Ok, ok.... I've been away awhile. So why, you might ask, do I open with my whiney, bitchy commentary on Adam Lambert's loss on American Idol? Really simple answer. Because the reasons he lost are important.
I'd never watched American Idol in my life until this season. My companion in Boston coaxed me into watching by getting me to sit through a couple of early shows and we laughed our faces off. I love to laugh and watching those early shows were fun and seemed harmless. My travel schedule got really busy and I missed a lot but by the time my regular trips to Boston resumed, Adam Lambert had begun to emerge as a superstar. She sat me down in front of a TiVo'd episode and my jaw dropped. I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing. How long has it been since a bonafide superstar rose up? Fresh, funky, queer, sweet, original, super talented, gorgeous, did I say sweet? I was over the moon for the kid from the first song I saw/ heard him sing. I was one of those middle aged women groupies the bloggers talked about.
I never heard him say anything about being gay but this kid was obvioulsy very queer. I didn't give a flip whether he identifies as gay, straight, bi, trans.... whatever. He's amazing and I could not wait for Tuesday night to roll around so I could see what he would do next. It was a treat to sit and wait for his original arrangments, his unique phrasing, and his magnificent voice. I began to describe him as the love child of Elvis and Freddie Mercury. He blew me away.
The fact that he did NOT win the American Idol competition is proof positive that "Idol" is a crock. Yes, yes, I know it's all about the voting. But this guy was so far above the rest of the class that even they knew it. Only near the end did I realize that there was an entire subculture of hate and homophobia that was operating against him the whole time.
Pardon me but I live in Canada and spend half my time in Boston and I just forget that most of the US is full of homophobic folk who will go out of their way to express their moral high ground by running down anyone who doesn't fit their male masculine/female feminine binary gender construct. He never made any issue of his sexuality or gender identity one way or another. But his "difference" made him suspect. And suspect is all that is needed when bigotry is involved.
Which brings me to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and Lt. Dan Choi. Now Lt. Choi is a very good friend of a close friend of mine. My friend Sue was one of the first women at West Point. She is part of the organization Knights Out. Lt. Choi is about to get chucked out of the military like a sack of garbage even though he's a talented leader, an arabic linguist, and a loyal member of the miliatary who WANTS to continue to serve the United States. And President Obama, for whom we had such high hopes only days ago, has not yet seen fit to do what he promised he would do... namely do away with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Meanwhile, in other news, he did propose the most horrificly futuristic "indefinate detention" for people he (we can only assume) thinks may, sometime in the future, commit acts of terror against the US. Yes.... that's what I said. Sounds like a movie doesn't it? But I digress....
Lt. Choi is an asset to the security of the United States. So why is he being thrown out of the military? Because he dared to say, out loud and in public, that he is a gay man. Ooooooo scary. That is really a frightening prospect. He might actually translate a message that will allow us to stop an actual terror attack by radical haters of the United States and then go home and cook dinner with his male partner and (horrors) lie down in the same bed with him and rest so that he can get up and go to work protecting our country again the next day. OMG! Call somebody! We cannot have this!
Really people, what are we doing here?
Get off your duff and write your congressman and senators. Call the White House (ask for the comment line when the very rude man answers the phone or he'll cut you off in mid sentence... yes, yes... in the Obama White House). Log on to KnightsOut.org and click the "Take Action" tab. And talk to your friends, your kids, your family and bring this ridiculous madness out of the closet.
The security of the United States is important to every citizen of the US and to most of the rest of the world as well because we are a symbol of democracy. Should we really sacrifice security for moralistic bigotry? Get real.