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When Did The Current Wave Of Gay Rights, And Gay-Relaetd Issue Discussion Begin In The US?

I don't remember mass discussions regarding gay marriage, gay hate crimes, gay bullying, etc, etc, during the Bush years. The one thing that happened during that era was putting us on the 2004 election ballot, ensuring the denial of rights of gays and lesbians.

Today, everything is gay, gay, gay. It wasn't like his before. Did California's passage of gay marriage, and then later Prop. 8 spark this current wave of gay rights interest with the media, and in pop culture?

Since the Obama era, we finally got DADT overturned, an administration that won't back DOMA (which is now going to the Supreme Court), hate crime protection, NOH8, 'It Gets Better,' NY passed gay marriage, a bunch of other states did the same, one gay television show after another, Lady Gaga, mass hatred of Westboro, and freaks like them, and biggest of all: the first president to back gay marriage. The public at large is finally on our side, with more than half the country backing gay marriage. There's so many other events that have taken place as well.

So again, when did this begin? It's been a whirlwind. I've never seen so much social change in such a short period of time in all my life.

I guess "Brokeback Mountain" might have helped in 2005. Then there was "Milk" in 2008. These helped start or added to the discussion.

by Anonymousreply 4002/23/2013

Frankly, it was the wave of suicides that turned the tide.

by Anonymousreply 102/16/2013

as for our success, first the military support and then the president changed our minority to an election majority.

by Anonymousreply 202/16/2013

When Obama came out for gay marriage, that really did turn the tide right there... pushing support over 50% for the first time.

But he was inclusive in all his campaign speeches, and even state of the union speeches and other times as well.

I even think shows like GLEE helped. Obviously Will & Grace helped, as well as Modern Family. Visibility is important.

by Anonymousreply 402/16/2013

It wasn't just one thing.

Mostly imho it was just ordinary people coming out in their everyday lives. Ultimately, people don't change their minds based on a TV show or a politician's speech. And statistics bear this out: Most people who are supportive of gay rights say they know or love someone who is gay, and vice versa: most who don't support gay rights claim they don't know gay people.

by Anonymousreply 502/16/2013

Obama's support was huge, but it started before then. I remember, even back in 2006, being so hopeless about the future of gay marriage. In 2008, when Prop 8 passed, it actually seemed conceivable that we would never get gay marriage. And then suddenly it was like someone flipped a switch. I think it was increased visibility, both in terms of TV shows like Glee and in media coverage. Prop 8 really surprised the rest of the country, and taking it to court kept it in the headlines and made people actually consider the issue.

by Anonymousreply 602/16/2013

Yeah Obama originally started out as against gay marriage of course when first elected so it was an issue around and before then. Milk had a bit about Proposition 6 in its plot and was timed to Prop 8. I think Westboro Baptist Church were out protesting it at the Oscars.

by Anonymousreply 702/16/2013

The current wave started before Obama assumed office. Honestly, I think "Brokeback Mountain" was possibly the start of it. It was a one-of-a-kind mainstream gay movie that straight audiences latched onto. It wasn't a watered down story either. I don't recall gay rights coming to the forefront until at least after 2004, when Bush was reelected. Gays were still a political wedge issue that could win you elections. Brokeback came out in 2005. I really hope books are written about this current wave going on in a few years in the US. It's quite extraordinary. The Westboro freaks also helped, believe it or not. It's just amazing that being anti-gay on a national level can destroy your image with the masses today, not just with the gay community. NOH8 brought a lot of straight people into the fold. Lady Gaga really helped grab the younger generation. It's sad that a lot of young people had to die in recent years to really get gay bullying into the minds of Americans. I know the fight for gay rights started decades ago, but we have seen a complete turnaround with the public in less than a decade now. It's happening so fast. I'm in my 20s, and do realize that it wasn't always like this. I'm old enough to remember that you didn't even talk about gay people in politics if you wanted a sustained career in them. It's weird, but exciting nonetheless. Watching Ellen's 1997 interview with Oprah is really eyeopening. That was 16 years ago, and having an openly gay person on television could be a death sentence.

by Anonymousreply 802/16/2013

[quote]Yeah Obama originally started out as against gay marriage

This is an over-statement. He NEVER said he was against it. He said what he was for, and he also said he was "evolving" on the gay marriage/civil-unions thing. He consistently talked about equal rights for gays through the entire thing, and he was publicly pro-gay-marriage before he became an Illinois Senator. He walked a fine line with his public comments, but he NEVER said he was AGAINST it.

Honestly, I think Prop8 really did have a big impact as well... it was the first time that existing equal rights had been forcibly TAKEN AWAY from a minority like that. And the NOH8 campaign that came during and after was educational for a lot of people... it opened their eyes.

by Anonymousreply 902/16/2013

Ding Ding Ding - R5 has it right - and, although it started with brave individuals prior to Stonewall, that really seems to be a reasonable historical incident to cite as a "beginning".

by Anonymousreply 1002/16/2013

Having more gay representation in the media helps facilitate and atmosphere in which people feel more comfortable coming out of the closet.

by Anonymousreply 1102/16/2013

[quote]He NEVER said he was against it.

