Letter to the Editor: Advocate.com re: Young activist speaks on Falwell

Ya’ll might remember when I posted the Advocate.com article by Tully Satre in “Young activist speaks on the passing of Jerry Falwell.”

Needless to say, the response he has gotten hasn’t been all that great.

I wrote a letter to the editor, now posted at Advocate.com:

|| Letters ||

Tully Satre and Falwell

I read with great appreciation the words of Tully Satre on the passing of the Reverend Jerry Falwell. And I agree with him. I am one of those LGBT activists and bloggers who did not “rejoice” or otherwise greet the death of this man as a victory. I am also a Southerner and perhaps my ideas are based on my upbringing. You just don’t talk bad about the dead, out of respect for their soul and the family of the departed. There is a difference between trash-talking a person and offering intelligent and legitimate discussion on the life and legacy of a public figure. We should, as an entire people – gay and straight alike – learn better how to engage in the latter. America is much too full with trash-talking and non-substantive debate and discussion.

Matt Hill Comer
Winston-Salem, NC

I’m glad to have been a part of the convo.

6 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Advocate.com re: Young activist speaks on Falwell”
  1. Matt says:

    More interesting letters to the editor re: Tully Satre:

    || Letters ||

    Re: “No Class”, by Tully Satre

    Thank you, Mr. Satre, for your article about the hypocrisy about Falwell’s death. I, too, never liked the man. I thought him a pompous, overblown, holier-than-thou, petty, and stupid man. I thought his idea of Christianity was the complete opposite of what Christ actually taught. I wondered how he could have so many followers and supporters, when he spewed blatant lies and convulted nonsense. However, I don’t hate him. I can’t hate him. Hating him would mean that I would be like him, and I’m better than that. As a collective LGBTQ community, we need to focus on taking the truly Christ-like approach to his life and death. We need to forgive him.

    Ray Matyjasik
    Atlanta, GA

    Satre on Falwell

    I couldn’t agree more with Tully Satre’s column (No Class). While I found Falwell’s beliefs disgusting, I find it equally disturbing when gay bloggers practically celebrate it. Look, I hated this guy and all he represented but as far as I’m concerned, let him rest in peace and let’s concentrate on the living who still oppose our community.


  2. There is a difference, as you say, in trash-talking and offering intelligent conversation on the life and legacy of the departed. Neither Andrew Sullivan, the cowardly overprivileged flip flopper who only weeks ago was rubber stamping every action of the Bush Administration, nor Mr. Satre, who wishes to define class (is that socioeconomic class, or class, like a high priced Jeff Gannon?) by shushing the reminders of the hideous comments by which Rev. Falwell influenced our entire nation toward violence and loathing of gay people both during the early days of AIDS and after 9/11, have any right to pontificate on how to behave at a funeral. Both of them need to thank their lucky stars for loud-mouthed out-of-bounds activists, because we’d still be going to our own funerals hearing Falwell-types condemn us to hell at the gravesite if it weren’t for not so well-behaved homosexual activists.

  3. Matt says:

    Reverend, I don’t think Tully is saying we should be silent. I think he means, as I mean, that there is a difference between trash-talking and offering intelligent conversation.

    At the same time, a person can offer an intelligent alternative view to what Falwell did with his life and still be quite controversial and confrontational, BUT they can also be polite and civil at the same time. For a good example, look at the life and words and actions of Mel White. He was confrontational and controversial, but he never trash-talked Falwell.

  4. Yes, Matt, agreed. I deferred to Mel White’s comments on my blog regarding Falwell.
    please see:

    However, I am attempting to point out that there is a generation of gay youth who are being taught that activism is innappropriate and that groups like ACT UP or HRC are not really our friends, they’re our enemies. History does not bear out this notion and I believe we need to speak out against those who continue to proliferate these ideas in the gay press.

    It is untenable that we should attack and devour our own who are working within a horridly corrupt political system to advocate for us, and it is just plain stupid to think that we have accomplished as much (or little) as we have without hardcore gay activists.

    We need unity not division. We do not need Ms. Manners-types telling us how to behave, we need people willing to handcuff themselves to the NYSE railing and unfurl a banner that reads “Sell Burroughs Wellcome!”

    That’s the point I was trying to make.

  5. Michael Sinclair says:

    Tully and you are way to young to know what the lgbt community went through in the early 80, we don’t need the younger telling us what we did back then was wrong, if it wasn’t for us more gay when be dead and i’m sure tully and you would still be in your closets

  6. Matt says:

    I’m going to ignore ad-hominem attacks, which is really what Tully and I are talking about anyway.

    But I will say that I have been involved in direct, non-violent, relentless civil disobedience actions, like many which occurred during the 80s. I’m not saying “sit back and do nothing.” I’m saying be active but don’t be assholes while you do it. There is such a thing as civility. You can be direct, strong, and radical without being rude and inhuman.

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