Eric Marcus

Why Aren't They Talking About Us?

Filed By Eric Marcus | September 28, 2008 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, HIV/AIDS, John McCain, Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson

Remember the good old days when we were at the heart of presidential campaigns? Back in 1992, there was President George Bush (The First) declaring on national television that gays are not "normal" people. Vice President Dan Quayle explained on "Good Morning America" that we'd made "the wrong choice." Pat Robertson said we weren't fit to be parents. And Pat Buchanan thundered that we deserved to die from AIDS.

And now? Except for some perfunctory questions from journalists during the primaries and a mostly forgettable TV special where six of the eight Democratic presidential candidates were quizzed by a gay panel, we've been absent from the presidential campaigns. (Yes, I know about California, but don't expect either Barack Obama or John McCain to say more than a few words, if that, about the marriage referendum.)

I'm not complaining. I'm relieved. We're no longer the never-fail, all-purpose social wedge that we used to be and that's a reason to celebrate. We've reached the point in our history where a national candidate would have far more to lose than gain by speaking out against us.

So in this moment of equilibrium, we should embrace--not decry--our absence from the national debate. We've earned it.

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Absolutely! Isn't it exciting to live in a time when the term
"Pro-Marriage" will mean marriage for all couples?
We agree with you and look forward to the day civil rights in America is not an 'issue.' As our forefathers clearly stated, "With liberty and justice for ALL."
We're so passionate about this that we're putting together a website for ALL couples in committed relationships. In fact, we consider such couples as 'married', because if they were permitted to be by law, they would be. Caffection: Married To My Best Friend; the website, will provide resources and positive affirmation for couples in happy, healthy relationships.
Our question to everyone is... Got Caffection?

Well, we got our few words out of McCain and Obama re California a couple months ago. McCain also did an ad for Arizona's amendment. Michelle Obama wrote a column in the Advocate asking us to vote. That's been about it in the past month.

The funny thing is that, besides California, we're in pretty much the same position we were in four years ago. Except this time, Obama's done a good job keeping the conversation focused on substance.

Damn, Eric. I know you're a New Yorker, but does it have to be all about you?


We've come a long way, baby!

Bill: It's always all about me! In fact, in the first paragraph of the post I was quoting from a column I wrote for Newsweek in 1992! It's really pathetic (or just totally narcissistic) when you start quoting yourself :-)

Hmmm. We all have multiple identities, you know.

For me here as a gay man in Southeast Texas, and a former longtime resident of Galveston, I keep wondering, "Why Aren't They Talking About Us?" after Ike. Even the GLBT blogs have ignored us, even though there are, in fact, some specifically gay-connected stories after Ike. Now that I have power and Internet back (even though over 200,000 Houston-area people do not) I feel like we are the forgotten storm victims, even more so than the Rita people were after Katrina. No one -- politicians, media, blogs -- is paying much attention.

I'm not complaining. I'm relieved. We're no longer the never-fail, all-purpose social wedge that we used to be and that's a reason to celebrate.

Maybe you should be. Invisibility is not a sign of acceptance. They are not talking about Native American women and yet they have the highest rate of sexual assault in the US. Do you think that the lack of discussion is because Aboriginals have suddenly achieved equality and social acceptance? They are not talking about the legal disenfranchisement of trans bodies, does that mean that trans people are treated equally in terms of employment, or the medical establishment, or the penal system? I don't think so. Simply because the gay rights movement has chosen to make a concerted effort to achieve marriage does not mean that there are not other issues that not attention. These issues are being ignored and swept under the rug to push marriage. Of course the candidates are not going to bring it up if the GBLT community is content to pretend that these issues don't exist. Why cause a ripple in a pond?