The Blog Squad

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Outed, but not ousted...

OK, the gay part. Personally, I cannot believe for a second that this would have been the story it was were it not for the fact that Johnson was "trolling" (that's such a Ross Mackenzie word, don't you think?) on a gay Web site. But the flipside is — and I'm not the only one to point this out* — that Johnson's sexual orientation may have helped him in the aftermath. Can you possibly imagine a standing ovation at the School Board meeting or outpouring of public support if he'd been "trolling" for ladies? He would have been a tacky embarrassment that colleagues would've wanted to steer clear of. Now, he seems to be some kind of symbol. And if he had been a straight guy trolling for ladies, would area ministers be organizing against him trying to oust him?

And as for the posting itself: I complained in my first post on the story (out of frustration as a straight supporter of gay rights) that it figured — it just figured that it had to be an over-the-top pornographic site that exactly represents the stereotype that all gay men are sex-crazed. But — and here's a question I ask quite sincerely — if I were to start checking out "gay internet dating Web sites" would that be the general tone of most of them? Is that really what straight dating sites are like?

*The T-D columnists finally break their silence after more than a week! Mark Holmberg wrote about it today, asking some of the same questions we've been asking here since the story broke. But when, if ever, will the T-D's editors explain why this was an A-1 story?


At Wed Dec 14, 12:35:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Janet, personally, I think that your tongue-in-cheek questioining of Johnson's inability to attract dates via his antique shop is among the funniest things I've read this year.

I actually think that he's rather fortunate to be an officeholder in the city of Richmond. If this were one of the suburban counties, he'd have resigned in disgrace from the SB because people are still uncomfortable with gays being gay in public (or private). Actually, the mere fact that he was a single man of questionable sexuality would've prevented him from even running in some corners of Metro Richmond and Virginia. As such, I tend to agree with your assessment that his homosexuality was a positive for him versus if he'd been a straight guy doing the same thing (thanks, Mr. Clinton).

By the same token, it still begs the question of who found his profile and what was their motivation? Someone (ie. gay or gay-friendly) would have to have gone after him because I doubt many straights would be cruising a gay dating site otherwise. If the person who tipped the RTD is gay, then it would be fascinating to know the logic.

In general, this goes to show that until we encourage and accept gays & lesbian as equals to us straight folks, this kind of gotcha, high-school crap will still happen. It's time for homosexuals and other sexual minorities to live their lives out loud.

-- Conaway

At Thu Dec 15, 01:53:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

janet - there are sexually explicit gay and straight sites throughtout the internet.

At Thu Dec 15, 03:07:00 PM EST, Blogger Janet Giampietro said...

thank you, anon, for setting me straight, so to speak...


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