President-Elect Barack Obama has named longtime gay Democratic operative Brian Bond as Deputy Director for the White House Office of Public Liaison.
Bond, a political veteran who has headed the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and held several positions at the Democratic National Committee, will have managerial and strategic responsibilities for the entire Public Liaison office as well as function as the point person on LGBT issues. The liaison office is tasked with communicating and promoting presidential policies to individual constituency groups and serving as a sounding board for the president on policies that affect certain interest groups.
Bond served as Director of Constituency Outreach for the Obama-Biden campaign.
This appointment follows the appointments of two other openly gay people to the Obama administration including Brad Kiley as Director of the Office of Management and Administration and Nancy Sutley to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Jeffrey Toobin has an exhaustive profile of Rep. Barney Frank in the New Yorker. Frank is the dean of gay members of Congress and widely considered the funniest member of Congress for his quick and biting sense of humor.
While Frank has become the congressional go to gay and all issues LGBT, his status as one of three openly gay members of Congress has taken a back seat to the credibility and influence that he has built over the years specifically on financial and economic issues. As chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, Frank has had a key role in the federal responses to the banking and auto industry crises.
There’s nothing like a gay with real political power.
An intense discussion is being played out over the film Milk and whether or not it offers a sanitized version of Harvey Milk’s life and gay movement history.
In the Huffington Post Nancy Goldstein says:
Was Van Sant afraid that audiences wouldn’t be sympathetic if 70s-era gay activists were people who suffered, swore, fought back, and fucked like they meant it? If the street kids actually looked like dirty, starving, broke-ass teen hustlers?
Gay history — unedited — is ugly, angry, and violent. It’s police dragging us out of cellar bars and down to the station to gang fuck the femmes and face-rape the butches, queens, and trannies. It’s military witch hunts; suicides and “experimental therapies,” from lobotomies and electro-shock to Christian boot camps. It’s Stonewall, where we showered raiding police with bottles, locked them in the bar, and set it afire. It’s ACT UP and chaining ourselves to pharmaceutical companies’ fences to protest AIDS drugs price gouging.
Of course, Milk offers a sanitized version of Harvey’s life and that particular moment in gay movement history. It is a film produced and distributed by Hollywood that stars mainstream actors like Sean Penn, Diego Luna and James Franco. But, that doesn’t make it any less an important film.
I say that not because the film is likely one of the first film’s about a hero of the gay movement that straight people will see. Or, even that it is the first film about a gay movement hero that a lot of gay people will see.
The importance of Milk is that it will open the eyes of young people, both gay and straight, to a key figure in the movement for gay rights and ideally will whet their appetites to learn more.
Along with telling stories about how they walked 12 miles to get to the lone gay bar in the next town over across unpaved roads wearing homemade outfits cobbled together with pluck and a Bedazzler, older gays love to point fingers at young gays and accuse them of being ignorant of gay history and the gay movement. This may be true, but ignores the reality that the straight majority has colluded to render us and our history invisible. And, it ignores the fact that older gays have a responsibility to do more than pass judgment about what younger gays may or may not know.
We have a responsibility to share that knowledge and to create opportunities for gay and straight, young and old to learn about the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and the straight allies who have stood with us in our fight for equal rights.
This has to be the gayest Christmas video ever!
There is a moment in every Dr. Phil show were he tells the guests of the day that they need to “get real” and stop the behaviours that are causing them pain and emotional distress.I think it is high time that the LGBT community internalize that message and end the sometimes limp-wristed approach we take to fighting for our right to equal treatment under the law.
Continuing reports and analysis coming out about the No on Prop 8 campaign show that our side ran a timid and poll-driven campaign that avoided the use of images and messaging featuring same-sex couples talking about how Prop 8 would effect their lives, ignored outreach to communities of color until the last minute and failed to anticipate anti-gay tactics that even a first year poli-sci student could have predicted.
Every other blog post is about gays erupting in righteous anger over the passage of Prop. 8, hate-monger James Dobson’s induction into the Radio Hall of Fame or some other issue. But, what are we accomplishing other than giving people an opportunity to act out?
In this time of incredible passion, anger and energy in the LGBT community, these words by Harvey Milk could not ring more true.
It is amazing to see how quickly our community catapulted from grief to outrage over the passage of four anti-gay state amendments on November 4. Tens of thousands of LGBT people and allies have marched in the streets to demand an end to the bigotry and hatred used by right-wing religious extremists to harm our families and fill their coffers.
Some people are calling this Stonewall 2.0. I call it the kick in the ass that the LGBT community has needed for quite some time.
We have become way too comfortable with television shows like Will and Grace and The L Word lulling us into believing that everything really is okay.
Now is the time to turn that anger and passion into effective action that will win full equality for LGBT people. It won’t all be as glamorous and self-expressive as protests, but we need to use a multiplicity of tactics to get the job done.