Newsweek Confirms Inability to Talk About Gay People


There is a growing market for LGBT retirement communities: Newsweek found at least 25 such facilities in the nation, compared to 1 in 2001.

And uh, that little factoid is about the only worthwhile thing in this entire article. All the rest of it just proves that Newsweek is woefully helpless when they try to talk about gay people, or um, “sexual minorities,” according to the article. ‘Cause sex and sexuality are obvs the same thing. (Sidenote: try saying “sexuality minority” five times fast.)

The writer addresses several legit issues, like domestic partner rights and the fact that many LGBT senior citizens don’t have children to help take care of them, as well as the fact that LGBT seniors are more likely to prepare consciously for retirement and anticipate difficulties in procuring proper medical care.

But then there are quotes like this: “You need separate pools for the men and the women, and a place for dogs. Pets are very big,” says Veronica St. Claire, who is planning a full-featured continuing-care retirement community in Palm Springs, Calif. “… and we’re going to have a flower room for making flower arrangments,” she says. “We’re not going to be playing bingo, I’ll tell you that.” Really? Separate pools? Why? And the flower arranging? Why? Why ask why when we can just state these things like they are facts, obviously Newsweek has their shit together.

And this: “We have interest from a huge number of people who are very affluent. They are lawyers, doctors, Indian chiefs, everything,” says St. Claire. Wow, Indian chiefs! They must really be on to something.

Ok, I recognize those quotes are not actually Newsweek’s words, but they still made the cut into the article. Someone should’ve sent this reporter back to the drawing board or at least made them ask why the hell separate pools are necessary. And seriously, this article could have been super interesting and in-depth, had they given it a little more effort.

This article plus the whole Ramin Setoodah debacle has us raising a few eyebrows at Newsweek.


Colin Farrell, who has a gay brother IRL, went on Ellen to talk about harassment and antigay bullying in schools, an issue he feels very strongly about and has campaigned against in the past. (@theadvocate)


Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, has donated 30 years of papers and ephemera to the library at the University of British Columbia. (@theglobe)


McDonald’s released this commercial in France:

Heartwarming, right?! Just imagine what would happen if that aired in America, whooo boy. (@queerty)


Racialicious uses examples of mainstream media’s coverage of Aiyana Stanley-Jones’s senseless death and the recent racially-motivated violence at a South Philadelphia High School to look at the future of online news and whether parts of our current media model are worth salvaging. (@racialicious)


Is Sarah Palin a feminist? Jezebel says, among other things, “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” “What comes next? “Phyllis Schlafly feminism?” “Patriarchal feminism?” “He-Man Woman Hater Feminism?” I mean, how long until the Washington Post publishes a “feminist” argument for repealing the 19th Amendment (there’s no truly pro-woman party anyway, don’t you know?), or widening the pay gap (so more men can be sole breadwinners again and more women can freely choose to stay home) or, I don’t know, reclaiming the word “chattel”?” (@jezebel)


If you’re still up for talking about Taylor Swift, you might be interested in the new film being made about ideas of virginity, purity, and the virgin/whore dichotomy, “How To Lose Your Virginity.” When a bridal consultant effusively tells Therese, a 40-something sex-savvy feminist planning her first wedding, she looks virginal in her white wedding dress, it sets her on a journey to uncover why virginity still holds such importance in our hyper-sexualized society. Her growing tension around chastity-based wedding rituals is the narrative backbone of the film, but the true target is idealized, fetishized virginity: its historical role in U.S. culture, its power to mold and damage a girl’s self-image and self-worth; its commodification as something manufactured, sold, given away, taken. View the trailer here:


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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


    • ok, McDonald’s, just go ahead and super size my joy.

      sidenote: next week i am coming out to my parents. they are flying all the way out east to tell me happy birthday and i’m going to tell them i’m gay…and LOVE IT! but Lordy, i have been TRIPPING for days over how and where i’m gonna break the news; now i’m thinking maybe i’ll just take ’em to f*ckin’ Mickey D’s and do it!…if not just for the bountiful supply of paper napkins aka relief-tear catchers.
      problem. solved.

  1. I’m French and I have very mixed feelings on that commercial. The people behind it were interviewed by Yagg, a French LGBT news site (its english version is currently down apparently, sorry) in which they really had an awesome attitude about it.
    They said they didn’t want the boy to have to come out between the burger and the fries, that it wouldn’t be right or something, an opinion I absolutely understand. I also find the ad sweet and heartwarming.
    Had I not read that article though, I probably would have felt like the message was “come as you are, but don’t flaunt it in anybody’s face”. I probably would have liked the boy to be out and proud, or the dad not to automatically assume his son is straight.
    But hey, we’re makin’ progress.

    • For me, I saw it as a snapshot, like a step in his journey of coming out.

      Also, there seemed to be a feeling of “even if your family doesn’t get it, we do. You can feel safe here.”

      But that was just my reading. :)

  2. [Questionable and obvious ‘joke’ ahead.]

    I thought ‘purity rings’ and ‘purity balls’ were sex toys. *cancels order*

    [I’m sorry. Wait, I’m not, you were warned.]

  3. i want someone to tell me why old people can’t play bingo. seriously. I AM HONESTLY INTERESTED IN KNOWING

  4. Am I the only one who feels like that commercial is just another way that McDonald’s uses advertising to make money off of minorities? I see McDonald’s commercials all the time that take advantage of racial stereotypes to cater to black people; like they’ll be playing a hip-hop version of their theme song, everybody in the commercial is black . . . in commercials catering to other groups it’s kind of the same thing. So this commercial to me is like . . . seeing a bud light ad where there are two white guys in a bar full of presumably straight white people, and then seeing an ad for bud light in a gay neighborhood that has rainbows all over it and says “be out and be proud” or something. In a way, at least they recognize that they have gay consumers, but I don’t want corporations advertising to me just so they can make more money off of my demographic.

    • Well, that depends on where they show it, doesn’t it? I mean, it would have a different meaning if it were only shown during Glee marathons than if it were shown during the nightly news.

  5. I am taking issue with Jezabel linking He-Man with woman hating! When I played with He-Man figures during my formative years, he was deffo v feminist.

  6. Also, I would pay literally several pounds for a Douglas Coupland moist towelette. I was thinking about him only an hour ago, and suddenly he is mentioned here. SPOOKY.

  7. I read a really good rebuttal of the Sarah-Palin-is-not-a-feminist posts (mainly referring to Feministing’s post on the topic) basically stating that a lot of feminists do “unfeminist” things and that feminism is not a hivemind:

    “However, those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. A lot of mainstream feminist rhetoric promotes some extremely problematic things about women. Transmisogyny, racism, classism, and ableism are all rife in feminist circles. Are there feminists who are resisting this? Absolutely there are, and that is awesome. But feminism itself is not necessarily harm free or even about harm reduction and there is a long history of really problematic stuff in feminism that is being ignored by people who declare that Sarah Palin can’t be feminist because of her attitudes.

    By those grounds, a lot of people who self identify as feminist aren’t feminist. What this illustrates is not that the world is filled with fake feminists, but that feminism is not a hivemind. That feminists come from different backgrounds and have different social and cultural attitudes as well as distinct priorities. People within the feminist movement have quite varied priorities, interests, and politics. I disagree with a lot of the stuff that happens in mainstream feminism, so either I’m not a feminist or those people aren’t feminists and we both know that neither of these things is true, right?”

    food for thought!

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