually know history, it was not that long ago that African Americans were denied  the right to legally marry in the United States, (Jumping the Broom Ceremonies amongst slaves) despite the completely insane and revisionist history that comes out of Michele Bachmann’s mouth. Even more scary is that states like Alabama did not repeal the miscegenation laws until 2000–yes, you read that correctly.  Today we have a new civil rights movement!  Regardless of how many of you may personally feel about marriage equality for the LGBT community, YOU do not have the right to legislate discrimination.  Nor do those of you that hold the power dynamic get to claim to be the victim while persecuting and bullying the LGBT community.

Fortunately, a majority of Americans do believe that we have to repeal DOMA, despite the bigoted efforts of John Boehner and his need to waste tax payer money to defend bigotry. In fact, a majority of voters do not want the GOP to defend the law in court, and are in agreement with the president’s decision to not defend DOMA. Click here to see the full article.  Thank you to my friend Lee Dorsey for inspiring me to craft this article.

Hero of the Week Award: March 11

11 Mar

Jared and Franken: Hero of the Week Award

With John Boehner wasting tax payer money to retain attorneys to protect HATE (DOMA), it is nice to see Sen. Al Franken D- MN and Rep. Jared Polis D-CO introducing legislation in both the House and Senate to protect LGBT youth from bullying. Franken and Polis presented a  bill that was introduced in both the US House and Senate yesterday to protect LGBT students from discrimination, including harassment “based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity” in public elementary and secondary schools; this earns them the HWA. Click here to see the video. The Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA), introduced by Sen Al Franken and Rep Jared Polis, would help put an end to the abuse of LGBT students in American public schools by extending federal civil rights laws to cover sexual orientation.  Bravo to Franken and Polis–here we see true examples of courage and leadership in our elected officials!

Bigot of the Week Award: March 11

11 Mar

King: Hypocrite and Bigot

First I have to give a Dishonorable Mention to MSNBC for the UnFair and Unbalanced interview between Evan Wolfson and Peter (I need to export all you homos) Sprigg.  Sprigg has already earned the dubious honor of BWA before on this blog. Thank you MSNBC for giving air time to Sprigg: Bullying Agent of the LGBT community.

This week’s award goes to a white man that proves Racism is thriving here in the United States. Peter King, Republican from Long Island, targeted American Muslims this week as potential terrorists, thus earning him BWA. The irony here is so bitter, it could dissolve one’s tongue. King a vocal supporter of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) a terrorist group, is now going after Muslim Americans, much in the same fashion as we targeted Japanese Americans during WWII–so glad King has learned from history–another student of the Michele Bachmann school of history. King was quoted in the NYT as saying: “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.” Really? Really? How do you hold any credibility when talking about terrorists?  It seems to me, we need to worry far more about the white American Christians as terrorists than Muslim Americans; here I point you to the Rev. Chuck Currie’s blog post. I would also like to say how tired I am of Islamophobia and I would direct you to the voice of a Muslim that does a beautiful job of bringing reality into a place of chaos and bigotry. Jeers to Peter King and those that give him any credence.

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