talkback – Pride, ‘So Gay,’ Pink Pistols & Ghettos

Letters to the editor and comments from Q-Notes Online, July 7-Aug. 1, 2008. Web comments are not edited for grammar or punctuation.

Pride Charlotte

I want to personally thank all the organizers, sponsors and volunteers who made Pride Charlotte 2008 possible. As far as I’m concerned, it was the best one yet. I’m already looking forward to next year.
— Gay Lee Forward, July 7, 2008, web

‘South Carolina is so gay’

While I too think the ad itself is kind of odd, and a little dumb, I generally think that of most states and countries attempts to advertise themselves. They almost always have a kind schlocky feel to them.

That said, I don’t think its an inaccurate ad, and especially considering the need for South Carolina to attract more tourist dollars, its a necessary one. Like I said in another post, Columbia is quickly becoming a tolerant city, with great overtures from city politicians and the community in general. I think its ridiculous for people to only reward or go places that are “obviously” gay friendly, and leaving cities in the dust that have a mixed track record. Without gay tourism and spending in Columbia, we will never get to the point of other cities, especially if others keep insisting on punishing the South, and consequently the communities that live here, by refusing to spend money in the state.

The one thing we learned here is that the gay-friendly businesses must do more to advertise themselves as a package to potential gay tourists, and must not be reliant upon state or city tourist boards.
— Sean S., July 24, 2008, web

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Actually what this shows is that Amro Worldwide didn’t do due diligence when they accepted the ad.
They certainly wouldn’t be doing gay travelers a favor by describing South Carolina as gay friendly — it was deceptive advertising and that should be pretty clear by now.

There are plenty of gay friendly travel destinations — why lie to travelers and enrich the coffers of bigots ?

P.S. — In case they are contacted by the Jamaican Bureau of Tourism: Don’t accept the ad
— Patrick O, July 22, 2008, web

I love all the people that complain about the gay organizations in South Carolina that live in the state. I mean WTF…get involved please, if you can do better?! Most are volunteer, nobody is in your way.

I am so tired of people that criticize publicly but are on the SIDELINES!!!

SC Pride you are amazing!!!! Keep up the good work!!!!!

And to Patrick,
Where have you been???? Columbia, SC has become one of the most supportive cities in the South. Passing the HRO and giving $10,000 to Pride this year and another $15,000 to the Center for education programs. These people work hard and don’t get payed for it!!!! So give them a little credit, I think they know what they are doing. They are doing an AMAZING job!!!!!!! Thank you to everyone involved with SC Pride!!!!!!!!
— South Carolina, July 18, 2008, web

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The point is that SC Pride is getting international press now. Google “SC will be so gay” and notice how time.com has the story. Money isn’t nesc. the issue. It’s the fact that now people all over the world will hear that SC does have a gay rights group and that we have a pride and lots of wondeful gay people. Plus, the company might not even take the money back pending a law suit so SC Pride might get to use it for it’s programs and other expenses.
— JohnDoe, July 17, 2008, web

Gay Ghettos

I recently was offered a job and relocation to Charlotte and I researched carefully.

I went to the community center, and was told quite clearly that there was no gay ghetto. There was a relatively small GLBT population, but they were geographically spread out – as were bars, etc
When I combined that information with the fact that the organization offering the job – a large IT organization that was part of the University medical system – didn’t even have an anti-discrimination policy I concluded that Charlotte was not the kind of place I wanted to live and turned the job down.

I understand the desire of well meaning GLBTs to make their cities and states gay friendly but wishing does not make it so, and false claims such as Charlotte’s “gay ghetto” and South Carolinas gay beaches do a disservice to the community
— Patrick ONeill, Aug. 2, 2008, web

Pink Pistols

The comparison of the Pink Pistols to the Black Panthers is not only ridiculous, but shows a fundamental misunderstanding of history. Unlike the Pink Pistols, whom are mostly a single-issue group, the Black Panthers were a comprehensive group, that beside their overtly militant image and open carrying of fire arms, did many other things in communities, including providing free-breakfasts, walking children to schools, as well as advocating broader governmental change.

The Pink Pistols have no similar comprehensive approach, though their individual members themselves might be involved or support larger issues. Instead, their focus is almost entirely on the idea that armed gays will provide a deterrent to overt and violent bashing incidents. Maybe, but its doubtful, considering the nature of many attacks (which overwhelmingly seem to target young, or below the legal carrying age, gays). It also mistakes the overt violence of gay bashers as a larger threat than the systematic exclusion of LGBT people from economic and civil life. There are simply far easier, and amazingly legal, ways to destroy the lives of gay people, and most of them are very obviously in force.
— Sean S. July 24, 2008, web

Speak Out!
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