Thursday, April 8, 2010

LGBT Bloggers Up in Arms over CNN's Gay Conversion Therapy Segment

It seems like everybody but me is up in arms over a segment that CNN's Kyra Phillips did Tuesday morning, called "Can Homosexuality be Cured?". The piece discussed the subject of whether gays and lesbians can be made straight by conversion therapy. The panel included so-called experts in the field from both side of the argument, but interestingly enough, none of them were gay, or should I say "still" gay.

Everyone, from Joe Jervis at Joe.My.God to Pam Spaulding at Pam's House Blend and my friends at the Bilerico Project are really pissed off about this story. But the best take on all of this hooplah came from my buddy Lyndon Evans at "Focus on the Rainbow" (FOR), in his piece called "CNN’s Big Fail Or Just More Overreaction From LGBT Bloggers?" 

Lyndon and I have a sort of a mutual admiration society going on. We read each others stuff and share comments with each other. Lyndon and I don't always agree on everything, but we do agree that sometimes bloggers sensationalize stories and feign outrage in order to get attention. Granted, we all do it from time to time, but it seems like the more famous a blogger becomes, the more often this phenomenon occurs.

I have to be honest, I didn't watch the segment yesterday. I was getting ready for work and when I heard the lead in, it sounded like I'd heard all of this before. Here's the comment I left on FOR:

Well, Lyndon, I guess I did something most people wouldn’t think of doing this morning when I heard the intro to this piece on CNN. I ignored it. Yes, that’s right. When I saw that something I might find offensive was about to be aired on TV, I changed the channel.

Kyra’s intro was intentionally — and quite obviously — scripted to be provocative and to spark interest in a story that’s been done to death and by much better journalists. And having seen way too many of these reports over the years, I knew immediately what it was about, that nothing new could possibly be learned by watching it and I chose not to waste my time.
I may not have generated any new hits to my site by feigning offense, but, honestly, there were far more interesting things to write about today. I live in Virginia for Christ’s sake! McDonnell is going insane again and pissing off the gays, the blacks and even the white supremacists. Virginia’s Bigot in Chief is a queer blogger’s gold mine! Who cares about what CNN does in the dullest time slot of their broadcast day? Had there been an aftershock in California, a plane crash or a baby in a well, the piece never would have been aired.
Now, don't get me wrong, I admire the hard work that Pam, Joe, the folks at Bilerico and all the others do and how hard they work. But I think that when you become the "go-to" person on all things queer, (Pam and Bilerico's Bil Browning now also blog for the Huffington Post) there is a certain self-expectation. That is to say that when you achieve a certain level of success and recognition, you have to keep topping yourself in order to keep the spotlight and grow within your field. You have to raise the bar for yourself or people stop paying attention. It becomes easy to fall into the trap of reacting in a way that is expected of you, but may not be a genuine reflection of what's really going on.

As I wrote in my comments on Lyndon's site, we have a bigot in the state house here in Virginia and his lackey Cooch is rolling back decades of progress in civil rights. IMHO, it's much ado about nothing. I've got more important things to think about.

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1 comment:

  1. Ah but here's the thing about "topping oneself".

    Any reporter, writer, celeb (well maybe celebs do) damn good actors don't need to keep topping themselves.

    They just need to keep continuing on with the work that people come to expect.

    The above you mentioned have gotten so far afield from the direction their blogs took at the beginning that the original concept is unrecognizable.

    And this often happens when you have too many cooks in the kitchen.

    With all do respect what does one's aches and pains and being bipolar have to do with LGBT issues ?

    If you want sympathy folks, it's in the dictionary under "S".

    Someone shoot me please if I ever get that far astray from the intent and mission statement of "Focus On The Rainbow".

    But then I had my 15 minutes and more of fame long ago, my (excuse the pun) focus is on LGBT news and issues, not moi.

    And so it goes .....


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