Being the old-fashioned type, I have a newspaper delivered to my door every morning.
Being part of modern American society, I rarely have time to read it.
But this week, I managed to scan a couple of issues and there in my old-fashioned newspaper were distinctly modern morsels. These items treated gays not as criminals or political footballs, but as members of society.
Somewhere William Randolph Hearst is asking, âWhat fun is that?â
Mondayâs local section of The Seattle Times included the headline âBeing Themselves at the âPink Prom,ââ and two photos from the weekend event.
The top pictureâs extended caption began, ââVnitii Fair,â or Barry Caadan, 22, of Seattle, helps put a necklace on âIsis,â or Zac Burr, 19, of Marysville.â
Marysville is about 30 miles north of Seattle. Iâm guessing the phone lines in that small city are still burning.
After explaining the prom is for âlesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth,â the caption noted how long the two have been doing drag and that Burr performed in a show for the first time that morning.
âI like making new friends, and I love feeling beautiful,â Burr said.
Perhaps, in the period since these pictures ran, a fence has gone up around Marysville to keep Burr in. Or out.
A newspaper is supposed to inform and The Seattle Times did its job in sending a photographer to the event, running the pictures and explaining to the clue-free â that would be most people, no matter how liberal Seattle is â the appeal of a pink prom and drag.
Some of us might quibble that only female pronouns shouldâve been applied to the drag queens in the caption. Maybe, but not long ago weâd have counted ourselves lucky that the newspaper didnât use âit.â
In Thursdayâs paper I spotted a double helping of respect. The lead story in the sports section was a preview of the Seattle Storm, as the womenâs hoop team starts the WNBA season. The Times included factoids about each player and the info on new Belgian center Ann Wauters amounted to a lesbian full-court press.
Wauters âenjoyed being pregnant simultaneously with her partner, giving birth to her son, Vince, on June 1, 2011. Legally married in Belgium, her wifeâs daughter, Lou, was born May 12, 2011.â
Wonderful. Honest. But, to a homophobe, that description is one very offensive foul. Such a person wishes for safer offerings from a newspaper, like, âWauters enjoys watching soccer and her favorite food is Fruity Pebbles.â
If that person threw down the sports section in disgust and headed for the fun parts of the paper in search of relief, he got another jolt. Next to the comics and under the horoscopes, the advice columnist answered a question from two lesbian mothers.
Between that and the sports blurb, my horoscope shouldâve said, âObserve how things tilt to your advantage today. Avoid beets.â
The woman who wrote to âAsk Amyâ said she and her partner have two young daughters. Her partner talks often about losing weight and diets, while she doesnât. âBody image has been such a painful issue for both of us. I donât want to pass that on to our daughters in this already diet/body image-obsessed world,â she wrote.
Amy dispensed respectful advice to the parents that they should get in sync, see a nutritionist, involve the kids in food prep, never criticize anyoneâs body in front of the children and perform other miracles.
It was the same advice sheâd have given straight parents. Unlike the pink-prom photos or the Storm blurb, this advice column is syndicated, so LGBTQ people around the country read it that day and saw true equality â the chance to be screwed up on an equal basis. : :
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