He said it wasn't FOR it, which means he was AGAINST it, dumb dumb.

by Anonymousreply 1202/16/2013

R12, only in your black and white little world, where your tiny mind can only conceive of two options in any given situation.

You're wrong, dumb dumb.

by Anonymousreply 1302/16/2013

R14, you're unhinged, as well as twisting and rewriting history. Take a chill pill. You're wrong. And you're WAY over-reacting.

by Anonymousreply 1502/16/2013

Sidestepping the bitch-fight about Obama . . .

It has been an ongoing process that had stops and starts, progress, setbacks, and missteps. But, for the last 50 or so years, there has been a definite move forward on the issue of gay rights.

The pace certainly seems to have quickened in the last few years, but that didn't just spring out of nowhere. There was a lot of groundwork laid in preparation for where we are today.

And, it came about, in large part, because we were not going to be quiet any longer about who we are and who we love. So, people came out to their families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We became part of popular culture. And all of that broke down barriers that had existed for a very long time.

So, it may seem like the discussion just began recently, but it has been a long time coming.

by Anonymousreply 1602/16/2013

What is "[childish epithet posted by a republican tool]"?

by Anonymousreply 1702/16/2013

R5 and R16 are right, it's been a long time coming and the more people came out, the more the wave grew.

A lot of other things contributed to the way things have changed. Matthew Shepard's murder and the Westboro shitstains response had a huge national impact. I think it's one of the recent catalysts.

Television has played a role. I remember when Billy Crystal as Jodie Dallas on "Soap" was a big deal.

by Anonymousreply 1802/16/2013

It started when Queer Eye for the Straight Guy became a hit.

If you think about it, it's really traceable to that moment in time.

I'm not saying the show caused the tide to turn -- it was just incredibly well timed to occur during what now appears to have been a watershed.

by Anonymousreply 1902/16/2013

R5 and r10 are correct.

It was you, and you, and you!

by Anonymousreply 2002/16/2013

Did it really have a current beginning or has this been ongoing?

Queer Eye is mentioned above, but Will & Grace began in 1998, and I'm sure that played a part as well.

As noted earlier, Gaga grabbed the younger generation, but I also think Madonna did the same for the generation before that.

OP mentioned the film Milk from 2008, but there was also the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk which was an Oscar winner for Best Documentary in 1984 and seen by a lot of people when it premiered on PBS.

Brokeback Mountain was 2005, but Philadelphia was 1993.

The thing is, gay related signposts started a while earlier. But as time goes by, there are more of them and a greater variety. That's what makes it so exciting right now - it's a train that even the most staunch homophobes can't put a stop to.

by Anonymousreply 2102/16/2013

I agree Queer Eye had a role, most definitely.

Brokeback Mountain too.

But I still think the kick that pushed it over was the whole Prop 8 situation, and the obvious ugliness of the other side, in combination with President Obama's constant and consistent inclusion of gay people in his speeches, the repeal of DADT, and the support of same-sex marriage equality.

by Anonymousreply 2202/17/2013

2003 was a big turning point year. That's the year Queer Eye for the Straight Guy premiered and suddenly straight guys were talking about having gay friends for the first time ever. It was a sea change year.

by Anonymousreply 2302/17/2013

And laugh if you want but Queer as Folk had a whole bunch of trendy young straight women watching from 2000 to 2005.

by Anonymousreply 2402/17/2013

I think placing demands on Democrats -- politicians and voters in blue states -- have been a help.

In 2004, John Kerry won Oregon by 9 points. But enough of his voters voted against gays to give passage to a ban on same-sex marriage that was victory to George W. Bush, Ken Mehlman, and company.

Also in 2004, Kerry won Michigan by about 3.5 points. But enough of this voters crossed over to help Republicans vote against the gays on the same ballot proposal offered in Oregon.

In 2008, Obama won California by 24 percentage points. But look at the same Obama voter who voted against gays.

In 2012, it was time to expect these blue states to fucking deliver -- or, hard to imagine, some of the Log Cabin Republicans and GoProud would make some sense.

Maryland carried for the president in 2008 by 25.5 points and in 2012 was carried by over 26 points. (Obama beat John McCain nationally by about 7.25 points and defeated in 2012 Mitt Romney by just 3.75 points.) So, Md. was about 18 points (2008) and 30 points (2012) bluer than the country. Therefore, Md. should have been expected to deliver on marriage equality for the LGBT community. And they did.

Maine carried for the president in 2008 by 17 points. In 2012 the stated carried for his re-election by over 15 points. Me. was 10 points in 2008 and 19 points bluer than how the country voted. So, Maine should have been expected to deliver on marriage equality for the LGBT community. And they did.

The state of Washington voted for the president in 2008 by a margin of 17 points. For his re-election in 2012 the state gave him a margin of nearly 13 points. It was consistent with its blue tilt over both elections -- 10 points bluer than the country. So, Washington should have been expected to deliver on marriage equality for the LGBT community. And they did.

