Collisions of Opinion

Stephanie DonaldThe danger of writing editorials is that it’s like the old, crude axiom: Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one and some of them stink.

Heavens knows I’ve clashed with plenty of people through the years and had to learn to get thicker skin.

One time, during the 2002 Florida Gubernatorial elections, I even clashed with my friend and mentor, Jack Nichols, although he assured me it was just “all part of the game”.

Yes, I admit that LGBT-Today is a very small blog although I’d like to envision it as more. I do have a central core of loyal readers who I wish would contribute more comments and write letters to the editor about matters happening in our world but they just sit there and act as if we don’t exist and that bothers me at times but I won’t give up. Sooner or later I imagine my sheer tenacity will grab someone’s attention and we can move to the next level, I hope.

In the very small and old world of opinion mailing lists there exists a small and hearty band of travellers who discuss everything from gay rights to socialism and are spearheaded by an activist from the 1960s, DavidDavid Mcreynolds McReynolds.

While David is gay his main concentration in life has been in tipping the scales of America to the left rather than solely concentrating on gay rights and in doing so he believes that gay rights will follow.

Unfortunately, the past 45 years hasn’t exactly cooperated with David’s goals or any of the rest of ours, either.

Day after day I receive discussions in my inbox from a large cross-section of people, most are gay and lesbian, and I’ve made friends with quite a few. Wayne Dynes, who wrote a column once for LGBT-Today, is one of those I met through this list. Yesterday I also started up what I hope to be a close friendship with Lee Mentley, who formerly had an association with Harvey Milk but now is a city official in Los Angeles.

The point is that most of these people discuss within this group because they don’t really feel safe anymore discussing their opinions in places like Facebook or out in the open because of the close-minded attitudes of the far-right wing and Tea-Party people who attack on sight of seeing anyone who is left-wing, LGBT or simply not immediately in favor of their views, yet, every day on the online comments section The Washington Post, The New York Times and even my local newspaper, Florida Today, if a left-minded person defends themselves after being attacked another left-wing person joins to defend someone who is being attacked, the Tea-Party or right-wing accuse us of the being the ones who are intolerant and mean-Lee Mentleyspirited when we get called names.

I think one of the reasons why LGBT-Today hasn’t enjoyed the popularity that I’d hoped it would is because I speak my mind openly, allow my writers and guest writers to speak their minds openly and when attacked, I don’t allow the name calling.

I admit this is a left-wing blog. I won’t deny it! Do I necessarily agree with everything President Obama does and says? Hell no! To me, he leans to far to the right to suit my tastes personally but he sure beats having Mitt Romney or Donald Trump and he was absolutely a better choice at the time than John McCain and Sarah Palin!

Who would be my dream pick for President? If I could make America quit being such asshats I’d have to say Dennis Kucinich, the Congressman from Ohio. He makes more sense than any other candidate who has run since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Now if we could just educate America enough to get men to quit watching sports long enough to quit calling him Frodo Baggins and listen to what he has to say then perhaps we could actually heal this country and return it to the greatness that the Founding Fathers intended instead of all this madness and carnival sideshow nonsense that people actually seem to want.

Meanwhile, people like David McReynolds and his list quietly debate topics in their smalls group and I print my blog hoping to reach new readers so a light bulb will snap on over someone’s head and they’ll say, “Oh, I get it now!

I re-printed a good editorial from Mark Segal, my counter-part at Philadelphia Gay News, entitled “LGBT Web and Print Media”. I don’t always agree with Mark’s opinions and he was also a friend of Jack Nichols and while he would like to think he aligned with Jack all the time I can remember that Jack often differed with Mark on a variety of subjects but as Jack always told me; “That’s part of the game”.

Mark editorial hit the nail on the head, though. Today’s LGBT crowd wants to be able to get their news in ten words or less and in my observations, “no politics, please”.

They’re mostly interested in bar news and only participate in political happenings when the establishment takes out a wooden stake and poises it right over their heart. The events leading up to sharpening that stake are of no interest to them and often they react when it’s too late to do anything about it.

The right-wing and Tea-Party count on that and use that.

Thank goodness for the seasoned professional PAC groups like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Human Rights Campaign and Gay and Lesbian Anti-Defamation League and National Center for Transgender Equality and the few older members of the LGBT community who contribute to these groups to fight for those who will not fight for themselves. Otherwise the right-wing would steam-roll over us like hot asphalt on a sweltering summer day.

So I salute David McReynolds (a man you really should look up on the net because his history as a pacifist and activist is esteemed) and his small list and I tip my hat at Mark Segal and thank him for allowing me to re-print PGN articles here on LGBT-Today but most of all I thank those loyal readers who have stuck with us through these first six months.

Stephanie Donald




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