Jennifer Roback Morse believes gay people's only choice is to live a celibate life, that the current debate on LGBT rights is playing out similarly to Nazi Germany, that the Tyler Clementi tragedy is perfectly exploitable as part of her college outreach speeches, and that the LGBT equality movement is an "anti-human" one. To name just a few of her vicious slights.
But even though she, a top dollar National Organization For Marriage employee, has spent the most recent act of her career trying to get people to buy into her own fantasies about LGBT people, our families, our role with the supernatural, and our supposed goals here on the mortal coil, Ms. Roback Morse says it is Hollywood that has unfairly shaped public opinion—and she's fighting mad about it! Here's the clip, via Right Wing Watch:
Well, Ms. Roback Morse is right that groups like GLAAD have worked diligently to ensure that the media properly represents and portrays LGBT people. In fact, GLAAD also gives credit to the role of portrayals of LGBT people in the media. The same day that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, GLAAD released a graphic that showed how the increase of support for marriage equality has been linked to the increase in LGBT characters in scripted television. Clearly, knowing our stories increases support for us.
But it's not the unfair overstretch that she makes it out to be.
For centuries in the world at large and decades in the entertainment space, the anti-LGBT view dominated. LGBT views were not just underrepresented—they were completely absent. Then, as LGBT people started becoming more visible, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals were often portrayed as sick, twisted, violent, or otherwise threatening. There truly was an agenda, and it involved keep heterosexuals and cisgender humans at the dominant end of all scripts.
When LGBT people stood and up and demanded better, it was a correction of a serious ill. Take someone like Edie Windsor. We know the 84-year-old heroine to be a good, decent, and honorable person now. Knowing what I know about Edie, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Ms. Windsor was a pretty darn good person back then too. However, when we look back on old pictures from Edie and the late Thea Spyre's forty year (!) romance, it's almost a shock to the system to see photographs of the two out in public, proudly publicly embracing during the Mad Men era. There are so few positive LGBT portrayals from that time that the real life ones seem almost exotic. There was just so much erasure during every generation prior. The closet was wide and stifling. This bred stereotypes, outright lights, and even darker closets.
Future generations will not look back with the same sort of confusion. Nowadays, we LGBT people getting the chance to tell our stories, sharing our good and our bad, our ups and our downs, our highs and our lows, and our weaknesses and our strengths. Jennifer Roback Morse doesn't get to control the conversation so that she can create a "There's No Future in Sodomy" movie, at least not without considerable pushback. Those of us who are "radical" enough to believe that we actually have the freedom to engage in our culture are sharing our stories in song, film, TV, and every area of art that will have us. By sharing our stories we have opened even more doors, connecting with hearts and minds in a very real way.
If this greater exposure has led to less favorability for Ms. Roback Morse's decidely anti-gay view (and I would suggest that is has), this is not because those "militant homosexuals" went and seized up all of the studios in some sort of devilish blood pact with Tinseltown. Instead, it's because fables like hers simply cannot withstand the bright light that comes from our lives lived truthfully. Of course the anti-LGBT side hates this—it's far easier to talk about us as if we're not there. But that's never again going to happen. It never should have in the first place.