What if Fred Phelps wrote a letter to gay men and lesbians apologizing for his odious existence? ("I apologize for having authored a pamphlet titled 'Mother Teresa in Hell.' ") Or if George W. Bush gave a speech explaining his compassionate conservatism to an audience of homosexuals? ("Against my better judgment I partied like a rich, white frat boy so I could empathize with gay men.") This collection of imaginary letters, speeches, and interviews from the perpetrators of the most offensive, homophobic, or just plain stupid rhetoric of all time is a dream not quite come true!
Dan Woogis the author of Friends & Family, Jocks and Schools Out. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and The Advocate. He lives and works in Westport, Conn.
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Read an Excerpt
Lesbians for Liberty:
Covert Operations Report
Ladies: As expected the WNBA has responded to our recent unfurling of a "Lesbians for Liberty" banner at Madison Square Garden, supporting the New York Liberty franchise, by instituting a blanket ban on all things lesbian during WNBA telecasts.
The following is an internal WNBA memo obtained by one of our many spies.
TO: Producers, directors, on-air talent, camera operators, sound technicians, and all others connected with WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) telecasts
FROM: Advertising department
RE: WNBA game telecasts
First, we wish to congratulate all of you on an outstanding achievement. The WNBA is off to a strong start, ratings-wise. If current growth continues, the WNBA may one day take its rightful place alongside the men's league as a major sports marketing vehicle. We would then be in excellent position to market the WNBA to advertisers using such time-honored audience-grabbing sales points as trash-talking, bruising physical confrontations, players wearing outrageous hairdos, and body mutilation.
Until that time, however, we must nurture our fledgling league, protecting its fragile image. We must remain vigilant of our product. Perception is reality, and we should never let fans perceive that the "l" word has been added to the letters "WNBA."
It is no secret that lesbians have long been attracted to women's sports. In fact, rumor has it that several lesbians are among the WNBA's player ranks. Furthermore, many teams are attracting zealous groups of lesbian fans. The alleged lesbians are some of our best players, and certainly our most loyal fans, and Legal has advised us that declaring the WNBA a "lesbian-free zone" is neither feasible nor constitutional. So we're stuck with them.
But that does not mean we can't sweep them under the rug. To that end, we insist that the following standards be adhered to at all times during WNBA broadcasts:
CROWD SHOTS must include men. Avoid clusters of females; any time two women are shown, they must always be separated by at least one male. Never show two women with a baby (mothers and fathers sharing an infant are, of course, a coveted shot). When players' husbands are shown, the men must quickly be identified as such via both a screen crawl and the sportscaster's own words. Boyfriends should be identified only by the sportscaster.
COACHES must be televised in as feminine a manner as possible. Shots to look for include coaches wearing skirts or high-heeled shoes. Pink is an excellent color. Shots to avoid include coaches wearing pants or sensible shoes. Rainbow anything-clothing, jewelry, hair-is to be avoided.
PLAYERS: Wedding rings make nice TV shots; so do crucifixes and/or other religious symbols. If a player is shown looking into the stands, announcers should make reference to the husband or boyfriend being sought. Televised post-game interviews should not begin until a player is surrounded by her children; multiple offspring are preferable to single boys or girls. Under no circumstances are non-playing women to be allowed to wander into the interview area. NO EXCEPTIONS!
BANNERS AND SIGNS: Avoid training cameras on banners, signs, posters or other visual aids that might, whether intentional or otherwise, be perceived as promoting lesbianism. For example, a contingent of Madison Square Garden fans raised a "Lesbians for Liberty" banner, in favor of the New York home team. Although the WNBA Web site features an entire section urging fans to make original signs, security guards ordered the lesbians to remove their banner, on the grounds that Madison Square Garden policy restricts signs because they block other people's views. We were fortunate that that problem was handled without league or network involvement. However, inadvertent shots of similar signs might encourage copycats, and arenas could be awash with such suggestive signs.
NOTE: It has been brought to our attention that New York Liberty lesbian fans have begun wearing T-shirts and buttons, with such messages as "Madison Queer Garden" and "Another Lesbian for Liberty." The prohibition against televising banners and signs extends to T-shirts, buttons, and any other message-bearing apparel.
STORY LINES should, whenever possible, refer to players' off-court activities, provided those activities involve such traditionally female hobbies as gardening, child-rearing, or helping one's husband around the house. Do not mention such pastimes as motorcycle riding, home improvement, or attending the Dinah Shore golf tournament.
ADVERTISING sales efforts should concentrate on perfume, cosmetics, lingerie, feminine hygiene, hair care, handbags, and movies starring Mel Gibson, Brad Pitt, or any of the Baldwins. Do not sell advertising time to Snap-On Tools, Home Depot, Olivia Cruises, or recording companies affiliated with k.d. lang, Melissa Etheridge, Janis Ian, or the Indigo Girls.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
In response, Lesbians for Liberty suggest womyn who love the WNBA and its many players and fans wear buttons and/or T-shirts with slogans such as "Dykes Take It to the Hole!" We also suggest chanting "We're here, we're queer, and we know how to score!" during all game action. Rest your throats at halftime and during commercial breaks-you'll need them later.
Table of Contents
|How Dare You Say Our Promotional Materials Are Gay?||7|
|The Doctor's Misdiagnosis||9|
|Who Gives a Toot?||13|
|The Grand Duchy||17|
|Lesbians for Liberty: Covert Operations Report||21|
|Happy Mother's Day!||29|
|The Gay Agenda||31|
|Off My Rocker||33|
|"Time" for Truth||35|
|Football Without a Helmet||47|
|Wank Me Up||49|
|Don't Worry, Don't Care||51|
|You Got Me, Babe||53|
|The Word of God||55|
|It's an Apology for "It's Elementary"||57|
|The Adulterous Attorney General||59|
|Hollywood Star, Actor X||61|
|We Have a Dream||63|
|Confessions of an Ex-Ex-Gay||65|
|A Special Plea From Anita||67|
|Dumb and DOMA||69|
|Funny Girl, Ellen DeGeneres||73|
|Those Boys in the Band||75|
|Southern Fried Baptists||77|
|Our Place at the Table||79|
|Burning Down the Log Cabin||83|
|I Was Such an Idiot||87|