While reading the news this morning, I came across this picture in the Indianapolis Star from the rally yesterday opposing discrimination in the wake of cupcakegate:
I'd assume that the person on the left is either gay or pro-gay and is angry at the person on the right, who is standing with the "SODOMY IS NOT A FAMILY VALUE" guy and is probably homophobic and took time out of his day to actually go and protest sodomy (not in my backyard! Except when my wife is out of town!). The picture is uncaptioned, but that's my understanding of it.
And, of course, the message is supposed to be "Look at those awful homosexual activists! They say they're full human beings, and yet they're able to get angry when we come down here and provoke them!" It's a typical smug asshole move, and it didn't take much searching in the comments to find someone willing to explain the photo to everyone:
I hope people take time to look at the pics and see the hateful homosexual who is verballing and it appears physically attacking the peaceful Christian protesters.
I thought the gay lifestyle was all about peace, tolerance, love and understanding. So why do the gays feel the need to hate and threaten physical violence against peaceful protesters??
I'm smiling as I write this because this is just part of how the world works, what happens when people are more driven by tribal hatred than they are by advancing a specific agenda (and, yes, I think that the "Ban sodomy" folks are more concerned with hatred against people than with sodomy itself). Sometimes all you can do is laugh as there will always be smug assholes in the world and they're always going to do their thing.
And, in typical Hoosier rightwinger fashion, this smug asshole move that's popular all over the country is performed in the most half-assed way possible. Dude on the right, hide your camera! That makes it look like you're trying to provoke people into a reaction, giving you away as a smug homophobic asshole! Also, don't lean so much so that the other person has to lean too in order to have a conversation with you, because it almost seems like you're trying to get everyone to pose for a photograph, demonstrating the profound misrepresentation of reality that this picture is!
Still, these are optics that we should be aware of and LGBT people going to protests should know that folks who have the time on their hands to go protest sexual intercourse itself (seriously, no one's going to stop sodomy that way) generally know how to provoke reactions out of normal people.
And the media love it, since journalists either lean right or are bizarrely sympathetic to the right (shows their objectivity), and they practically orgasm at the opportunity to show "both sides are just as bad." Notice how the camera is tilted to exaggerate the way the subjects are leaning, making it seem like there's a bigger violation of personal space than what's actually occurring (you can tell by the building in the background and other protestors)? The photographer/journalist/editor at the Indianapolis Star is a willing accomplice in this misrepresentation of reality.
One PR person I remember listening to at a lecture a few years back said the best thing to do is to smile for the camera. All the time. Especially when you're debating people you don't like. It makes it seem like you're confident and having fun, and it cuts through both smug asshole moves and biased journalist moves to distort what's happening.
Because their goal is to take focus away from the actual issue at hand: does the Indianapolis Human Rights Ordinance actually ban homophobic discrimination or was the addition of "sexual orientation" just window-dressing.