Agenda? What agenda?
September 30, 2004

This is the direction in which America shall head if we're not careful. Tuesday, it was announced that France is launching its first ever gay television channel, "PinkTV". The AP reports:

The transgender sportscaster wears a miniskirt, the porn is gay, lesbian and bisexual, and Wonder Woman will be on every night at seven. France's first gay television channel, PinkTV, is an eye-opener. And that's the point. Pink's founders believe there's a ready audience for the channel, and not just among France's estimated 3.5 million gays.

Pink's "a giant leap for television, a small step in high heels," said presenter Eric Gueho in a promotional clip shown at the channel's unveiling Tuesday, which was feted with pink champagne.

Oh but it gets worse (emphasis mine):
France has in recent years made big strides, legally recognizing gay couples and electing a gay mayor for Paris. Homophobic remarks will be punishable with prison and fines under a draft law expected to be debated in parliament before the year's end.
But Pink is the first nationally broadcast gay channel of its kind, said its founder and president, Pascal Houzelot. Pink is aiming for at least 180,000 subscribers. Houzelot said he expects half the audience will be in the Paris region.

"Pink is coming at the right moment," he said. "There's an evident change in mentalities. We've seen society changed. We've seen the law change ... In France, we can clearly say that gays have gone from the era of tolerance to the era of legality, which simply means equality."
There'll be debates Mondays on homophobia, gay unions, gay parenthood and other topics, a chat show Thursdays and X-rated films four nights a week after midnight. The actors will wear condoms.

Oh great, Condoms too! How "safe" of them. The article also noted some strides in Britain to produce similar programming, citing two recent efforts, "GayTV" (because apparently, HGTV isn't already gay enough), and "GayDate", a teleshopping channel (because we all know there are just obvious differences between "gay" shopping and "hetero" shopping right?). No comment.

While we're on the topic of HGTV (Home Garden Television Network) and the non-existent agenda I'm pretending to discuss, I feel the need to point out the fact that a few weeks ago, when I saw Bill Cosby live here in Seattle, he too spoke about how sick he was of hearing (and I quote) "lisp-ing men" talking about drapes at three o'clock in the morning. Further proof that "the Cos" just plain rocks. You will never have him Liberals, you will never have him!

But back to the non-existent agenda. Honestly, this "television venture" is no suprise coming from a country like France. In general, Europe is a bit more "advanced" than we in their definitions of "liberty". Here in America, we think these things are far from us, but I caution us, the decisions we make politically with regards to the "non-existent agenda" over the next decade will have a profound impact on the morality of our country. Until then, PinkTV's president Houzelot notes (emphasis mine),

"Perhaps we'll set ourselves apart in the way we tackle subjects and the subjects that we tackle. Clearly, it will address itself in the first instance to gays but is much larger than that and will, I hope, seduce a diversified public."
Hello public.

Posted by Ambra at September 30, 2004 1:19 AM in Culture
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As an adoptive parent, I've seen the "non-existent agenda" coming for a long time. Adoptions were/are part of the normalization. Don't know what to say. Almost feel like Bill Buckley standing “athwart history, yelling stop”.

Sometimes I think hate the sin, love the sinner? But when do the needs of society outweigh the “liberties” of the few? When I see the confusion of adopted children at 2 daddies and 2 mommies, and the apparent realization on the child’s part that the “joy and happiness” of their “parents” is more important to the parents then the child’s own development. This topic is probably one of the most critical social issues of our time, which we can not openly talk about.

PS I know television producers, they don’t pitch HGTV anything unless they know it will hit HGTV’s “target audience”. Also, I initially said "may" on the RC thing. sorry for any misunderstandings.

When I was in Belgium this past July I happened to pick up a London newspaper. On the front page was a picture of a snail I think. The article was about legislation being drafted in the UK to protect the smallest of creatures. For instance, you could be prosecuted if you maliciously step on a snail or a bug. Researchers are doing studies to try to figure out if these creatures feel pain.

Oh, and I guess a half born baby doesn't feel it when razor sharp scissors are plunged into the back of its skull and its brains are sucked out!!!???

Lord have mercy on us. We are just a few paces behind those "enlightened" Europeans.

At least they aren't trying to make it seem like wholesome family entertainment. Every day I wonder more and more why I continue to be surprised by these things. I hope this will be short-lived, but then I had hoped the same about reality TV and it's still going strong.

I do enjoy reading your commentary from time to time - maybe I am a glutton for punishment. But, at least what I don't agree with is well written. However, it never ceases to amaze me how much attention straight people give to gay issues. Why does it matter to you? Why does HGTV bother you? The bottom line is, you don't have to like gay people, nor do you have to really respect us either. But, for God sake, please recognize that language and sentiments such as those you share incite anger, rage, and violence against LBGT people.

