Thursday, June 02, 2005

An Exodus Letter to the Editor

I was over at Randy's blog today, and he had a letter to the editor from Exodus, his current employer (I am sure they are more than an employer to him, but I am not sure how else to say that).

Honestly, the letter sounds more like a press release than a letter to the editor (the firt time I posted this, I accidentally called it a press release. Anyway, it doesn't do much more than give a quick criticism of the article and then go on to talk about what Exodus does and how they can help gays. The opening of the letter says that Orlando marketing gurus have reduced gays and lesbians to mere commodities. This was in response to a local newspaper article that said that local businesses were becoming more tolerant to gays and were trying to market to them to attract them to the area.

I was a bit confused by the letter. Were Exodus and the Pastors that signed off upset that businesses were accepting of gays coming into their businesses? I'm not sure how that could be a bad thing. Or were they mad that the advertisers and marketers were actively trying to bring gays to the area? On this note, they said that the advertisers were reducing gays and lesbians to commodities. But, isn't that what advertisers and marketers do for a living? Are these Pastors sending out similar press releases or letters for ads geared at blacks? What about teens? Christians? Bar Hoppers? I know Exodus' goal is to deal with gays, but surely these Pastors realize that advertisers advertise to EVERYONE and newspapers write about this type of target marketing all of the time too. Saying these guys were reducing gays to commodities seems like a cheap shot to me.

The letter goes on to say that the people that signed it "consistently see men and women in [their] offices who embraced gay life...and found it empty and unfulfilling." It goes on to say that the idyllic picture of gay life was (is I guess) deceptively portrayed by the media.

I will fully admit that there are some people out there that are not happy being gay for a variety of reasons. To be honest, that was something I struggled with for many many years before I came out. I saw gays as femimine, promiscuous, shallow hairdressers because that is what I saw in the media. I thought that I would never be accepted if I was gay. But, after coming out I realized my unhappiness with being gay was based in my own ignorance and irrationality, not in some deep seated unhappiness with being attracted to other guys.

Ok, so all of this is on a tangent. My point here is that I think it is obscuring the whole picture some to say that the media is deceiving the public and gays by depicting this idea of an idyllic gay life. From where I see things, gay life is just as idyllic as any other life (straight or otherwise). While some people aren't happy being gay, many more, many many more, are. And let's face it, people aren't happy with a lot of things in their lives. Maybe Exodus should come out in their statements and actually admit that some people are happy being gay, but they are there for those that aren't. If I listened to just Exodus, I would think that all gays were lying in a pool of self hate or despair. But, then again, I think that is what they want me to believe.

I'll be awaiting another letter from these Pastors accusing Orlando marketers of reducing all people to commodities with money to spend. It would only be fair.


At 2/6/05 6:45 PM, Blogger Randy said...

The post clearly states it was a letter to the editor referencing an article titled "Orlando quick to learn that tolerance pays."

The origianl column was an attack that minimized the tolerance and the "gay" community to dollars and mocked Exodus' efforts.

At 3/6/05 6:29 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Hi Randy,

I think my post also clearly states that was in response to an article. I do notice that I referred to it as a press release rather than a letter to the editor. My apologies for that, it was a mistake.

However, to me the letter sounded more like a press release rather than a letter to the editor. Like I said, advertisers and marketers turn everyone and everything into dollars. I am wondering why the pastors involved (and Alan) don't comment on the other groups that have similar articles written about them. I feel like this problem is invented for media purposes, not a real problem.

I'm also not really sure that being excited about more gay tourists are coming to the area really means they are reducing gays to dollars. In this capitalistic society, that is very commonplace


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