OpEd: “I Have No Problem With Gays, But…” – Our Fight is Still Very Real
Hey there, Brad Kutner, Editor-in-Chief of GayRVA here,
As some of your know, my background is in radio. I spent 5 years surfing the FM and AM dials covering a broad range of topics for multiple outlets. One of my fondest memories is the time I spent producing the Jack Gravely Show on AM990, a news-talk station based in downtown Richmond.
Since taking this position as GayRVA’s new editor, I’ve asked Jack (the shows host, Jack Gravely) to have me on to discuss LGBT issues. AM990 airs a number of conservative talk shows, Jack’s show, however, is a more progressive, live call-in show that provides an important contrast to the rest of the station’s content, and I wanted to help contribute to that progressive message.
You can listen to my entire segment here:
My experience was something I wasn’t surprised by. I’d listened to many comments in the past from callers that would often blow my mind, and my time spent on air was no exception. Here are some of the highlights:
Rob in Richmond:
“If two men that might adopt a female child… When that child reaches a point where they start having female issues… how could they explain what they are supposed to do, and how they are supposed to take care of themselves. Is it fair to that they can do this?”
Steve in Richmond:
“I think that if you’re in a gay state, and you come to a non-gay state, you both ought to be arrested… for causing trouble in another state…. Gays oughta stay in Gay states.”
Emerillio in Richmond:
“I’m against same-sex marriage. If the US government legalizes gay marriage across america, then what’s next? Teaching all children same-sex marriage is ok. Teaching children men can have children. Teaching children that same-sex marriage is better than different-sex marriage because many people believe that many heterosexuals divorce compared to same-sex marriage. Teaching children its ok to have sex with a biological family member.”
“I have no problem with you guys, we all live in one world, but… For someone who believes in the bible, and Jesus Christ and what the bible displays, why can’t we call this a civil union?… Why do we have to call it marriage?… From a Christian standpoint, that’s just slapping god in the face.”
(Click on the Soundcloud link above to hear my responses)
This is only a few of the questions asked. One caller actually called in to thank me for being on and said he supported gay rights and gay marriage, so it wasn’t all fire and brimstone. And Jack, as always, was supportive and professional, giving both sides the time they deserve. This is America, and I’m not going to silence anyone – and it’s often more fun to let bigoted folks dig their own graves.
I wasn’t surprised by the calls, and as I said while I was on air, the callers comments and concerns do not represent the majority, but rather the vocal minority. But it’s important, not only as a publisher of LGBT news, but as a member of the community, to be reminded of what we are really fighting against.
Even as DOMA and Prop 8 make national headlines, and polls come out show majority support for same-sex marriage, LGBT folks are still considered less-than straight folks in many circles – and no radio air-time, pro-equality commercial or Washington Post OpEd is going to change their minds. This fight is very real, and even in the case of “I have no problem with gays, but…” there very much exists a stigma that LGBT folks of my generation (And generations before) will be fighting for some time.
Maybe when we have kids, this ignorance and fear will be as subdued and as politically incorrect as racism, but until then, we can’t give up. Even if DOMA and Prop 8 get repealed, there is still a hard battle to be fought and I hope we can fight it together.
I’d like to thank Jack for having me on. I consider him a close and dear friend, and I welcome any and every chance to speak with different minded folks. I’m sure I’ll be back soon.
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