Zac Hart

Thank you Perez Hilton from the Heart(land)

Filed By Zac Hart | April 22, 2009 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media

I'm sure we're all sick and tired of hearing about Perez Hilton and Miss Prop8 California. Ever since the Miss America Pageant, it seems all the news can talk about is how the "Gay Marriage Question" prevented Miss Prejean from taking home the crown. Whether you dislike Perez or believe the religious right should realize the consequences of hate, I believe our community owes a huge thank you to Perez Hilton. Yes, you read it right - The LGBT Community should thank Perez Hilton for this entire debacle.

The reason why after the jump

First - let me say I am not a fan of Perez Hilton. Though there was a time not too long ago when I had to read every tabloid on the newsstand, I blame it on my unhealthy obsession with Lindsay Lohan, not the need to degrade celebrities to feed my own ego. The only thing that I've truly enjoyed that has come from the mouth of Perez Hilton was his parody song "The Clap" that was featured in Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild.

Though I may not agree with how Perez handled the situation initially (calling her a "Stupid B***H"), since the Miss America Pageant, I have woken up every morning to multiple news stories about Miss California, Perez Hilton, and more specifically, Gay Marriage.

When Iowa, of all places, LEGALIZED gay marriage with a unanimous Supreme Court decision, there was nothing. CNN made an initial announcement, but completely ignored the story on air and online. True, there was a more sensational story happening in New York, but could no one see history was being made in the Midwest?

More headway was made with Vermont's veto win a few days later, but I don't remember Larry King moving any of his guests to cover this latest triumph in gay history. Yet, with one simple question (and one horrible answer), the only thing any of the major news networks can talk about is the major upset in the Miss America Pageant and how the "Gay Agenda," specifically the issue of marriage equality, cost Ms. Prejean the crown.

Perez could have taken the low road, continued to call Prejean a "Stupid B***h" and that would have been the end of it, but if you actually watch the large number of interviews Perez did after his little tirade, he became a true LGBT activist, if only for this week. He turned a situation that was specifically focused on himself (where I presume he usually likes it) and instead focused it on the larger issue - gay marriage. It was simple: How could anyone hope to be Miss America if she didn't embrace *all* Americans?

Here in Indiana - we struggle to receive any "gay" news from the media. If CNN or FoxNews doesn't report it, consider it lost to the everyday Hoosier. But for the past two days, my TiVo has been filling up with news casts around the clock devoted specifically to the argument that denying gays and lesbians the right to marriage is discrimination. We will always (at least for the time being) have to deal with the right-wing bigots and religious zealots who believe allowing gays to marry will bring the apocalypse, but in order to change that we need to open a dialogue, get people comfortable with talking about gay marriage - and that's no easy task here in the Heartland.

But if there is one thing the Lindsay Lohans and Britney Spears of the world have taught us, it's that celebrities get people talking no matter where in the country you live and everyone has an opinion about it. What a great time to butt into that conversation you are overhearing about how Miss California's crown was "stolen" and give them a lesson about how many rights you are denied simply because your partner is the same-sex.

So for that, I say, "Thank You Perez Hilton - From the Heart(land). We can all make an impact for equality - and I believe you just made yours."

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Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | April 26, 2009 7:30 AM

While I suspect that as the 2010-2012 elections approach, we'll hear and see a lot more, I think it's plausible that the relative lack of media attention to Iowa, etc., compared to prior times may be that gay marriage isn't the big "shocker" it used to be. It might bespeak an increasing "so what else is new?" attitude in many quarters. If so, that's not necessarily a bad thing, so long as it doesn't lull the LGBT community into a false sense that there aren't still a lot of organized antigay forces out there.

What is it they say? All publicity is good publicity?

In the words of the late great Gay Icon - Quentin Crisp: "There's only one thing worse than being talked about - NOT being talked about"