I find it interesting that you in your neverending commentary against LBGT people about such insignigicant items like PINKTV, you provided no commentary on Jerry Falwell's insidious comments against gay people. ...And he calls himself a man of God!

Nappi wrote: "I do enjoy reading your commentary from time to time - maybe I am a glutton for punishment."

Well, if my tag line's any indication, I suppose you're my targeted audience if my commentary is "punishment". :-)

Nappi wrote: "However, it never ceases to amaze me how much attention straight people give to gay issues."

In any case, it always amazes me how much attention gay people give to gay issues. For example, I read peoples' bios and they'll begin, "I am a gay, New Yorker" and so on. The average person does not feel the need to announce their sexual orientation as part of their identity. I think gay people have done just a good job if not better at collectively drawing attention to their plight.

In any case, I've not said anything about Falwell's comments because I didn't feel I needed to. The blogosphere is good for beating issues to death and I generally aim to talk about things other people aren't.

In addition, I'm secure enough in where I stand to know that I don't have to defend myself and my views in light of the idiotic things other people who call themselves Christian might be saying. I am not they.

"The average person does not feel the need to announce their sexual orientation as part of their identity"

If by the "average person" you mean a straight person, then no they don't because by default they are assumed straight. The reason gay people identify their sexuality is to create visibility in order for people to recognize that there is more than way of 'being'.

And though you are not "they", you contribute to the larger problem of LBGT people being completely disregarded (outside of the realm of entertainment) in this society.

So, while you are not "that kind" of Christian, you still display a contempt for LBGT people. While there is a distinct difference between a lynching and calling someone a n>>>>, they are along the same continuum of contempt and disrespect.

Nappi, let go of your need for approval and you will feel sooooo much better. And if being disregarded is your concern; do ya really think Pink tv which promotes every stereotype imaginable about gays will endear you to the rest of society? Not that I gotta defend Ambra,but her alleged contempt for LBGT is really no different from the contempt shown towards traditional values by LBGT.

There is a difference between a need for approval and a need for respect.

And no, I don't find Pink TV very appealing in that it promotes stereotypes. Just as I am not particularly enthralled by QueerEye or Meth and Red. I don't think that entertainment is the best place for a people to gain legitimacy, because ultimately, in entertainment individuals or identities are commodities to be bought and sold on a whim and are very rarely based in real life.

And no, most LBGT people that I know do not hold a general contempt for traditional values. The The contempt is aimed at the belief that traditional is always the best and only way of for us to function as a society and that "tradition" is often based on Judeo-Christian sentiments that not everyone believes in. And, the fact that "traditional values" often leaves various segments of the population out of the loop.

I would agree that traditional values are the best way to function as a society. I can't think of any society that has embraced depravity as normal and then survived. And no you don't have to follow judeo-christian dogma,but you don't have to strip it away from those who do. Live and let live should be the goal. The problem with all these little groups whining about being respected is,they don't give what they are begging for. I would suggest to those folks who feel left out of the loop to go create their own,not destroy someone else's.

The reason gay people identify their sexuality is to create visibility in order for people to recognize that there is more than [one] way of 'being'.

No, the reason gay people identify their sexuality is to sexualize any and every situation. I remember nearly 15 years ago being introduced to a new co-worker. I said hello and extended my hand, she took it and said, "Hi, I'm Kim, I'm lesbian." Ooooohhh-kay. And how, exactly, was that information relevant to the product release schedule we were about to discuss? Or was she hitting on me, and I was too stunned to realize it?

I still haven't figured it out, but I remember that incident because I have had similar introductions.

Well, folks, get a clue: If you are not at a bar or a party trolling for dates, no one cares about your sexual orientation. If someone is attracted to you, they'll make the effort to find out if you're willing and/or available. If you're blogging on gay issues, then it makes sense to put your bona fides to do such in your profile. Otherwise, it's a cheap trick to garner some of the cache that a big segment of our society attaches to homosexuals. "They're fun, they're stylish, they're smart! It's so cool to be gay," at least that's the impression you get from the MSM.

I can already hear the counter-argument to this point, about how homosexuals would otherwise be an invisible minority, forced to live out lives painfully different from the heterosexual majority. Guess what? There are hundreds, thousands of such minorities suffering from real-yet-invisible inflictions that force them to live out their lives painfully different from everyone else, but how often do you hear someone with a chronic disease introduce herself, "Hi, I have MS," or "Nice to meet you, I have 3 fused vertebrae in my spine"?

You don't hear that because these people know that there is a lot more to them than their conditions.

