American studies
1 min

One step forward, two steps back

This past weekend marked the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York and, of course, Pride celebrations there and in Toronto, where I had a fantastic weekend until I was apparently food poisoned (the alleged restaurant will remain nameless, though old-school videogamers will know of its legend).

But getting back on the horse and turning back to Stonewall, there were two big events this week that highlighted just how far — and how little — gay couple have come since then:  first, a disturbing police attack on a Texas gay bar on that very anniversary and then, on Monday, a lavish cocktail party for LGBT activists at the White House in which Barack Obama reiterated all the campaign promises he's made.

If Obama was Madonna (we can dream, can't we?), this speech was his 'Ray of Light' — a splendid performance that, had it come a decade earlier, would have been revolutionary in setting the trends rather than following them.  Even straight guy Keith Olbermann was unimpressed:

In the wake of that Texas raid, police officials defended their officers and advised gay people to "take a deep breath" before getting upset.  Sorry sir, but it's far far too late for that (just ask Obama!).  The genie, as they say, is out of the bottle (and she's fabulous!) but what form her spell will take is a topic I leave for tomorrow…