Too little room in Dem’s Big Tent for LGBT blogs?

I’ve been spending a bit too much of my non-existent free time
(read: time I should be sleeping) over on the website of the liberal
blogosphere’s Great Orange Satan, DailyKos. And whilst there, I tend to
gravitate wildly towards any posts about queer issues.

Today I saw one tantalizingly titled "DNC thinks LGBT has too many letters?"
and checked it out. It seems only a bare handful of queer blogs and
bloggers got credentialed for the Democratic National Convention in
August.

One of them is Pam’s House Blend,
a widely respected political blog run by Pam Spaulding. Two others are
also strong political blogs with queer bloggers or site owners, John
Aravosis
AMERICABlog.com and ThoughtTheater.com. And the fourth is Andy Towle‘s Towleroad.com.

John Aravosis, Pam Spaulding, Andy Towle

And that’s it, kids. Four, two of them only tangentially queer.

LGBT political blog The Bilerico Project are the folks who blogged about this on Kos, and they’re pretty pissed off.

I’m wondering what the selection process was for DNC credentials
though. To start with there are only two gay blogs who got credentialed
(unless you count Americablog and he’s more politics; gay is a
sidenote). I realize that Towleroad is a quality site with tons of
regular readers – their traffic kicks our ass completely.

However, Towleroad represents a certain segment of our community
only – but it’s the segment that’s more likely to donate to the
Democratic party. Is that what this is about? I thought the idea was to
get some diversity. Plenty of LGBT blogs applied other than us. We got
tossed two bones – and one is only for some of us.

What was the selection criteria other than traffic?

One commenter even plaintively said that "even AfterElton/AfterEllen" has
more political focus than Towleroad. Yeah, not so much. We are a pop culture blog, after all.

However
much we appreciate the
shout-out (and we do), and whatever the demographics of Towleroad’s
users, the assessment that the site’s not political is absolutely not
accurate. I’m not even remotely in Towleroad’s target demographic (my
guess is that shoe-obsessed lesbian bloggers don’t feature largely in
their marketing strategy), but I read the blog almost every day. It’s
consistently political, covering world issues including violence
against LGBT people, same-sex marriage laws, the right to serve openly
in the military, political oppression of queers at home and abroad, and
of course, soccer players wearing nothing but towels, which apparently
is the problem some folks have with them.

No, I don’t think the issue is that Towleroad got credentialed.
They should have been (and if Andy wants to up his diversity cred by
including a lesbian blogger on his convention team, I’m available,
especially if he needs someone to interview Rachel Maddow, yo). The
issue is …. four? Four blogs? Out of more than 120?

It’s not
just that four out of 120 isn’t close to the percentage of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in the United States, let alone
the Democratic party, let alone the liberal blogosphere.

It’s
that four years ago, our struggle for civil rights became the scapegoat
for George Bush winning the 2004 election. A flood of anti-same-sex
marriage ballot measures was blamed for driving conservative and
religious right voter turnout to record highs. "God, guns, and gays"
became the rallying cry of the right wing, and not only are we the
"gays," we’re a hefty hunk of the "God," too.

And this year
again, not one of the three viable Democratic candidates dared to
endorse marriage equality, betraying progressive ideals while
acknowledging the conventional wisdom — no doubt true, however much I
hate to say it — that no candidate can be elected President in this
country if he or she supports same-sex marriage rights.

Given
that big right wing flag that’s planted like a stake through our
hearts, given that yet again, our civil rights are a political
lightning rod, given how we were told to shut up and be quiet four
years ago, and four years before that, so as not to scare the "Reagan
Democrats" away from us, given that more than a few folks are no doubt
cursing California for recognizing marriage equality just in time to
make it an election year time bomb yet again… we get four blog
credentials?

I really think the Big Tent folks can do a hell of
a lot better than that for us, considering how much fire — quite a bit
of it "friendly" — we keep taking for them.

 

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