But the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has organized a "Be an Ally and a Friend" campaign to persuade straight people to join in the fight against anti-LGBT prejudice. The campaign consists of video public service announcements and pointers on how to wage the battle.
Damon Romine, entertainment media director at GLAAD, told me, "We know that change will come in our fight for equality when allies 'come out' and support their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender friends and family members."
I guess I'm lucky to inhabit a world in which antigay bias is just so outmoded that there's no need to organize against it. Those who have an antigay thought keep it to themselves for fear of being accused of living in the dark ages. But GLAAD's website is rife with examples of public and media-promoted antigay slurs. The most recent was one uttered by comedian and actor Jerry Lewis. The GLAAD website recounts:
In the 18th hour of his annual MDA Telethon, a visibly weary Lewis wandered about the stage trying to dodge the cameraman while making comments on various people. At one point, he stopped and referenced the cameraman and his family: "Your family has come to see you...you remember Bart, your oldest son...Jesse, the illiterate f---." The audience expressed audible surprise at Lewis's remark.
Lewis immediately apologized for the remark (wise public relations), and GLAAD accepted the apology.
Much worse than Lewis's episode, the GLAAD website reports that some musicians advocate physical violence against gays.
Sad to say, but obviously antigay slurs are alive and well in today's society.
By Bonnie Erbe