Sally Ride, Boy Scouts, and Role Models for LGBT Youth

Sally Ride in 1979, Photo
Sally Ride in 1979

Posted by MK on 7/30/12

I’ll add only a couple of points to the debate swirling around Sally Ride’s decision to come out in her obituary. As many readers already know, the late physicist and astronaut Sally Ride–who overcame countless challenges to become the first American woman in outer space in 1983–revealed recently that she was in a same-sex relationship, by way of an obituary that she co-wrote with her partner before she passed away. The obituary noted that Dr. Ride is survived by “Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years.”

Debate continues about whether Dr. Ride came out too late, whether she should have come out at all, whether she would want to be an “icon” for the LGBT community, and other matters. I won’t join all of these debates, but I’ll add my two cents on a couple issues.

First, I take issue with the many commentators who insist with surprising confidence that Dr. Ride would not have wanted to be celebrated as a hero to the LGBT community. Continue reading “Sally Ride, Boy Scouts, and Role Models for LGBT Youth”

Say What? CNN’s Mystifying Interpretation of Mr. Cathy’s Anti-Gay Remarks

Posted by MK on 7/28/12

Having posted (yesterday) a link to a Jon Stewart video that included anti-gay comments from Chick-fil-A’s President Dan Cathy,  I wanted to comment on a related CNN blunder I just spotted.

On CNN’s website (in a story currently available here), CNN writes that “Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy sparked reactions that were swift and strong after he weighed in on same-sex marriage by saying his company backs the traditional family unit” (emphasis mine).

Anybody who actually heard the comments would be surprised by this characterization (I hope).  Here’s the key quote from Mr. Cathy:

I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say “we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage” and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

You can listen to the audio over at Does this sound like merely “back[ing] the traditional family unit” to anybody?  Sounds like a bit more (and it sounds a bit worse) than that to me, but I am known to be a little sensitive.

This is one of the many, many instances in which the media’s attempt to seem politically and ideologically neutral results in poor reporting of the facts.


The Anti-Gay Policy that Dare not Speak its Name (or, an Exercise in Insulting the Reader)

A stamp issued on February 8, 1960, for the 50th anniversary of the Boy Scouts in the U.S. As interpreted by the organization’s current leadership, the Scout oath is incompatible with being openly gay or bisexual.

News and commentary continue to sprout up all over the Internet about the recent reaffirmation by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) of its anti-gay policy. I’m pleased to see all the coverage, as it draws attention to an important issue affecting millions of young people. Plus, most of the coverage has been favorable, or at least fair, to those advocating for equality and inclusiveness. Among the BSA news items that most struck me, however, was a piece written by the chief scout executive, Bob Mazzuca, and the BSA’s national president, Wayne Perry; together they penned a defense of the policy for a recent installment of the New York Times’ “Room for Debate” series. I’m not sure what the authors intended, but their contribution to the debate is so evasive and transparently inaccurate that it’s much worse than merely unpersuasive: It’s also an insult to the reader.  

Continue reading “The Anti-Gay Policy that Dare not Speak its Name (or, an Exercise in Insulting the Reader)”

LGBT Youth Allies’ Global News Roundup #2

Naya Rivera from GLEE
Naya Rivera plays Santana Lopez on Glee. Photo courtesy of Francis Orante.

Posted by MK on 7/16/12

Today the LGBT Youth Global News Roundup collects stories from California, Louisiana, Mississippi, England, Scotland, Spain, and Uruguay.

  • Nava Rivera, who plays the role of openly lesbian student Santana Lopez on the TV show Glee, expressed support for her young lesbian fans when speaking at Comic Con in San Diego, California, this past weekend. On Top Magazine provides a video link. Rivera says, “I get so many stories and tweets and letters . . . from girls that say that [the Glee characters] Brittany and Santana have helped them come out to their parents or their friends or just to be more comfortable with who they are.” She added: “It’s given me the best fan-base I could have ever asked for.