Never being one to miss out on a band wagon, I want to throw in my two cents about the spate of celebrities that have come out as an LGBT ally in the last week. Everybody else has and lot of them seem to be upset. First, though, a little background. Since Rob Portman had a change of heart last week and came out in support of same-sex marriage, Rob Bell said,
“I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”
Then, Hillary Clinton released the following video:
Like I said, some people are bent out of shape about these admissions, while others are happy and still others say “It’s about time”. Rob Portman is especially catching hell for his turnaround, but not from who you’d think. The people giving him hell are the ones you’d think would be happy he’s changed his beliefs: liberals (this Slate article covers the details nicely). Basically, they’re saying that Portman doesn’t have any real empathy on the subject because he “didn’t take a stand for … other people’s children“. To these people, I say “Lighten the fuck up”. Look, most of us don’t change closely held beliefs until it becomes personal. Not that long ago, I was foresquare against health-care reform, believing it to be euphemism for socialized medicine. That all changed after I was diagnosed with cancer and got an up-close-and-personal look at the American health-care system.
Bell has a similar problem, but his critics are exactly who you think they are: evangelicals, especially those of the fundamental variety. I would say they’re more civil than Portman’s detractors, but clean language doesn’t necessarily equal nicer. Calling someone like Bell a “false teacher” or saying that they’ve rejected scripture just because they disagree with you isn’t any nicer that saying Portman is an asshole who doesn’t care about other people’s children.
I haven’t heard as much about Hillary’s announcement other than a few people saying it’s politically driven. I think there are two reasons for that. One, there’s a paper trail of her evolution on the issue. Two, the people who’re raking Rob over the coals already hate Hillary and decided long ago she was one of those people. You know, the kind who don’t have a problem with gay folks?
In the first sentence, I promised my two cents on this, so here it is: when are we going to stop making a such big deal over celebrities proclaiming they’re an ally? Tearing them a new one is shitty and congratulating them is patting people on the back for doing the right thing. Not to mention the fact that regular people do this every day to no acclaim or fanfare whatsover. And, I’ll wager they make just as much difference in the world as Rob Portman, Hillary Clinton or Rob Bell. Who knows, maybe even more.