It's been overlooked by some in not holding Democratic voters responsible for their previous votes against the LGBT community. Excuses should not be made. So, the fact that Me., Md., and Wash. delivered for the LGBT in 2012 ... it was much-needed and long-overdue.

by Anonymousreply 2502/17/2013

The legalization of gay marriage in the Netherlands(the first country to do it) in 2001 is pivotal.

I also think ironically the extreme anti-gay rhetoric actually got more straight people to support gay rights and gay marriage.

A lot of straight people are still homophobic, but they aren't as obsessed about what gay people do, so the hate turned them off. Same thing is true with the civil rights movement. When white people started seeing black people hosed down or chased by dogs, even casually racist white people began to support desegregation.

by Anonymousreply 2602/17/2013

I think the murder of Matthew Sheppard was a major turning point.

by Anonymousreply 2702/18/2013

I like to give credit to the brave men and women who have worked tirelessly to bring our cause to the steps of congress. Brokeback mountain is a movie on lifetime network for women. You might as well credit "Jeffrey" with turning the tide.

by Anonymousreply 2802/18/2013

R28, I think you're being overly and unnecessarily dismissive.

by Anonymousreply 2902/19/2013

R9 yes I should have said "seemed like he was". IIRC he said something like "marriage to me is between a man and a woman". He would have got called out big time if it was an actual 180° U-Turn. I thought it also the case for Hillary but it says she hasn't made a stance but soon will?

The impression I get looking at it from now is that he couldn't say he was flat out for it in the beginning, but now he has that second term he can push things he couldn't before that were too divisive and risky 5 years ago. Plus it's more of an issue this past couple of years so he could say he was for when going in this time.

What's annoying me is the Australian Prime Minister's aversion to it. God, if that cunt David Cameron with a history of anti-gay voting is a cheerleader for it and you're dragging your heels over it, then you know there's a problem.

by Anonymousreply 3002/23/2013

30 posts and no one has mentioned that Massachusetts, the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage, did so in 2004. Four years before California.

by Anonymousreply 3102/23/2013

When Canada legalized gay marriage in 2004.

by Anonymousreply 3202/23/2013

Gay rights are not the same as other civil rights.

Blacks and women have no closet in which to hide from oppression.

by Anonymousreply 3302/23/2013

In 1977, Soap had Jodie Foster, an openly gay character, and Three's Company had Jack Tripper, who faked being gay so he could live with two hot chicks.

The gay-rights movement is a marketing miracle. It's almost as if someone forced co-ed lockerrooms for gym class!

All the civil rights in the world won't make women or straight men want to fuck you, sorry.

by Anonymousreply 3402/23/2013

[quote]Gay rights are not the same as other civil rights. Blacks and women have no closet in which to hide from oppression. R33

Blacks and women are not rejected by their own families, friends schools and churches as gay people are. Federal and state laws protect people from discrimination based on sex and race.

Today there are laws in the US, like DOMA, that specifically deny gay men and women equal protection. There are no such laws that deny protection to women and African Americans.

I am not sure what your point is, R33. Yes it is different, but discrimination is still discrimination. Gay Americans still face basic legal challenges that African Americans and women no longer face.

by Anonymousreply 3502/23/2013

Sighing at R33 ... it's not a fucking [italic]contest[/italic]

by Anonymousreply 3602/23/2013

The gay rights movement has a lot of allies, more than ever before.

by Anonymousreply 3702/23/2013

AIDS. Rock Hudson.Elizabeth Taylor. Don't laugh and don't dismiss this. During the early days of The AIDS crisis, we sat helplessly as friends and loved ones wasted away from a mysterious disease that went unacknowledged.

Then, people started speaking out, as one by one, some of our most beloved and celebrated artists disappeared. When Elizabeth Taylor went public, and we actually watched the sad disintegration of Rock Hudson, first appearing on TV with Doris Day, desperately closeted, then images of his ambulance at the airport traveling to France, desperate for help. That was the start of a new level of awareness and activism.

For me the unfolding of the AIDS crisis, and the sense of outrage that built from that, signalled the beginning of the current wave of Gay Rights and Gay-related Issues discussions. So I'd put it at the late 1970's early 80's.

Yes, Brokeback Mountain was important, but so was Longtime Companion, and And the Band Played On. So was Torch Song Trilogy. There were a lot of cultural touchstones, but I think the catalyst for all of it was the AIDS Crisis.

It opened up the discussion. For all the hateful, ignorant things that were said and done, there was also a sustained public rebuttal and a susatained sense of outrage on our behalf, at a level we've never had before. It goes on unabated even now.

by Anonymousreply 3802/23/2013

[quote]Blacks and women have no closet in which to hide from oppression.

Which also means that they didn't face the tremendous sense of isolation that has been such a major part of gay life for so many years. They didn't grow up feeling like the were the only black/female person in the world.

by Anonymousreply 3902/23/2013

Also, gays were doing pretty well until blacks and women decided the only "moral" thing to do was to let them go first (and they climbed all over us to get to the next rung of the ladder that we had built.)

This happened when Clinton was elected and we were still weakened by the plague.

by Anonymousreply 4002/23/2013
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