To reach puberty and find oneself falling in love with members of one’s own sex is to experience a mixture of self-discovery and self-disgust that never leaves a human consciousness. If the stigma is attached not simply to an obviously random characteristic, such as skin pigmentation, but to the deepest desires of the human heart, then it can eat away at a person’s sense of his own dignity with peculiar ferocity. When a young person confronts her sexuality, she is also completely alone. A young heterosexual black or Latino girl invariably has an existing network of people like her to interpret, support, and explain the emotions she feels when confronting racial prejudice for the first time. But a gay child generally has no one. The very people she would most naturally turn to — the family — may be the very people she is most ashamed in front of.
The stigma attached to sexuality is also different that that attached to race because it attacks the very heart of what makes a human being human: her ability to love and be loved. Even the most vicious persecution of racial minorities allowed, in many cases, for the integrity of the marital bond or the emotional core of a human being. When it did not, when Nazism split husbands from wives, children from parents, when apartheid or slavery broke up familial bonds, it was clear that a particularly noxious form of repression was taking place. But the stigma attached to homosexuality begins with such a repression. It forbids, at a child’s earliest stage of development, the possibility of the highest form of human happiness. It starts with emotional terror and ends with mild social disapproval. It’s no accident that later in life, when many gay people learn to reconnect the bonds of love and sex, they seek to do so in private, even protected from the knowledge of their family.
In his seminal seminal essay published on May 10, 1993, Andrew Sullivan poignantly observes the difference between oppression based on sexual orientation and oppression based on skin color.
[Anti-discrimination laws] want to substitute for the traumatic and difficult act of coming out the more formal and procedural act of legislation. But law cannot do the work of life. Even culture cannot do the work of life. Only life can do the work of life.
Overturning DOMA is to overturn radicalism not conservatism, and restore the traditional balance between the federal government and the states on civil marriage. The feds have no role in this apart from recognizing whatever a state wants to do. Period. DOMA was a mixture of panic, misinformation, political opportunism … and yet another betrayal of conservatism by the fundamentalist wing of the GOP. Repealing it is the conservative thing to do.
No conservative not in thrall to religious fundamentalism can regard this reform as somehow anti-family. It is pro-family; it is socially integrative; it heals wounds, rather than opening them; it helps create more marriages that act as a critical civil society that keeps government at bay. Now I have a husband, I have a First Responder to all the crises of life. I have less need of government help, if I have a spouse’s help first.
I’m a writer, you’re a reader, I give you something – pay me back!
Creatively, success is freedom in making a great product and continuing to please your readers.
Brian Stelter talks to Andrew Sullivan about the Dish experiment – a brave new world of ad-free journalism supported directly by loyal readers. Help make it work here, and hear more about alternatives to ad-supported media here.
I don’t see an ethical line being definitively crossed here – just deliberately left very fuzzy. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but one core ethical rule I thought we had to follow in journalism was the church-state divide between editorial and advertizing. But as journalism has gotten much more desperate for any kind of revenue and since banner ads have faded, this divide has narrowed and narrowed. The “sponsored content” model is designed to obscure the old line as much as possible (while staying thisclose to the right side of the ethical boundary). It’s more like product placement in a movie – except movies are not journalism.
I don’t fit into any demographic, I never really have. But that’s true of lots of us, especially people my age and younger who’ve grown up with complicated identities, because life has gotten more complicated, and in which we don’t want to be defined by any single one of them, but are happy to present many facets of our interests and personalities.
I am not going to pretend, partly because none of you would believe it, that I don’t have opinions, right? Okay, that’s ridiculous! I mean if you’re an intelligent journalist you’ve got to have opinions; so let’s get those opinions up there and let’s challenge them! See how robust they are!
The lovely thing about the Dish is that it’s this sort of collective hive mind of all these readers, all of whom are interested in getting at the truth.
The always-brilliant Maria Bustillosinterviews the always-brilliant Andrew Sullivan.
Every straight person already knows everything important there is to know about a gay person’s needs and loves and lives. Just look in the mirror. We are human before we are gay or straight. We are you.
Andrew Sullivan, who is ordinarily brilliant and opinionated but invariably fair, calls Jodie Foster’s public coming-out moment at the 2013 Golden Globes “narcissistic,” “self-loving,” and “unadulterated bullshit” – a tragic and surprising failure to honor the fact that everyone’s journey is different. The pressure to alter oneself in order to conform to a homogenized idea of what being gay ought to be like is no different from the pressure to conform to an inauthentically straight lifestyle.