Friday, February 08, 2008

It is not the critic who counts.

I don't get into politics much. Sure, I listen to NPR, I understand the broad strokes of most issues, I vote (usually for Democrats as the lesser of evils), and I occasionally raise funds or donate money to activist organizations. I don't spend much time reading about the details of the issues, debating all of it with my friends, or writing about it on my blog.

However, if you start dissing Matt Foreman, you're making it personal. I've been feeling a rant building up in my esophagus.

You see, Matt is a personal hero of mine. He is both brilliant and extraordinarily compassionate and kind, in my experience a rare combination. In the past year or two he has become a friend to me and to NYboL, which never ceases to amaze me, because he travels with great ease through the A-list scene of NYC gays. Most of those guys are perfectly content to stay entirely within their own strata. And he's not merely slumming it with us--Matt and his partner Frank instead have included me and my brothers in events which we'd otherwise never see. His focus on full inclusion of all types of queer people in our struggle for equal rights is incredibly courageous; the assimilationists at HRC have never had such balls.

So when some dude named Jamie Kirchick writes a disparaging essay about Matt, claiming that during his tenure leading the NGLTF he didn't really focus on advancing gay rights, I get mighty pissed. The man sat down in the middle of Broadway and was arrested there while protesting Don't Ask Don't Tell!!! Who among us has gone so far in recent times?

I'm glad to find that there are others out there who also find Kirchick's words to be ridiculous. To save me a rant, I'll refer you to Alex Blaze. I haven't a clue who this person is, but I am completely on board with his support of Matt and his criticism of Kirchick. Go and read it his piece.

I am sure that Matt is used to this type of thing and his thick skin is serving him well. Still, I am going to make an extra effort to thank him for all he has done, in the hopes of offsetting this dimwit conservative gay who some misguided media person decided to give a platform to spew erroneous negativity. I hope you will consider doing the same.

It is not the critic who counts
Not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled
Or how the doer of deeds might have done better.
The credit belongs to the man
Who is actually in the arena,
Whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood;
Who strives valiantly;
Who errs and comes short again and again;
Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions,
And spends himself in a worthy cause;
Who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement;
And who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
Who know neither victory or defeat.

-Theodore Roosevelt (1910)


Matt Foreman said...

Very sweet post - thank you. He's a complete asshole - not to mention his piece is riddled with inaccuracies. We'll be writing a response - but I really do appreciate your taking the time. Looking forward to seeing you soon.


DCThrust said...

I saw the story in the Blade here and knew it was full of shit.
Good response.

BTW - I've seen that Teddy Quote somewhere before. ; )

Anonymous said...

Christian, you are a force of inclusion and activism in your own right, and I am very proud to know you.