So here’s the deal, in spirit of National Coming out Month and in reaction to many recent teen suicides, there seems to have been an influx in celebrities announcing their gayness. In the last couple of months, media has had a wonderful time publicizing their outings, interviewing the new members of the club and of course asking how it gets better. In fact, I recently read an article about how Howard Bragman, Coming Out Public Relations guru, has held many of these people by the hand and led them through the entire frenzy.
Now wouldn’t that be nice. I don’t have a problem with celebrities sharing their personal lives. In fact, I think it’s a wonderful reminder that they too are real people, they are not untouchable and they too can face criticism and harassment because of their lifestyle. Another way they are like a majority of their community? After they come out, make their Youtube video and show up at a fancy gay gala, their voice somehow disappears from the pressing issues that face our community.
I have already mentioned how I feel about many of the umbrella issues that garner a majority of Queer and Ally activist support- gay marriage, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and HIV/AIDS awareness. While all important and necessary issues to advocate for reform, this overwhelming support often fails to highlight the bigger issues that encompass total equality. Adoption, healthcare, discrimination, education, and resources to name a few. Wouldn’t you think that someone with a million twitter followers would speak up for the bigger picture- or even the basic issues- rather than simply donating money or throwing #marriageequality at the end of their 140 characters?
Cynthia Nixon, who was outed by the media years ago, has been one of the celebs to actually use their voice to lobby her local lawmakers. When New York voted to pass gay marriage, she was at the Capitol to speak to the politicians. I understand that politics isn’t everyone’s thing, and I understand that everyone has a busy schedule. However in my opinion, when it comes to your metaphorical family who isn’t as lucky, who can’t afford to simply pay for their partner’s healthcare out of pocket, or can’t even make their own youtube video and safely show their face the next day, what is it these celebrities are so scared of?
We all have a voice. Some people, my colleagues, the protesters at Occupy Wall Street, and every 18 year old at every high school Gay Straight Alliance across the country, fight day after day just to recruit their friends to sign a petition or like a Facebook page. I have 26 people following The Ovary Office on Twitter. Granted, I haven’t tried very hard but if I were a child actress, cast of StarTrek or professional athlete I would have hundreds of followers just by joining the damn site! And do you know how many people listen to things like Tweets!?
So as my rant comes to an end, here is my plea to all of those with a voice- little or big– USE IT! Be it a tweet, a Facebook post, anything. Your voice counts, OUR voice counts. This is a collective effort- don’t be like those celebs and waste it- we have nothing to lose.
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Lauren was born and raised in South Minneapolis and like many other innocent midwesterners got sucked into the black hole of Chicago politics 4 years ago. As the LGBT Coordinator for the Gery Chico for Mayor Campaign she attempted to take on the entire city and hasn’t looked back since. Now working for a communications firm, she spends her extra time running around with cases of PBR playing in different sports leagues, hosting couchsurfers from all over the place, and deciding how she is going to change the world. A simple lady at her core, she has decided that the first person to send her an edible arrangement must be the one.