New York Times Insults Lady Gaga by Redefining â€œGay Iconâ€
by Michael Triplett | 5:56 pm, July 9th, 2010
Judy Garland is a â€œgay icon.â€ Her daughter Liza Minnelli also counts. Toss in Bette Midler and Madonna and Lady Gaga. You could probably even include Christiano Rinaldo and David Beckham as â€œgay icons,â€ of a sort. But itâ€™s fair to say that a conservative member of Congress who is opposed to gay rights probably isnâ€™t a â€œgay icon,â€ even if the gays find him attractive.
That didnâ€™t stop New York Times writer Ashley Parker for gushing that Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) was a â€œgay iconâ€ in her breathless fashion feature about the hunky Congressman with the six-pack abs and â€œinterestingâ€ fashion choices. As FishbowlDCâ€™s Betsy Rothstein points out, Schock has become â€œmedia meatâ€ again with other gossip columnists repeating the â€œgay iconâ€ line.
The gays are having none of it. The boys at Queerty said that while Schock may be someone youâ€™d want to, well, â€œmeet,â€ it didnâ€™t mean he was a â€œgay icon.â€ The Advocate also dispelled the notion that Schock deserved icon status. Radio host and longtime gay activist and journalist Michelangelo Signorile tweeted: â€œGood point: How can someone who is antigay be a gay icon? Only the NYTimes could tell you.â€
So, to clarify. While the D.C. gays may be talking about Schock and the gay listservs may be â€œheating up with chatter,â€ itâ€™s not because Schock is a â€œgay iconâ€ who has embraced gay causes and gay admirers. The discussion about his fashion sense and abs and single status isnâ€™t necessarily being done in admiration but, as Queerty explained, â€œ[t]he dude is against same-sex marriage â€” he is not somebody this community celebrates.â€