Saturday, May 28, 2011

Brown Paper Wrapper

Last month I received a solicitation to subscribe to the Gay and Lesbian Review. As much as I love magazines I don't spend a lot of time searching for new ones so this was the first time I'd run across G&LR.  We've been long time subscribers to The Advocate, but I'd recently let the subscription expire (simply because I'm really bad remembering to follow through on such things these days) and I thought maybe I'd give G&LR a shot for a change of pace.  I was pouring over the information provided, when at that bottom of one flyers I read:

"All correspondence sent in a plain envelope."

I seriously just about blew my top.  My daughter was sitting with me at the time and can attest to the rant that followed.  This of course is nothing new.  My Advocates had come wrapped and I was just as annoyed. And yes, at least with The Advocate, there is an option to decline the wrapping (I tried once, something went wrong at the website and well let's just say it went the way of my intention to renew the subscription).

But that's not the point.  This is not porn.  There is nothing on the cover of these magazines that wouldn't grace the cover of Cosmo or GQ. Nothing from which we need to shield the eyes of the innocent.  The entire purpose of this "plain envelope" was that I would not be outed as being LGBTQ or an ally to... who?  My mail carrier?

And yes I do understand the historical context.  I have family members who lived in openly gay relationships before I was born.  I am forever grateful to the pioneers who created these publications in times and places where it wasn't safe to do so.  I'm glad that they can be discreetly received by those who in this time are still not in a place where it is safe for them to do so.

My question is Why the bloody hell isn't it safe for them to do so?!

Ok so that is mostly a rhetorical question. Only because I know the answer is far to complicated to articulate here. 

Seriously folks.  Those that would like to see the LGBTQ "lifestyle" disappear back into the closet are pretty consistent in their complaints that said "lifestyle" is being foisted on them and their family.  And that there (generally speaking) conservative Christian "lifestyle" is under attack.  But when was the last time any of these people had their issue of  Faith and Family or Focus on the Family's Thriving Family offered to them in a plain envelope for discretion?

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