A few days ago, Mistress Matisse called readers’ attention to this really dumb article about a television show I’ve never seen. Now, I didn’t give a shit about Friends back when everyone was talking about it, and I certainly don’t give a shit about it now; I’m sure you can therefore guess how infinitesimal my level of interest was in an article belaboring the totally obvious point that a show that went off the air twelve years ago (thank you, IMDb) doesn’t perfectly fit modern ideas of political correctness. But I was very interested (read: deeply disgusted but totally unsurprised) by this quote from Ray Bradford, the “director of entertainment media” for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), discussing an episode of the show in which Kathleen Turner played the drag-queen father of one of the characters: “When I looked at Kathleen Turner’s character, there was nothing tragic about it. It was not a story line depicting her as a killer or a psychopath or a sex worker or anything like that.” Read that again if you need to. Yes, that’s a media mouthpiece for a very large and respected gay rights group, specifically one whose mission is to combat harmful stereotypes, openly defaming sex workers by speaking of us in the same breath as killers and psychopaths. Now, you know, I’m not saying Bradford is evil; I’m not trying to depict him as a murderer or a child molester or a queer or anything like that. But one would expect that someone whose job description involves talking to the public about slurs against sexual minorities would, I don’t know, refrain from using slurs against sexual minorities maybe?
One might indeed expect that if one hadn’t been paying attention for the past couple of decades, that is. When Friends first debuted, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” was a common gay rights chant. But by the time the show was cancelled a decade later, the movement had undergone a dramatic transformation. Leathermen, stone butches, drag queens, kinky queers, transpeople, HIV patients and sex workers were slowly and gradually ushered back into the closet so vanilla picket-fence gay men and lesbians who wanted to get married, adopt kids and/or join the military could say to the Establishment, “Look, we’re just like you!” and thereby attract corporate donors to Pride parades and “marriage equality” drives that are perfectly happy to demonize polygamists, kinksters, whores and others who aren’t so interested in begging the government to license their sexuality. Wait your turn, we were told; don’t worry, we’ll get around to you. Except that once middle-class white mostly-monogamous gay men & lesbians won their place at the big table, what happened? Whitewashing Stonewall, which was started by black transwomen and drag sex workers. Siding with the fascist establishment against a transwoman who exposed government wrongdoing. Participating in the demonization of “sex offenders”. Vomiting out “it’s illegal” as an argument against sex work, though gay sex was illegal in many states only 13 years ago. Pretending that promiscuous stranger sex isn’t a major part of the lives of many queer men. Forgetting that sex workers were the only partners available to many closeted gay men for much of the 20th century. Promoting anti-whore crusades to cash in on rescue industry dollars. Ignoring anti-queer persecution which doesn’t affect bourgeois gays.
Gay, Inc has thrown sex workers and other “undesirables” under the bus for over a decade now; in their view, the “rainbow” only properly has three colors (and they ain’t too sure about that third one). The Rentboy raid was the direct result of this bigotry; had the GLBT “community” devoted its energies to securing the basic rights of all sexual minorities instead of wasting them in trying to force Christian fundamentalists to bake fucking overpriced cakes for their fucking bourgeois weddings, we’d be well on the way to decriminalization by now. Ray Bradford and GLAAD aren’t anomalies; they’re typical of what passes for “gay rights” organizations these days. And principled GLBT folk should take their vile, disgusting, hateful, bigoted attitude as a wake-up call.