First, I should mention that I have already commented on this on my livejournal a while back. Here's that if you want to read. It seems lately as though the entire world is becoming a fan of what I like to call "the conditional apology." I find this to be completely unacceptable as when you apologize, you are saying what you did was wrong. You are not saying that it is conditional upon someone being offended.
The most recent example has been in the case of Patty Stanger, perhaps better known as "The Millionaire Matchmaker." Recently, on an episode of Watch What Happens Live she had the gall to tell one gay man that gay men were incapable of monogamy, that she's tried to make gay people monogamous (the gall of that statement right here) but it didn't work. Andy Cohen, being gay himself, objects to her comment, to which Stanger responds, "When's the last time you had a boyfriend. You know this. You're gay!"
Of course, this all blows up and starts a firestorm of media, at least in the circles I frequent. Stanger decides that the solution is to go on The Joy Behar Show and attempt to make amends. Now, I will admit that with her clarifications and in the specific conditions under which she makes it slightly better. In my opinion, her comments are not enough to solve the problem. I started to soften and see that maybe she had more of a point. Maybe I was just being too hard on her. Sometimes I tend to jump on things. I realized that I was one hundred percent justified as soon as she said, "I'm sorry if GLAAD was offended, but. . . ."
Then came the famous line of excuses. My personal favorite is when the offender trots out his or her gay friends. "Some of my best friends are gay." is the equivalent of someone accused of racism saying they have black friends. Either his or her friends may never have known how racist they were, or as I assume the most likely case is, he or she is talking out of his or her respective ass. Later, Stanger referenced that she was against Proposition 8, and all the work she had done for gay rights. As admirable as that all is, she then comports herself as an expert on how gay culture works.
Stanger proceeds to explain how gays are "the others" from all of the normal people who can couple nicely, like lesbians or straight people. (Happily, she didn't bother to impart her wisdom on bisexual or transgender relationships for us.) She regales us with the story of a friend who says that this is the nature of the gay community, apparently confining herself strictly to Los Angeles this time. As further proof of the impossibility of gay monogamy, she discusses her attempts to "bring civilization to the barbarians" at one of her numerous gay mixers. After straining herself so severely, shining beacon on a hill that she is, she simply threw in the towel, vanquished by our hedonistic natures.
I point out the two at the time in the first article, but since then, we have had numerous examples. One of my personal favorites was Rick Spreading Santorum, who recently spoke about his feelings at Penn State University, where the students basically had a good laugh and went on with their day. Afterwards, he spoke publicly about his "gay friends." I personally find it hard to believe that any self-respecting gay man would really be his friend, but well, to each his or her own. Santorm has already followed up with his own ignorance, so at least we know that things haven't changed.
As if this weren't bad enough, we find examples of adults persecuted for whom they are. Recently Leisha Hailey, actor in The L Word and currently a singer in Uh Huh Her was removed from a flight on Soutwest Airlines for what was described as "inappropriate behavior." Normally, I would give the benefit of the doubt, if it weren't for the fact that the phrase "family airline" came into use by the flight attendant. That makes parts of my mind hurt that I cannot begin to express in language of any kind.
If this were to exist in a vacuum, maybe we could overlook it, but the
damage is constantly done. Every few days seemingly almost a minimum of
one per week informs us of the latest attempted suicide, and
unfortunately more often than not, those times when they are completed.
As long as we keep allowing these beliefs to be circulated, we do a disservice not only to ourselves but to all members of our society really.