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Never read the comments! Well, except for these…

Never read the comments! Well, except for these…

Long before the dawn of marriage equality, the comments section of most every mainstream news site has been a gay no-go zone, an unsafe space, an LGBTQ Fury Road, where only the most brave, most foolish or perhaps most masochist dare wander.

Those who do venture to scroll through most often find a chasm of crap, a variety of verbal hate crimes that writers like me fear most.

This miasma of racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynist, misanthropic, queer-hating, queer-baiting and downright nastiness has prompted some websites to go so far as to eliminate the comments sections, rather than have to police them.

But that’s not the case here! LGBTQNation readers know that even with our fair share of opponents spouting off, our comments section provides dialogue, discussion, fabulously outrageous and sometimes bawdy exchanges. And if you’re so inclined, may we have some more bawdy, please?

Here’s this week’s inaugural roundup of NRtC, which stands for Never Read the Comments, the name I chose for this new thing I’m doing. It is so named because a) that’s what we writers warn one another given everything I’ve just told you, and b) I was pretty sure that if I titled this story with an instruction to not do something, most of you would, in fact, do just the opposite, purely out of spite. “Who the hell is she, telling me to not read the comments?”

Well, go ahead then. And maybe add some of your own using the links provided. And it’s possible that next week, your comments will make the cut, and be included among those I ask you to not read.

Our article, Democratic congresswoman calls transphobic witness “ignorant bigot” generated a heated debate spanning more than 50 comments between transgender and allied readers and a handful of clearly anti-trans advocates who spoke up in favor of discrimination.

Anyone who stands up for the rights of LGBTQ people is alright in my book.” 
Marq Post did not agree, and made this argument in defense of Gail Heriot, who was testifying against the president’s transgender directive to schools: 
“Bottom line, if a black person said, “I don’t like being black, I don’t want to be black, I want surgery to make me appear white,” there is no way in hell you would support that. But change black to the woman/man, whatever the case may be and it’s suddenly OK?”
Frequent commenter Andrew Long handled that nicely:
“Sir, you are ignorant on this particular subject. While opinion is your choice, it is just a shame your opinion is from a position of ignorance. When we are faced with a subject we know nothing about we have 2 choices – educate ourselves or remain ignorant. Obviously you cannot be bothered learning the facts. That, sir, makes you ignorant.”

But trans woman Kay Brown shut it all down, with this:

“Calling Heriot a bigot is correct, but not enough… Heriot used a ‘strawman’… likening transfolk to delusional people. Transfolk do NOT have a “delusion”, WE have Gender Dysphoria… a discomfort that can only be APPROXIMATED by words… since if you don’t experience it, you can’t know what it feels like… so we make analogies. But then bigots like Heriot twist those analogies into “delusions”.

“For example, if everyone in a society were color blind, how would I, as a trichromat (able to see multiple dimensional color space), describe the difference between my perception of red and green colors? Heriot would call me “delusional” and make fun of my experience, not being able to experience it first hand.”

I had the pleasure of writing one of this week’s most popular stories, about the dad in Utah who was attacked by another man for bringing his 5-year-old daughter with him into the Walmart men’s room.

“I don’t understand how that man could be so infuriated. A father bringing his children into the restroom with him is no different than a mother bringing her children in with her. They just want to keep an eye on them.”

Regular commenter JadeEclypse agreed, and put a finer point on the argument:

“If this was a mom, no one would have said a thing about her bringing her son to the bathroom if the son was 5.

“The man exposed himself to a child alright, exposed himself as being a complete asshole that sucker punched her father for trying to look after her.”

Leave it to Danah Gaz, aka @androgyneAnode, to say what we were all thinking:

“This is the inevitable result of cis people’s bathroom wars.”

And so the discussion turned into a war of words over the issue of trans people and bathroom access, culminating in this facepalm-worthy statement about how law enforcement should be monitoring our restrooms, by 

“It’s quite easy. Create a certificate for transgender people, authenticated by doctors, that proves you have or have had gender dysphoria. Make it mandatory for them to show said paper/card when prompted. Real transgender people are not the problem. Criminals who want to exploit every loophole to harm others is.”

This reply by the always eloquent and yet succinct scotsims is everything:

“You mean something like a Star of David or a pink triangle to identify these ‘others?”

Reader and frequent commenter Randy Smiggles relied upon the wisdom of Peter Parker’s dear old Uncle Ben, to school us on the power of the press, in his comment on Gawker founder Nick Denton annihilates gay billionaire Peter Thiel by Chris Bull. Chris, by the way, is the cofounder and editorial director of Q.Digital, the parent company of LGBTQNation. Also known as “the boss.”

“Whether Peter Thiel is or isn’t gay, and apparently he is gay, Gawker had no right to reveal it publicly if Thiel hadn’t acknowledged it. Unless possibly if Thiel had been working against LGBTQ interests, would it maybe be right for Gawker to out him. I personally have no problems in this case for Thiel sponsoring a case for an out of control press. The press has great power. And we all know that with great power comes great ….”

Another prolific commenter, midknightryder13, noted Gawker is in a weak position to be arguing about ethics:

“LGBTQ Nation may have a point about Thiel not understanding the difference between a public figures expectation of privacy versus someone who is just an “ordinary citizen” And “annihilates”? Please.

“That being said, and I reiterate — simply because Hogan made that tape doesn’t mean the public has a right to view it. Or a need. They may WANT to, but we have to take a real hard look at what living life online does to the concept of privacy. Gawker hardly has clean hands on this. Oh, they may be TECHNICALLY on solid ground, but their ethics? But, I guess I’m old-school — the fourth estate is supposed to be out being the voice, eyes and ears of the people. This? Is just gossip.”

Did you weigh in on the fanboy question of the week? Should Marvel give Captain America a boyfriend? 

“Yea-no. Elsa is one thing, being a (mostly) original character that has a lot of room for changes like this. Captain America is an established character with an established orientation and love interest. There’s absolutely no reason to suddenly jump on the “Make him Gay” bandwagon other than the SJW’s are demanding it. Especially considering there are plenty of ACTUALLY LGBT Marvel characters out there that can be used instead.”
But our fave comment comes from 

“um, I’ll volunteer……………. where’s the audition?”

Our coverage of Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s dimming hopes of being re-elected elicited an insightful gem of a story, that while long, is well worth your time. It’s the kind of thing only a local Hoosier like J S, who also goes by @1roberteugene, could provide:

“I live in Indianapolis. Let me just say a little something about this quote from the story: “Philanthropist Christel Dehaan gave Pence $20,000 for the 2012 election. This time she has contributed $200,000 to Gregg.” This is very telling. Every year I go to the opening gala of the Symphony where Christel Dehaan presides from above in “the” luxury box, stage right. She epitomizes the best of old money Indianapolis; she’s just remarkably generous in giving away her vast wealth to good causes and people adore her personally. I can tell you that her decision to give this money to Gregg instead of the Republican candidate is a piece of gossip that rippled thru Indianapolis like a tidal wave. They may not be talking about it in the newspaper, but they’re talking about it in the cocktail parties, and this Memorial Day weekend with the Indy 500 sold out, there’s nothing but cocktail parties across town. Gregg is a decent man and Pence has cast himself as a bully and a hateful zealot for Christianity. It remains to be seen if that works for him as a strategy for re-election. But Christel Dehaan is a loving, generous woman, and if she can’t find it in her heart to tolerate Pence any longer, that speaks volumes.”

Thanks for reading! I look forward to your comments on this inaugural (and, depending on your comments, also possibly last) edition of NRtC.

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