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Canapés and clenched fists can and do coexist

by Jeremy Hooper

200910051551-1Do you all remember how, during the heat of the 2008 election, so many of us were dumbfounded by the way Sarah Palin kept pitting "real Americans" against those who held progressive views/merely lived in a blue state? Yeah, well -- that's kind of how this writer feels when he hears over-the-top chatter about the "monied, cocktail-sipping A-gays" versus the "grassroots, on the ground activists."

Will there be people in nice suits at Saturday's HRC dinner? Yup. And the next day, many of them will strip out of the Armani and put on their activist t-shirts, proudly joining the marching crowds for a principled stroll down Pennsylvania.

Will there be cocktails consumed at Saturday's HRC dinner? Yup. And Stolichnaya's spirits have never been shown to diminish anyone's spirited activism!

Will President Obama speak to those who donated a pretty penny to a gay rights mega-organization? Yup. And there's a good chance that he will say something that will help that aforementioned organization in immeasurable ways, and inspire some of those in atendance to give even more pretty pennies to places in great need (::cough:: Maine ::cough:: Washington).

Look, I hope with all hopes that President Obama will show up at the National Equality March on Sunday and bring/build on the message that he delivered the night before so that everyone will be able to hear it, regardless of their ability/desire to attend HRC's National Dinner. He may, he may not. But neither the Human Rights Campaign nor the thousands who paid to attend their dinner are in any way wrong for being excited that THE LEADER OF THE FREE FRICKIN' WORLD is going to speak to a gay rights organization! And while I understand the community's concerns, intimately and uniquely, I find the unbelievably quick rush to sort out the "cocktail sippers"and the "scrappy marchers" and to put them into neat and narrow boxes to be extremely negative, thoroughly non-productive, and slightly Palin-esque.

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Your thoughts

Well said, Jeremy: I am a 68 year old gay man; recently married to my partner of 9 years (Go Iowa!!); I think that the 'younger generations' (I now sound like my father, LOL...) fail to grasp the fact as to how far gay rights in the United States have come in my life-time. We have accomplished so much for equality in the gay community; we have much more to achieve, but let's not lose site of what we have obtained, working together. And, ask yourself: Would George W. Bush have ever been willing to speak at any Gay Rights organization?

Posted by: David Twombley | Oct 5, 2009 3:35:54 PM

Amen to all that!

I don't know why we have to have this sniping boing on. We have enough enemies out there without attacking each other.

And, yes, a sitting president sitting down with an lgbt group -- any lgbt group -- is fricking big news. It will upset the christianists -- and that's a good thing.

Posted by: K in VA | Oct 5, 2009 3:49:53 PM

Thank you for the dose of perspective.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Oct 5, 2009 4:39:00 PM

Thanks, again, for telling us WHASUP JH. Concur.

And I saw this this AM. Important for those who cannot go IQreport is setting up a whole new type of intercontiental media event via connecting live bloggers and video streamers with US (those who cant go).. see this. http://tinyurl.com/y8prwro

"In a move that could change the way in which news from grassroots journalists reaches the mainstream media, NEM organizers are supporting the United Equality New Media team as they enlist volunteer bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters to participate in spreading the word about the hopes and dreams of march attendees.".

Posted by: LOrion | Oct 5, 2009 4:44:32 PM

HMMM. sounds like someone is going. Pic in tux? I hope.

Posted by: LOrion | Oct 5, 2009 5:03:44 PM

God, I hate it when pre-Stonewallers prattle on about having to walk uphill both ways to get their due equality...Thank you for the work you've done, really. But seriously, I'm going to take advantage of the progress we've made!

Posted by: wat | Oct 5, 2009 9:46:02 PM

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