The bottom line is, if you define yourself solely by your sexuality, that's all you'll be perceived as, and all you'll be valued for. I refuse to believe that we are so limited that we can't look beyond such one dimensional categorizations. Most people do, or at least try to, assess a person as a whole, but when gay activists keep changing the topic back to their own sexuality, I start to wonder why we should make the effort if gay leaders themselves won't.

(On a slightly different tack, I don't understand how people can insist on shoving their "difference" in everyone's faces, but then at the same time insist on being treated exactly the same. What's the point of being "different", then?)

sorry nappi, ambra's hit the nail on the head. "However, it never ceases to amaze me how much attention straight people give to gay issues. Why does it matter to you?" If it doesn't matter to me, then why do gay people need to identify themselves as such? Afterall, it doesn't matter to me, right?! The bottom line is the vocal gay activist wants others to accept their lifestyle. But the way in which someone lives their life does affect society as a whole. And if someone wants to broadcast, excuse the pun, their lifestyle then I retain the right to critize that lifestyle.

Nappi: Where did I say I had contempt for gay people? I have contempt for the LGBT (lmnopq) lifestyle but not the individuals themselves. I am wise enough to separate the two. My contempt for the lifestyle is not some flaky opinion, but based on the overwhelming sense of confusion and self-debasement it perpetuates, as well as the strain its placed on traditional values.

Joan: You're cracking me up. I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments and couldn't have reasoned it better myself.

Nappi said: "There is no difference between the need for approval and the need for respect"

Um, I beg to differ. There is a gargantuan difference. Once requires that I say "hey you're okay" and the other one simply requires that I leave you be in your perceived "okay-ness".

And for the record everyone, I like HGTV.

Damn, Joan. You're good.

Remind me not to argue with you.

Nappi said: "There is no difference between the need for approval and the need for respect"

Ambra, I did mistate that. I meant to say that there is a difference between the need for approval and the need for respect, and I completely agree with how you illustrated the difference.

Joan said: "No, the reason gay people identify their sexuality is to sexualize any and every situation."

Thanks for your analysis of something that you don't know anything about. In the everyday world, I don't state my sexuality to sexualize anything. Being out is about being visible, and gay people often walk a tight rope on the level of visibility they have for personal and safety reasons. For example, I know several people, women especially, who don't have any type of gay identification for fear of harrassment or actual assault.

In work situations, I have come out because I was (a) trying to get clarification on whether health benefits are extended to same-gender couples, (b) to determine if bereavement leave was applicable when my partner's grandmother died, and (c) because I got sick of playing the "pronoun" game with folks at work.

I came out for real-life issues that straight people take for granted on a daily basis! And, I choose when and how to come out, at times, as a matter of survival. In my experience, people with MS don't face the same judgement or threat in disclosing their diagnosis.

So, when people assume that someone is "coming out" to them because they want to pick them up, I think they give themselves too much credit.

Joan said: " I refuse to believe that we are so limited that we can't look beyond such one dimensional categorizations."

I would like to believe that we aren't that limited either; but, when one's sexuality is used as a litmus test for their morality as a whole, then, we are solely focusing on dimensional categorizations.

For most people, myself included, my sexuality (as changing as that may be) is only one facet of who they are.

Another good reason to stop watching TV. Plus, think of all the money you'd save!

Speaking of the radical Gay Agenda™, I recently started teaching mathematics at a community college in a big city and today, whilst I was photocopying some tests, I noticed that the bulletin board beside the machine had an administration approved flyer for a Lesbi-Gay faculty, administration and staff BBQ (vegan no doubt). The event was directed to create "awareness" of and to combat homophobia and something called transphobia, whatever that is. In just the last few months that I've been here I have received 3 system-wide emails advertising for this group.

I haven't seen any signs or received any emails regarding any "Bible Study" meetings, "Rosary Praying Picnics" or "Traditional Family Days" here, and I'm sure they'd be banned anyways (wouldn't want to be imposing that dirty, nasty, bigoted, non-inclusive and undiverse Christian religion down anybody's throats now would we?).

And guess what? I can't even post under my real name because I'm afraid that if anybody ever discovered that I don't wholeheartedly think that Gay Sex® is teh bset thng EvaR!!!11 that someone will report me to the Diversity Gestapo and get me "unhired" for the next term (I'm just a temporary part-timer for now).

Pink TV? Aye Carumba...
As someone who is gay, this ticks me off
specifically because it plays into ridiculous stereotypes... same reason why I utterly despise
Will & Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
That said, I think the best portrayals of gays in entertainment are on HBO (Six Feet Under and The Wire)... both shows have characters who just happen to be gay...


approval: An official approbation; a sanction

respect:A feeling of appreciative, often deferential regard; esteem

In order for me to give you either of these, you would force me to renounce my heartfelt beliefs.

What you really want is freedom. Guess what? You live in America, God gave it to you. Why force me to voice something that you don't even need?

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