Outrageous. Shameful.


Lance Bass and his boyfriend Reichen Lehmkuhl are going to receive a national award from the Human Rights Campaign at its upcoming National Dinner, according to an opinions piece by the Randy Foster at the Washington Blade (btw… it is a great opinions piece, you should definitely read it).

This is why I am sometimes so upset with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). This is just one sign of how elitist and arrogant they can be. This is how they show their so-called “appreciation” to all those folks fighting daily for LGBT equality. They give an award to a closet-case who was forced out of the closet, who hid in shame, who has done NOTHING to help further LGBT equality, who is not involved in any activism or politics, who openly stated to PEOPLE magazine that he did not want to be involved in activism and politics and whose boyfriend’s contributions to the LGBT community include soft-core porn in gay magazines and calendars.

What about all those grassroots activists in the Mid-west or Southern regions of the nation? What about the folks who, sometimes, risk their lives to fight for equality? What about the people who are actually worthy of receiving an award for HRC.

For a long time I’ve been a supporter of HRC. They are doing a good portion of the work for LGBT equality in Washington, DC, on Capitol Hill and in many areas across the country. There are times, however, where I feel not only betrayed by HRC but also as though I (and the thousands of people like me) am not wanted, appreciated or accepted by HRC.

I went to the Capital Pride festival in Washington, DC, this summer and had a chance to stop by the HRC information booth during the Sunday festival. I also had the chance to stop by the HRC national headquarters during my trip there. Looking at the folks who worked at both the information tent and the national headquarters, I could tell right away that if I were to ever work there I would never be a part of the “in-crowd” there or a part of whatever cliques they have. I’m not a fashion queen. I’m not a person who looks like a super-hot model. I don’t wear expensive clothes. I don’t walk around with my nose stuck up high in the air, just so I can look down on all the folks who are doing the same type of hard, gut-wrenching work for equality as me.

Lance Bass and his boyfriend do not deserve this award from HRC. Celebrity isn’t something to award. If you are a celebrity, it seems to me that you already have plenty of awards. The HRC should take that award from Bass and his boyfriend and give it to two people who really deserve it.

The HRC had better wise up, stop being so elitist and remember its base… the people who are the real, everyday members of the organization and the people who are doing the daily, tormenting work which allows HRC to have such a large membership and following.

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Comments
One Response to “Outrageous. Shameful.”
  1. Alok says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I completely agree that HRC, at their gala dinners also needed to recognize and award the grass-root Gingrichs and Reitans.

    But it is also true that if you need to get the attention of a broader spectrum of people,(for that matter even from our own gay folks in big cities too), this kind of a media gimmick is indispensable. By awarding Lance for his “courage”, HRC received the critical media coverage that it requires. In the process, other issues dear to our community that deserve greater attention were also highlighted.

    The point I am tryin to make is that for every organisation in our over commercialized America today, this kind of a PR exercise is a necessary evil. I guess until the true Gandhi or MLK of the gay community is born we will have to make do with these phony ones!

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