Conflict of Interest Stranger Queer Issue 2007
posted by June 20 at 16:50 PMon
I ended up editing The Stranger’s annual Queer Issue this year, with more than a lot of help from Dan Savage and others. The theme: What homos need to know about their history in order to keep from being, as the covers so delicately put it, “stupid faggots” or “dumb dykes.”
As usual, we have a ton of great gay writers from around the country weighing in with their perspectives. The list:
John Aravosis, Wayne Besson, Bruce Bawer, Chris Crocker, Kaley Davis, Amy Jenniges, Larry Kramer, Matt Foreman, Christopher Frizzelle, Ed Murray, Jamie Pedersen, Michael Petrelis, Tricia Ready, Adrian Ryan, Eli Sanders, Dan Savage, David Schmader, Michelangelo Signorile, Hank Steuver, Andrew Sullivan, Michelle Tea, Andrew Tobias, Sage Van Wing, Edmund White, Rex Wockner, Evan Wolfson
The conceit: Each writer takes a year, from 1969 to the present, and explains what gays need to know about it. Edmund White lays out how it was at the Stonewall Riots. Dan Savage writes about the arrival of A Chorus Line in Chicago in 1977. Kaley Davis explains how the “twinkie defense” entered the gay lexicon in 1978. Ed Murray tells you how it was in 1986, when Bowers v. Hardwick came down. Michelle Tea talks about how the lesbians kicked the trannies out of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in 1991. Andrew Sullivan writes about the “total, enervating, soul-destroying fear” than ended in 1996. Hank Stuever explores the significance of the New York Times same-sex wedding announcements that began in 2002. Jamie Pedersen writes about the legalization of sodomy in 2003. Matt Foreman looks at 2007 so far.
The problem that all of our notable queer contributors are addressing, as I write in the intro this package, is as follows:
Gay people, since forever, have mostly been born into straight families.
Heterosexual procreation is great and all—thanks, mom and dad—but heterosexuals tend to be better at making gay babies than raising them. Even if a hetero couple is thrilled to have made a gay, they’re not likely to regale their son or daughter with tales of Stonewall, or what the baths in San Francisco used to be like before they were closed, or why the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is so important, or why Brandon Teena should be remembered.
Every queer person has to figure all of this out on his or her own.
Oh, and were you looking for (or waiting to hate on) that video that Chris Crocker made for this issue? Here it is: