Bilerico Report

5 queer things to watch for at the Democratic National Convention

The 2016 Democratic National Convention is being held in Philadelphia.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention is being held in Philadelphia. John Gallagher

Unlike the Hunger Games sequel that was the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention promises to be much more in line with political norms. Unlike the GOP theme – America: Going to Hell in a Handbasket – the Democrats are pitching a sunnier view of the country, trying to capitalize on the party regulars’ fondness for President Obama.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the Democrats if there wasn’t a circular firing squad. This year’s drama is supplied by a batch of emails secured by Russian hackers. The emails showed that the Democratic National Committee, supposed to be neutral in the primaries, was pulling heavily for Hillary Clinton while privately badmouthing Bernie Sanders. The timing of the emails’ release is guaranteed to re-open the barely healed wounds between the two camps.

Still, unless something goes seriously amiss, the Democrats are likely to have a much more organized, more on-message convention than the Republicans just did.

Here are five things to look for over the next few days:

1. Punch Drunk Love

The Democrats will be lavishing attention on us this week. It’s a core constituency, and the party needs to count on the vote. Here’s a simple drinking game: take a shot every time a speaker mentions “LGBTQ.” You probably won’t be sober until next weekend.

2. Reminders of Who Had Your Back

Marriage equality, the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the executive orders banning workplace discrimination and supporting transgender rights – you can count on hearing over and over again how none of this would have happened without your pals, the Democrats. (Okay, so occasionally they are fair weather friends.) It will be a trip down LGBTQ (drink!) memory lane.

3. Pounding on How Bleak the Alternative Is

President Donald J. Trump. Vice President Mike Pence. Need the Democrats say more? Of course, they will. Ad infinitum.

4. Sane Gay Speakers

Instead of a gay conservative who believes in seasteading and ending death, the Democrats will feature multiple, normal LGBTQ (drink!) speakers during prime time, including Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Sarah McBride, the first transgender convention speaker.

5. Plenty of Rhetoric About the Future, but Not a Lot of Detail

So where do the Democrats go from here? There will be a lot of fearmongering about losing the gains we’ve accomplished under the Obama Administration. But there probably won’t be a lot of detail about what the specific accomplishments a Clinton Administration can achieve. We’re going to be promised more of the same. The good news and the bad news is, thanks to the gains in the Obama Administration, more of the same is bound to be less.

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