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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

All Aboard - Rosie O'Donnell's HBO Movie

I saw Rosie O’Donnell’s docu-bio ‘All Aboard’ on HBO last night – the sea cruise aimed at same sex couples (and straight folks too) taped in 2004.

A way to show this cruise and what it represents would have been much better served if O’Donnell was in the wings as opposed to being a central figure. Why? First, I think she does her cause a disservice with her militant attitude about gay rights. If your goal is to sway the majority opinion of this nation, which is ostensibly against you economically, morally and socially, then why look sulky, angry and nasty? Why have a bit that calls out Senators who voted for a bill in Congress to ban same-sex marriages or a Constitutional Amendment barring the same? (She called out Sen. McCain by name – her ‘buddy’). And just a note to O’Donnell: there were a lot of Democrats who voted against the gay stuff in Congress – it was lots of Congressman who think the gay agenda is wrong, not just Republicans, Rosie! Most of the time O’Donnell looked mad – not very ‘gay’ or happy as opposed to the hundreds of people on the ship that certainly had a ‘rosier’ disposition that she did.

Excluding the overt oblations to Saint Rosie, I thought the folks who were on that cruise were just being regular people. These folks certainly were not the kind of cranks I’ve seen on the Mall in DC during Gay Day parades. The folks on that cruise were well educated, articulate, professional and passionate about their beliefs in how and why they want to live their lives. And I say, Bravo (or Brava). I say this for the sake of those people who saving children from the welfare and foster home nightmare we have in this country. Most of the children of the same sex couples were not the same race as their mommies or daddies. In fact, many of those kids were saved from birth mothers who were drug addicts or in jail. And what is wrong with giving a child the opportunity to have a better life with a same sex couple than allowing a child to languish in and outgrow a corrupt, criminal and destructive system like foster care?

If you find this topic revolting or repulsive, let me ask you this? Have you ever known a child that is in foster care? I worked with foster kids while in college and it was the saddest thing I ever experienced in my life – more depressing than a Hospice stint I did for my fraternity. These poor kids had little hope of adoption because of repressive laws and the leviathan bureaucracy of foster care at the state and federal level. If you get a chance to see this film, look at the faces of the kids. It doesn’t matter one wit to those kids who is putting them to bed at night, loving them, feeding them, clothing them and helping them get adjusted to the rigors of life.

Now all that said, do I agree with legalizing same sex marriage? Nope! But I agree with Civil Unions and the same economic breaks that heterosexual couples have. And I agree that adoption laws across the board in this nation need to be re-written to move all children out of state control and into as many homes as possible, hetero and same sex. This is where my support of same sex anything stops. I don’t want this lifestyle taught in schools. I don’t want books on shelves in schools about it. It’s a personal issue and a lifestyle choice that should not be taught in any school anywhere. Last time I checked my memory of going through K-12, there were no classes or books about how to be heterosexual!

I feel sorry in a way for these folks in this film. I do. Each person carries so much emotional baggage with him and her throughout life that to have the crisis of sexual identity must be agonizingly painful. I can’t imagine the psychological struggles that someone has to endure with sexual identity crisis knowing how society perceives this lifestyle. But when this lifestyle is put on a case by case, person by person level, I separate the politics of Rosie O’Donnell’s attempt at mainstream acceptance of all that the gay political lobby tries to foist on our schools, churches, and popular culture and think about these people as ‘people’, not a political agenda. This is where Rosie gets it wrong and will always get it wrong.

Be gay all you want to. Change the laws of adoption. But the majority opinion in this nation and nearly all religions is still heterosexual. And those in the majority have the right to think this way just as homosexuals think they have a right to live the way they want to. But, Rosie, don’t ask for rights based on sexual preference other than adoption and Civil Unions and economic parity. That is asking for more than you are legally or morally entitled to. And it seemed that most of the folks on this cruise were sailing in a different direction than O’Donnell.

Fair Winds

American society is unforgiving when it comes to staying in the limelight. Gays and the gay lifestyle are becoming so mainstream that it will be difficult for celeb icons such as Rosie O and Ellen DeGeneres to remain popluar if all they do is bang on the gay drum and bark at the moon. At least Ellen is funny and can dance. The HBO movie made it clear that Rosie has not much else to offer and like other one trick ponies, will fade away. Just ask the Queer Eye team.

As curious as it sounds, the gay lifesyle may, for some, becoming boring. Quiet, mainstream and boring. PM
I saw some of this docu-bio again last night. This time, it was on HBO-Family which I thought was odd. And the bit I saw was Rosie again looking depressed and not very happy. I watched it enough to the point where the cruise ports in the Carribe and is day-trippers are met with a handfull of demonstrators objecting to homosexuality. What I did not see were day-trippers 'showing' the Bahamians they were gay like what you see in G-Day parades. Still, the Bahamians have the right to protest anything they want - it's their country. What was not nice to see were some of the more militant gays debating and arguing with the locals. The day-trippers might not like the protests, but folks, you were standing in another country trying to argue for rights/acceptance that country could care less about especially since the locals are about two generations away from boiling each other in pots!

Thanks for the comments - keep on reading and responding!
Re. Gay adoption. I have always had the same thought you express, but have thought I was alone (as a conservative) in having it. Thanks for "outing" it. Life often gives us hard choices, end of story.

It's not about the politics, it's about the children getting out of the horror of custodial state stewardship. And why the hell do we have such lax laws on adopting foreign children? It' easier to adopt a foreign kid than it is to adopt one here in the US.
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