The Guardian carried a really interesting piece on Saturday featuring a conversation between Peter Tatchell and Julie Bindel on pride. There was much in what both said that I found myself agreeing with, but I probably came down supporting Tatchell overall. I was particularly struck b his comments in relation to marriage. There are some who have been puzzled by his support for same-sex marriage given his queer philosophical roots – and his comments here reflect my own squaring of queer theory and a pro-same-sex marriage rights stance. Check out the piece here.
Puzzlingly, the Guardian also featured a World Power List 100: The Most Influential LGBT People in 2012, but it doesn’t appear to be on their website. Number 1 was Jane Lynch, Lord Alli comes in at number 2, Gok Wan at 3, Barney Frank at 4, Tammy Baldwin at 5, Tim Cook at 6, Ian McKellen at 7, Martina Navratilova at 8, Ellen DeGeneres at 9 and Clare Balding at 10. The whole list is celeb-heavy with no academics featured. One current lawyer – Daniel Winterfeldt – makes it to the list. Although I’m not sure this is a fair list, it probably does say about the visibility of power – and our collective understanding of influence. For me, the teacher out in the classroom influencing the lives of countless children through their simple existence is more influential on those children than a distant celebrity. Those fearful of queer power have long recognised this. Meanwhile, gay activists are all too often seduced by the glitz, glamour and illusion of power and influence which celebrity often offers.