Ace scribe Steven Thrasher — who was named Journalist of the Year in 2012 by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association — knows how to get a rise out of readers with his stellar work that often explores race, class, and LGBT issues. Blend readers may recall his epic piece at the Village Voice, “White America Has Lost Its Mind,” written in the wake of the right-wing’s reaction to the inauguration of Barack Obama as the first black POTUS. I mean, how can you not react to this opening salvo….classic:
About 12:01 on the afternoon of January 20, 2009, the white American mind began to unravel.
It had been a pretty good run up to that point. The brains of white folks had been humming along cogently for near on 400 years on this continent, with little sign that any serious trouble was brewing. White people, after all, had managed to invent a spiffy new form of self-government so that all white men (and, eventually, women) could have a say in how white people were taxed and governed. White minds had also nearly universally occupied just about every branch of that government and, for more than two centuries, had kept sole possession of the leadership of its executive branch (whose parsonage, after all, is called the White House).
But when that streak was broken—and, for the first time, a non-white president accepted the oath of office—white America rapidly began to lose its grip.
We had a lot of fun with it during a liveblog on PHB: “Stepping on the third rail of race w/Steven Thrasher of ‘White America Has Lost Its Mind‘ (Monday October 11, 2010).
Now Steven steps into some controversy of another kind — he takes a look at the successful (and necessary) political sales pitch by LGBT rights activists to present a model of marriage that increasingly (and not surprisingly) doesn’t look very traditional at all, for obvious reasons, in “Master Bedroom, Extra Closet: The Truth About Gay Marriage” over at Gawker.
In the fight for marriage rights, gay activists have (smartly) put forward couples who embody a familiar form of unity. Straight people see Edith Windsor, the octogenarian lesbian widow fighting the Defense of Marriage Act, and they see a life that mirrors their own. The $300,000 tax bill she was slapped with when her wife died is an obvious injustice.
But not all gay unions are built on the straight model, particularly when it comes to the issue of monogamy. The Gay Couples Study out of San Francisco State University—which, in following over 500 gay couples over many years is the largest on-going study of its kind—has found thatabout half of all couples have sex with someone other than their partner, with their partner knowing.
The gay rights movement has made a calculated decision to highlight the similarities, not the differences, between straight and gay love on the road to marriage equality.
A caveat here, which Steven expounds upon below — we’re talking about the patterns of relationships relating to gay men, not lesbians (though why finding that lesbians are not likely to pursue open, committed relationships surprises him, I’m not sure). Yep, the stereotype holds true, but it doesn’t politically serve matters to discuss it openly: