Jerame Davis

There are gays in Indiana?!

Filed By Jerame Davis | April 29, 2008 12:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics, Politics, The Movement
Tags: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bil Browning, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jerame Davis, LGBT vote, NPR

I'm such a NPR geek. When I get in the car, I always tune to our local NPR affiliate, WFYI. So how excited was I today when Bil and I went for our first interview with WFYI? (I think if the tech stuff didn't classify me as a geek, being giddy over an interview with public radio firmly entrenches me in geekdom forever.)

Our interview was, of course, over the presidential race. The story angle was how each campaign is courting the LGBT vote and what it's like living in a house divided. We're told the story will air locally on the Indiana NPR affiliates this evening during local news segments. There is also a possibility of bits of the interview getting sent up to NPR national for a story since Indiana is the center of the universe right now.

It was a good interview. Short, but good questions. Afterward, we were laughing with the reporter about how the national media is portraying Indiana. She was telling us how some of her NPR coworkers on the East Coast view Indiana. She told us jokingly that one of her national NPR producers responded to her story idea by saying, "There are gays in Indiana?" It was clear they were kidding each other, but seeing as how the New York Times recently portrayed Indiana as a bunch of overall-wearing, corn farming, rednecks suspicious of anything that hints of change, I'm sure finding capital D Democrats - especially gay Democrats - here could be a bit shocking.

Maybe we are easily amused here in the "Boring Belt", but I'm having a blast with seeing Indiana all over the national news and having big names like the Clintons, the Obamas and all of their surrogates around every corner. Our usual national story involves a moronic criminal or some kind of natural disaster where they find the person with the fewest teeth and worst English to interview. So, yeah, it's been nice to have some good press attention, even if it's fleeting.

But ask me again in a week when it's all over.

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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | April 29, 2008 1:04 PM

Jerame, I still don't believe that you and Bil live in Indiana. Either that or you are not really gay and just pretending to be so to access the associated benefits.

I have long thought Bil and Jerame's gayness was all an act to get publicity for the Project...

Jerame, I'm thoroughly offended! You wrote that remark about "overall-wearing, corn farming, rednecks" at a point in my life when my usual attire these days is a pair of bib overalls, that I am involved in corn farming, and that when I sniff too many poppers my neck turns red.

Oh, well ... as they say, every stereotype has an element of truth.

There are even transsexual folks in smalltown Indiana. Go figure. ;)

From one NPR geek to another (I'm in NC, the other center of the universe these days), I'd be thrilled to death to be interviewed...or to win Carl Kassel's voice on my home answering machine!

The worst part is that last night Jerame got to hear the segment. Where was I? The grocery store. They repeat the stories, but I still haven't heard it!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 30, 2008 10:07 AM

OK AJ I was with you until the poppers. Maybe one of the reasons I was a weird grad student was that I was willing to address classes in psychology at Purdue, Ball State and the University of Illinois before coming to grad school in Indiana. You remember, way back, when we were still diseased according to the American Association of Shrinks.

Campuses were thrilled to have a living homosexual who would talk about it in 1972 and 1973. By the time I got to grad school in Bloomington I was ready for a rest, and sex.

An ancestor of mine "Chauncey Thomas Blacksmith" was a Gay man who serviced Amish customers in the Warsaw Indiana area (with horseshoes, maybe more!). You can see his preserved blacksmithy at Amish Acres in Nappanee and my father took me to meet "Uncle Chauncey" when I was a young boy. He was a great uncle to me and, yes there are Gay people in Indiana. Should anyone go to this tourist trap with it's "welcoming barn" you will find my great uncle's blacksmith ship with his name on it. Would someone please place a pink triangle on it for me or a gay flag?

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | May 2, 2008 2:15 PM

I think they just have trouble with Midwestern geography -- that they've spent so much political time in Iowa, where the REAL bib-overhaul-wearin'-corn-growin'-redneck-queers live that they're got us confused with comparatively urban you!