Monday, July 23, 2007

Wow. Straights and gays intermingling? No way.

I had no idea. And I do so love a good catfight. Actually, I try not to look at these things (media going after other media: it gets tiring, doesn't it?!). But it's kinda hard not to look at this one: Portland's gay publication is written by a mainly straight news staff.

Interesting conundrum. I suppose if they have the skills, I don't care if they're straight or gay or however they may identify. Recent Oregon legislation protects people from being hired/fired based on their sexual orientation, at least beginning in January. So technically, right now, it's legally okay in many of Oregon's towns and cities to say straights only, or gays only, for that matter (Portland, however, does include sexual orientation in protections). There may be plenty of great queer writers in town, but frankly I hope Just Out hires the best writers, straight or gay or in between. Yes, I think a queer perspective is more appropriate, but not necessary in my book. I think what may be even more important is a staff representing a diversity of life experiences overall, including race, culture, and suburb/urban. The queer community doesn't march lock and step together, and our straight allies play a huge role.

Readers, what do you think? Should writers at queer publications be queer?

8 comments:

Bryan Boyd said...

For another (amazing) exmaple of gays and straights working together...

www.50VoicesForEquality.com

Maggie said...

I don't give a shit who someone sleeps with if they write well and they get the facts correct.

Tricia said...

I'd have to say "it takes one to know one".

patti_cake said...

I say the best person for the job but I think that there should be a good representation of queer writers there.

SassyFemme said...

I guess if a straight person is the best qualified person, and they can do a good job, then it's okay. However, I don't think the entire staff of a gay publication should be straight. There are experiences and perspectives that are unique to us, as G&L, that straight people, no matter how supportive, often just don't get.

blog Portland said...

I think it would probably be more useful to have someone who is actually gay write about queer culture-related topics, but when it comes to national and local issues, I don't really think a person's sexuality has to be the basis for advocacy with a queer-oriented group.

Mark H said...

Even the G&L community is divided by gender (to some extent....) by different views on some common issues and I think both sexes ---from a GAY & LESBIAN viewpoint should be expressing these opinions not what a Straight person thinks WE should BE thinking. Not that I'm going to agree with a gay writer, but I get ENOUGH straight opinions from the other 20 printed media outlets in this town. I'm a bit disappointed I have to say that "most" (really, most?) of the writers at the paper are NOT gay. I thought I sometimes disagreed because I was male and they were lesbian....I kid. Even the Willamette Week hires a GAY guy to do their GAY material. Is Just Out owned by someone gay?

CelticMommy said...

Everyone above has already said most of what I would say, but I'll say it anyway.

If the issues being written about are G&L OR if they are for a G or L perspective, I would assume readers would prefer to hear a voice that is gay or lesbian. If it's strictly a facts based article, I would think whomever is most eloquent in that article should be the one heard.

Much of politics, social issues, etc. are largely opinionated already... I would think that the owners should decide what and how they want their paper portrayed and go from there. I personally don't live there, so I don't know... That's my convoluted 2 cents.