Commentary

Read the latest commentary from The Advocate, the leading source for LGBT news and politics. Discover what public figures and pundits have to say about gay issues and topics that touch the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and its allies. Find op-eds from columnists like HIV activist Tyler Curry or Advocate.com editors Michelle Garcia and Neal Broverman. The experts weigh in on the latest developments in the LGBT rights movement, and The Advocate offers an outlet for their commentary.
A Decade of LGBT Advances Driven by Data

A Decade of Data-Driven Advances

COMMENTARY: From lawsuits, to studies, to dollars spent to enforce “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Brad Sears gives a rundown on the status of LGBT people in America.

Asian in the Library

Asians in the Library

Still reeling from the now-infamous "Asians in the Library" video, Advocate contributor Jimmy Nguyen says the video's racial intolerance should be a loud wake-up call for the LGBT community.

Zack Rosen Gay Vs Jew

Gay vs. Jew

Advocate contributor Zack Rosen fields his share of gay jokes and Jewish jokes — and tries to find a way to make the stupid people who make them think twice next time.

Jack Ryan Coming Clean After Getting Clean

Coming Clean After Getting Clean

Two years after filming a bareback scene in a gay porn film, Jack Ryan is off drugs, out of porn, and urging people to practice safe sex and not follow his lead.

Covert Hate Speech Thats So Gay

Covert Hate Speech: "That's So Gay"

COMMENTARY: From a very early age I learned that one of the worst things I could be called by my peers was “fag.” Even before I understood what the word meant, I associated shame and fear with it. As I grew up, “fag” became one in a long list of antigay labels that would fall into this category — words that would take years for me to overcome and accept; words bursting with hatred that left numerous scars.Thankfully, obvious hate speech is not as freely tolerated as it was in my younger days, but as the acceptance of homosexuality has grown, hate speech has evolved. In addition to the common ways hate-born labels are used to belittle gays and lesbians, hate speech has also become more covert. By adopting the guise of everyday slang, homophobic speech has managed to find acceptance with frightening regularity by many people, including some gays and lesbians.The expression “that’s so gay” is commonly used to describe anything unpleasant or disliked. For me, personally, this type of slang falls into the hate speech category because it takes one of the simplest words a gay person uses to describe himself and redefines it in a negative way. However, I have found that many gays and lesbians do not share my opinion on the subject and are quick to dismiss its use, or worse, utilize it as well.Some gay men feel that those who object to the use of “gay” as a negative should “man up” and “deal with it.” They argue that taking offense at the use of such slang is a sign of weakness and that it should not only be accepted but also used in return. While I can appreciate the logic behind the attitude of fighting fire with fire, this approach seems like it does more harm than good because it ignores the damage that this type of speech can cause and validates its use as well.Then there’s the alternative opinion, which suggests gays and lesbians should simply ignore homophobic slang and not “make a fuss,” especially when it is used by young children. I was recently shocked when Sean, the 8-year-old son of my friend Eric and his partner, Chris, described a television show he hated as “gay.” I can understand that an 8-year-old is going to use the same vocabulary and slang as his peers, but I was unprepared when his father completely ignored the comment. “Don’t you think it’s inappropriate for him to describe things that way?” I asked.“He doesn’t mean it in a bad way,” Eric replied. “It’s just the way kids talk these days. Chris and I don’t have a problem with it. Besides, we don’t want to be oversensitive to this kind of stuff with Sean.” 

The Past is Never Dead David Michael Connor

The Past Is Never Dead

After publicly revealing his very personal battle with depression and attempted suicide on Advocate.com, David Michael Conner says he's heard from hundreds of people who feel the same way he does — and it's helping.

When Happy Endings Dont Just Happen

The Trouble with Happy Endings

Advocate contributor David Michael Conner says he believes "It Gets Better" for some, but for him, it seems to be taking a long, long time.

Working Out With Straight People

Working Out With Straight People

I was not chased out of Paradise by flaming angels. Instead, I found them waiting for me in the world outside.

Can It Get Better Now

Can It Get Better Now?

Advocate contributor Kelly Huegel praises the It Gets Better Project but says we need to be doing more to help GLBTQ youth who are in crisis now.

It Gets Better For Billy March 9

It Gets Better: For Billy

Next week Advocate contributor Michael Anthony heads to Wheeling, Ill., to kick off his "It Gets Better"–inspired documentary. Will the townspeople welcome him with open arms or pitchforks?

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