Weekly column: ‘Lance Bass a hero? Hardly.’

From my column this week in The Carolinian (UNCG):

Lance Bass a hero? Hardly
HRC should award someone who deserves it

by Matt Hill Comer, Don’t Ask, (I’m Telling)
Issue date: 10/3/06 Section: Opinions

This Saturday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will hold its national dinner in Washington, D.C. Celebrities, politicians, dignitaries and gay activists from across the country will gather with the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy and civil rights group to celebrate community, talk politics, network and wine and dine to their hearts’ full delight.

HRC will also be presenting a number of awards. These national awards are among some of the highest honors lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, as well as straight allies, can receive in the field of LGBT activism.

Lance Bass and his boyfriend Reichen Lehmkuhl are set to receive HRC’s “Visibility Awards.” Not only do I think this is outrageous, but I also think it is shameful. Lance Bass and his boyfriend are not heroes. They do not deserve any award or praise from the LGBT community or HRC, because they haven’t earned any of it.

Lance Bass never even wanted to “come out.” He tried desperately to hide who he was, denying not only himself but all of those LGBT youth whose lives would have been changed knowing that one of their role models was just like them. Lance was forced out of the closet by his own stupidity; he went to a gay club with his boyfriend and then cried when people actually found out about it. If you are an international star, don’t expect not to be noticed or photographed every where you go.

So this is how HRC shows 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 or politics and whose boyfriend’s largest 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 from HRC?
Read the full column at The Carolinian Online.

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