What in fresh hell is this? The Indianapolis Star reporter Erika Smith is one of the most LGBT-friendly reporters on staff, but this time her column is full of so much nonsense I wanted to bang my head on the table.
Reacting to news that Madonna will be Super Bowl Halftime entertainment this year (Indy is hosting the big game), Smith posits that the NFL is reaching out to LGBT people by booking the performer. Trying to dispel the notion that LGBT people don't care about sports, she actually reinforces the stereotype by implying that the reason the local community will tune in is the Material Girl's act.
One large and growing local demographic is very excited that Madonna is coming to Indianapolis: the gay community.
Walk into a gay bar on a Sunday, and you'll see football playing on flat-screen TVs and customers in jerseys, downing beer and yelling at referees, just as you would if you walked into a Chammps or a Buffalo Wild Wings.
Yet the decision to have Madonna perform at halftime during the Super Bowl is in some ways an opportunity for the NFL to dispel long-standing stereotypes about gay people and sports.
The halftime show also is an opportunity to capitalize on an audience segment with a huge amount of buying power nationwide... Let's remember that ultimately, the NFL is a business and the Super Bowl, well, it's about marketing, both for advertisers to buy TV slots during the game and for the host city.
The more eyes, gay or straight, that see our city on TV, the more we stand to gain in convention business and tourism dollars in the long run.
Madonna will bring gays to Indianapolis for conferences? No. Employment, credit, public accommodations, adoption, and housing protections would. A hate crimes bill would. Relationship recognition would. But Madonna? She'll be gone the next day, but Hoosier and visiting LGBT people will still be left with absolutely nothing to recognize our basic humanity. No matter who performs at a football game, Indiana will not magically turn into La Isla Bonita.