NYT: My Gay Agenda

10 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Good piece, but why is it titled, and why does she refer to a "gay agenda"? The LGBTQ community lets that happen too often, we (transgender people, and others) become invisible by referring to it as a "gay agenda" or "gay rights movement," etc. It's especially disturbing coming from a transgender activist!

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I pondered that too and decided that her use of the word "agenda" reminds us of how that word is used by the people who would otherwise deny us our basic rights. Maybe you're more concerned with her use of "gay" in the title. I also thought about this and felt:

- To be gay is to be part of the overall LGBTQ community. She didn't, for example, title it "My Gay/Lesbian Agenda."

- Yes, "gay" is more commonly used for homosexual people but the piece brings up trans-specific issues. Maybe her title will encourage more readers to read it who might otherwise not if it were titled "My Transgender Agenda."

- Last, she is undoubtedly and well known as trans, and an outspoken spokeswoman for all of us. I'll bet she thought about this long and hard, and I trust her judgment.

Emma

Edited by EmmaSweet
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Emma,

I totally agree on your point about the term "agenda," I have no doubt she used that as a rebuke to conservatives who use it as a dirty word.

I have to respectfully part ways with you on the use of the term "gay." I agree it is commonly used as an umbrella term for the LGBTQ community, but I think that's because of gay privilege within the "community," and it has been used to make our (transgender) issues, and us virtually invisible. I think it stands out to me as well because I don't identify as gay (or lesbian), since transitioning I identify my sexual orientation as straight. So I perhaps feel doubly-invisible as a result. It's one thing to use "gay" as a blanket term for "homosexual," I'll leave that battle for Lesbians to fight (or not) - but I can't accept it as a blanket term for all LGBTQ people, when some (many?) of us don't identity as gay or lesbian (with apologies to bisexual, pansexual, etc. individuals for being binary in my terminology). 

The bottom line is that I plan to remain an agitator on this point :P - and I trust nobody's judgment on these issues, least of all my own!  Thomas Paine said that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty," I think it's more appropriate to say that "eternal agitation is the price of liberty" (I suppose it depends on how much liberty you have to start with).

xoxo

Chrissy

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Emma, thank you so much for posting the link to that excellent piece. I too was initially startled to see both those words in the title, "gay" and "agenda." The title seemed like such an unexpected misnomer when the text of the article was so well written and the word "gay" is not a common umbrella term for the entire LGBTX/LGBTQ community. However, it turns out that some sectors of the Christian far political right, especially in Texas, use the word "gay" exactly that way. They consider anything contrary to cis heterosexual marriage an abomination and part of the overall gay agenda. It's apparently all "gay" to them because any further specific or types just seem like mumbo jumbo. It may also be more effective to name your enemy or political rival with one simple word that everyone understands and has already formed an opinion about. The title is well crafted in response to their use of the terms and not at all the mistake in wording that it first appeared. However, the confusion and controversy here suggests that the author should have taken a few words to explain the title.

 

Edited by bluemoon
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Additional information on the use and history of the term, "gay agenda" or "homosexual agenda," which was "introduced by sectors of the Christian right (primarily in the United States) as a disparaging way to describe the advocacy of cultural acceptance and normalization of non-heterosexual orientations and relationships." The last paragraph notes, "the term is sometimes used satirically as a counterfoil by people who would normally find this term offensive."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_agenda

 

Edited by bluemoon
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hey friends, Chrissy and Blue,

No worries or quibbles about the title of the piece, I get where you're both coming from. I really appreciate your friendliness in your feedback and hope you feel the same from me. 

I am also a little taken aback by the title. Like I wrote, I guess I just assume that Ms. Boylan and her editors applied their best judgement, and I suppose that on balance it doesn't matter as much as the fact that such a piece was positioned at the top of the NYT's digital front page. In and of itself that speaks volumes!

Emma

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Emma, that is so sweet and considerate to check, but I felt your warmth and friendliness very much came through and chrissy's too. I appreciate the interesting and heartfelt discussion and look forward to more.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Couldn't sleep, and thought I'd browse the forum.

Interesting opinion-editorial; extremely effective use of sarcasm to push a personal agenda which Ms. Boylan explicitly endorses.  Such an excellent wordsmith, but that is to be expected from a novelist & literature professor.

Certainly, I am sympathetic to the special rights which she advocates for herself, and by extension the population(s) for whom she has become an advocate.  However, I don't think I could, in good conscience, accept those special rights/privileges/freedoms that I felt to have been misappropriated from the general populace.  I would emphatically renounce any desire for "...the special right to open up the newspaper and not have to read one more clever “think piece” in which the humanity of people like me is held up for public debate."<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/opinion/transgender-lgbtq-rights-texas.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region> I cannot steal others 1st amendment rights, even though doing so would most assuredly preserve my own self-serving biases and prejudices.

I appreciated Ms. Boylan's allusion to her spouse, which suggested that they're likely still together.  Having read her autobiography, I always wondered if the marriage would survive.  Even though her spouse is a clinical social worker, relationships commonly don't survive the transition (i.e., more often than not).

Again, very interesting article.  Best wishes to all.

It' even later, now.  Maybe I can manage to get some rest.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

No matter who or what one represents your agenda will always enter into whatever you are interacting in, it's inherant . My inherant beliefs as a lesbian holds it's own agenda's for my purposes so do everyone else's no matter how much we try to remain "non bias" never happens, we all slip. 

So the term Gay Agenda has always makes me cringe so does anything agenda, lbgtqasn get my point ever point on that star has it's own agenda's, even if you try to separate them the muddle into the discussion or debate how ever one might deem the situation, see agenda right there is it a discussion or debate. Smiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now