Quick Followup on Rupert Everett
I wanted to say a couple of things, just briefly, that have come up in responses to my post about Rupert Everett yesterday. There’s a couple of pieces of feedback that I’ve heard a few times, and I just want to summarize them and respond:
First, because this one is really easy for me to respond to, some folks have been saying that Rupert Everett is just no longer relevant. He’s a bitter has-been, and he just lashes out at every opportunity. Essentially, folks are saying that Everett isn’t worth my time.
I can think of a few bitter has-beens that have been making the rounds lately. How about Kirk Cameron, Victoria Jackson, and Newt Gingrich? It doesn’t take much for folks like that to make a brief return to the spotlight. The National Organization for Marriage is happy to give Kirk Cameron a platform. And they’d be happy for Rupert Everett’s comments on gay dads to be out there, too.
So I think it requires a response, even if the speaker doesn’t seem especially relevant anymore.
Second, and this is much more complicated, I’ve been hearing concern from a few folks that my post only addresses kids who were in a bad situation, and not gay parents who have children through one of the many other avenues for becoming a parent. Tied up in that concern is another message — that Rupert Everett was really talking about gay parents who chose surrogacy, and not gay parents who adopt from foster care.
Let me be very clear — regardless of how a gay person became a parent, Rupert Everett’s comments are contemptible and disgusting. It doesn’t take much of a logical leap to deconstruct. If Everett is opposed to gay parents choosing surrogacy, but isn’t speaking out about straight parents choosing surrogacy or becoming pregnant, then his issue clearly isn’t with bringing children into the world. (Though if that were his issue, we’d have another reason to think he’s disgusting. Telling people that they should or shouldn’t reproduce is horrific.) No, his issue seems to specifically be with gay men parenting.
The very funny Jeff Byrne said on twitter:
Seeing all gay men as himself, egotist Rupert Everett is rightly horrified at the thought of kids raised by 2 of him.
And I think that summarizes it better than I can.
As far as my post only talking about kids in a really awful situation? Well, that’s the actual story for my kids. Those aren’t hypothetical examples. And I chose to respond in that way as a rhetorical device, answering Everett’s question about what could be worse than being raised by two gay dads.
I think someone else could write an amazing response to Rupert Everett that really dismantles the inherent bigotry in what he’s saying about the decision of two men to bring a baby into this world. I hope someone does. But that isn’t my experience, and I think my writing is the strongest when I speak from my own experience.