Gaybama Revisited – You Spoke, I Listened!
To all my dear and queer Chatty Cathy’s out there: Thank you! It’s been great to hear what everyone had to say about my article posted to Mediaite a few days ago, “Obama’s Fiercest Critics: The Gay Online Media.” It’s interesting that some have commented on my use of the word “fierce” in the title. I actually only realized the Tyra reference after I originally wrote it. I truly meant for the list to highlight Obama’s strongest, most outspoken critics (not haters, critics) out here on the interwebs. It seems my article touched a nerve with some people, but perhaps only because they’ve conflated a whole host of issues about the gay online community that weren’t actually brought up in my post (a quick glance at the hilarious and ridiculous comments posted on the article Queerty published in response to my list should give you an idea). Allow me to clarify where I was coming from.
Here at Mediaite, we love to have fun. But it would be really hard for me to have fun if I decided to write a post about what Obama has and has not done for the LGBT community (and, we’re obsessed with the media, not with politics!). Instead, I decided to write about the media’s reaction to what Obama has and has not done for the LGBT community. There’s a big different between these two things. I was not writing about the best gay blogs, but rather those most critical of Obama. Let me be really, really clear: I was not trying to list the blogs with the best political analysis – that’s a totally different list (light bulb!). I think it would be very hard to argue that each blog I chose doesn’t deserve a spot on the list when you consider my criteria. Queerty has always been skeptical (and yes, whiny and mean-spirited sometimes) about all LGBT politics, David Badash has done a great job of giving his readers (and particularly, his Twitter followers) up-to-the-minute commentary, Andrew Sullivan has always been one of the most important political gay critics (even if he doesn’t “solely” write about gay politics), and Gay AmericaBlog simply doesn’t let anyone off the hook. Some have said that screaming doesn’t equate to criticism. And I’m sure all the Stonewall rioters politely moseyed on out of the bar and into the back of police vans, huh? When looking for the most critical gay blog, you simply can’t ignore a headline like this: “THAT’S IT: Obama Has Spat and Shit in the Faces of Gay America.”
Allow me also to address what I think is a rather strange criticism of my article that popped up: that it only represents the angry, white gay male voice of criticism. For me, it’s simple: criticism about discriminatory laws implicates all those against whom those laws discriminate. So, the criticims of Obama here are about how he’s failing to address the needs of the whole LGBT community, not just gay men. Marriage equality, for example, is about gay men, lesbians, and transgenders alike. Let me also say that my mornings are almost always devoted to bookmarking new gay blogs and I read TONS of them. I originally had Pam’s House Blend on my list, but her best critical pieces quoted huge chunks of other blogs on the list – I was looking for unapologetic, ruthless, original commentary that exudes importance and urgency. I tried to make that clear by my explanations, and my numerous examples for each blog.
There were many excellent blogs that people suggested that I didn’t include. Why? Because they would rather provide their readers with breaking news than write an opinionated, hyper-critical piece about Obama. There’s nothing wrong with that – I read Towleroad everyday. These guys and gals just don’t belong on my list. But of course there were great blogs that I missed. So let me make a few additions! And let the critics keep criticizing the critique of the critics list!
5) The Bilerico Project – I originally docked this blog because it has many, many contributors and in looking for Obama critics, it felt like a big gay news forum with occasional Obama-talk when I was looking for a blog name I could eequate with smart commentary. But you’re all right, Gotkin-haters. Bilerico definitely deserves a spot on the list (and not just because I helped a lot with the NY GLAAD Media Awards and love Kate Clinton). The collaborative nature of the site enhances its contributors’ criticisms of Obama because it lets people respond to- and reflect on what everyone else is saying. So, sorry for leaving you out in the first go-’round, Bilerico!
6) JaySays – You wanted a lesser-known gay blog? Here it is! My apologies for overlooking you, Jay (and your writers). JaySays certainly deserves a spot on this list for its extremely smart and insightful articles about our new administration. Jay’s posts offer a certain something that many other blogs lack. They connect the dots when few others have, they take interesting angles that not too many would think of, and they make sure to always include a great write-up of the day’s gay political events.
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