I got an email today from a reporter at the News and Record about the recent Graffiti Ads/ART advertising controversy. Apparently, she had been trying to get in touch with me all weekend but for some reason the N&R email servers kept messsing up.
Last week, I also received an email from a reporter at Q-Notes. Today I emailed both reporters the official statement released by the Alternative Resources of the Triad Board of Directors, which is for some reason not yet posted on OUTGreensboro.com (Which reminds me… I should probably ask that that get done).
I would, right now, like to take the time to say a couple things about this controversy. These, of course, are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS as a gay rights activist and self-proclaimed loudmouth…
Discrimination against LGBT people or groups is something which I find very disgusting. America is supposed to be a place where all people are equal but as so often is the case, LGBT Americans are routinely discriminated against.
LGBT Americans are discriminated against in employment, housing, adoption, healthcare, medical decisions for partners, marriage, insurance, banking, education and in oh so many other places and areas. LGBT Americans face some of the most harsh prejudice, bigotry and hate. In my opinion as an activist, the actions of Graffiti Ads did nothing more but add to the already abundant and evil discrimination and prejudice against LGBT people.
Over on Sue’s blog, commenter Chip Atkinson (who said QCYNT “smacked of pedophilia” on his blog) said that both Sue and I owed an apology to Graffiti Ads. I think Sue said it for me when she responded to Mr. Atkinson saying:
Just like you still can’t spell my name, you still can’t understand what I wrote. So I won’t try to explain it again this time. You’re never going to “get it,” I fear.
I will not apologize for defending a group with which I work and my community from discrimination and prejudice… what Graffiti Ads did to ART and to the LGBT community was discrimination pure and simple. Their decisions, in my opinion, were influenced by homophobia and anti-gay politics. It doesn’t matter whether they are homophobic or anti-gay themselves or not. Even if Graffiti Ads isn’t homophobic or anti-gay, their decisions and business dealings are influenced by those factors and, in my book, that makes them just as bad as those who really are homophobic and anti-gay.
I can almost guarantee you that if Graffiti Ads had told a group like the Black Child Development Institute that an ad for them would be “too controversial” the community would have been in an uproar. Racism would not have been tolerated whatsoever and Graffiti Ads would have been bankrupt last week. If we don’t tolerate racism and hate based on someone’s skin color, why do we tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation, no matter the underlying reasons? I guess I might just never understand how some people think.
Like I said in an earlier post (Quick update on Graffiti Ads’ anti-gay discrimination), the controversy between ART and Graffiti Ads is indicative of so many larger issues in our current political and social culture. I thank those of you in the community — both gay and straight — who are able to understand this. For those of you who can’t understand it, and especially if you are gay and can’t understand it… I pray for you.
- Triad company refuses to work with LGBT group; refuses ad for community resources and movie festival 01/26/06
- Gay Greensboro business owner responds to Graffiti Ads bias in refusing LGBT ad 01/27/06
- Quick update on Graffiti Ads’ anti-gay discrimination 01/28/06
- Killian makes great point on civil rights and businessÂ 01/29/06