Daily Archives: October 14, 2010

Tony Perkins is No Tony Perkins

tony

He’s much scarier.

And that in turn inevitably leads to Valerie Jarrett and her PR rep, Jonathan Capehart

“Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama, has taken her lumps since my video interview with her was posted yesterday. “

Lumps that were more than merited.

“We talked about infrastructure and her concern about the rash of nationally reported suicides of gay youth. Unfortunately, she trampled on that concern when she said that 13-year-old Justin Aarberg made a “lifestyle choice.” “

And being Pravda‘s Pet Homo you know all about those “choices,” don’t you dear.

“Contrary to the caustic comments on websites like firedoglake, I know Jarrett knows better than this. That’s why I didn’t correct her or ask her to explain herself during our sit-down at the White House. But viewers don’t know her heart. They just know that what she said was offensive.”

They also know that “she knows better than this” is just spin. She knows how to claim “gaffe” when the truth slips out.

“I e-mailed Jarrett last night and asked her a simple question, “Do you think being gay is a ‘lifestyle choice’?” Here is her response in its entirety.

‘In a recent interview I was asked about the recent tragedies about gay youth who have committed suicide, and I misspoke when I referred to someone’s sexual identity as a “lifestyle choice.” I meant no disrespect to the LGBT community, and I apologize to any who have taken offense at my poor choice of words. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not a choice, and anyone who knows me and my work over the years knows that I am a firm believer and supporter in the rights of LGBT Americans. Most of all, I hope this does not distract from the issue I was asked about — the desperate, tragic decision by some young people who feel that their only recourse is to take their own lives because they are being bullied or harassed because they are gay, or because others believe they are gay. We must instill in young people respect for one another, and we must set an example of mutual regard and civility to create an environment that is safe for every person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Yes, Jarrett made a mistake. But those who think she and the president don’t care about the rights of gay men and lesbians, don’t give a damn about bullying and the tragedies of gay youth suicides are wrong. Jarrett is no Tony Perkins. She is no bigot.”

If that’s your story dear you stick to it.

But getting back to “lifestyle choices” it should be noted that Tony Perkins (the good one) made a “lifestyle choice” of heterosexual marriage when he met the lovely Berry Berenson. They had twin boys together, co-starred in a teriffic film called Remember My Name, and by all accounts were quite happy. Neverthless he failed to discontinue his primary sexual nature, contracted HIV and died of AIDS. She, every bit as tragically if not more so, was in one of the planes that hit the twin towers.

Back when I joined the Gay Activists Alliance, before the famous Firehouse became HG, we met at a church in Chelsea on Thusday evenings. Not a Thursday went by without a sighting of Tony Perkins on his bike — riding back and forth and back and forth across the street from the church. We’d watch him for awhile and then call out for him to come on over — at which point he’d take off like the proverbial bat out of hell.

(Big Existential Sigh) It was a different world then. And it’s even more different now.

Sing us out m’love.