in Kulturkampf

Bullet Points for Dan Choi, Who is Not the Queen

Memo to: CHOI, DAN, LT
Date: 22 JUN 11
RE: Friendly Fire Incident


I was not witness to your blue-on-blue incident at the panel entitled “What to do when the President is not that into you.” That Huffingtonism of a title, and the presence of Jane Hamsher in the panel, told me all I needed to know from such an affair — and there were important panels on local and state subjects that I found much more interesting.

Nevertheless, I have now watched video of the incident and agree with Daniel Villarreal that you have committed conduct unbecoming an officer. It is my understanding that your affinity group held a pre-conference in which everyone agreed to avoid drama. Your actions were extremely rude and dramatic. Only queens may act rude and dramatic with impunity. You are not the queen. 

Moreover, your complaint — that nothing less than full equality will satisfy you, because the president has not done enough — is “Horseshit. Utter horseshit.” The bullet list of things Obama has done for your agenda is actually quite long.  The president is more “into” your movement than any president has ever been.

No president has the power to give you immediate satisfaction. A president is not a king, just as you are not a queen. Change is hard, and the struggle is harder than ever for many of us. I attended Netroots with Coal River Mountain Watch, and if that bullet point list represented mountaintops saved from Big Coal my friends would be doing cartwheels for joy.

I should add that some of the teachers at the confab confided their concerns about your bullying behavior. They were in Minneapolis to promote an anti-bullying campaign — when they weren’t talking about the attacks on education by right-wing bullies. You are not the class queen, sir.

Adding: the “queen” reference is causing some controversy in the comments below. I thought I was very specific and purposeful in saying that Choi is not the queen.

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  • I think the use of the word ‘queen’ is a poor choice of words. Yes, it can be shorthand for drama queen, but it can also be shorthand for something else, something hurtful.

    However, I agree with everything else in the post. I’ll listen to the notion that the POTUS is not the best in U.S. history for gay rights (I think he is) but Choi’s statement that Obama’s the worst in history? Really? How many of those other forty-three Presidents even HAD a gay rights policy?

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone actually believe that “OFA Kid” was anything other than a setup by Jane? The way Choi jumped across the coffee table to make sure he had his prop in hand, the way the kid smirked and high-fived his buddy on his way back, the way Jane kept her eyes averted all told me it was a fake.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, “queen” is only going to cause people to troll this as anti-gay and ignore the factual arguments. 

  • yeah, I’d change the “queen” reference. It does feel inflammatory, and you’ll lose the bigger message with that one word.

  • I thought I was very clear in saying that Dan Choi *IS NOT* the queen. How is it anti-gay to say that?

  • Actually, “the kid” was very upset afterwards and my friend Chris felt obligated to talk to him. DFA was not happy, either.

  • It was an utterly despicable display.  Hamsher and Choi should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Very well put, Matt. I hadn’t thought about the bullying aspect of his behavior.

    I think the Human Rights Campaign said it best.

    ““President Obama has improved the lives of LGBT Americans more than any
    President in history,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “In 2008 we
    were promised change and profound change is what we got.  More remains
    to be done and ensuring that President Obama is able to continue the
    forward momentum toward equality for another term is an absolute
    priority of the Human Rights Campaign.””

    I took issue with his characterization of college students as well. They are not monolithic in their thinking, many of them have grown up with the most watched cable news network, Fox News, their entire lives. In restaurants, bars, waiting rooms at the freakin dentist and damn near every other public place. To think that college students are all of one mind just proves how these people live in isolation and within a group-think world. Having been at my university for 20 years, I hear things.

    All of us liberals want equality for the LGBT community, it’s a matter of how we get there. And anyone who thinks that by damaging the best president ever on gay rights that they will someone gain, is just naive…to put it politely.

  • OsborneInk, That’s a naive (if not disingenuous) response and ignores what we know about human perception. The word “Queen” is what people see and remember. (BTW… see how I slipped the word “disingenuous” in there without saying your were disingenuous?) 

  • The use of the word “queen” is very appropriate when describing Dan Choi since that’s exactly what he was acting like.  You all don’t want to hear any of my choice words for the “drama punk” Dan Choi and I can say that, I’m gay.

    I’m tired of liberals always trying to be so nice, that’s why conservatives, firebaggers and teabaggers always win the message battle against liberals because liberals are to nice.

  • So damn what if Dan Choi feelings are hurt, he deserves to have his feelings hurt.

  • Why don’t you just insert “of England” after Queen?  

  • Mickeleh, this is a sergeant’s memo about a bullet list. It is also a logical argument. “Drama” and “rude” get repeated in this piece, too. “Queen” lends itself to “Obama is not a king.” I’m making many uses of one word, and it isn’t the most important word.

  • sistermoon50

    I’m really beginning to suspect Dan Choi’s motives. Is he really struggling for equality? Or trying to become the Sarah Palin of the LGBT equality movement?  How did he respond when Republicans were tyring to run out the clock on DADT repeal? He publicly attacked Harry Reid (who fought to get the vote to the Senate floor) and got arrested at the White House. Lots of publicity there.

    Instead of phonebanking, demonstrating or giving some other concrete support at a time of critical mass in the struggle in NY for marriage equality, he’s off at Netroots, throwing another temper tantrum that’s guaranteed to get him lots of media attention. As far as I’m concerned, he’s nothing more than an attention whore who has lost all credibility.

  • desertcronenm

    Matt, thank you for article.  I have never felt sorry for Choi because he outed himself.  He joined the military knowing the rules (like them or not, unfair as it is).  He tried to make himself a martyr to push the President, who didn’t have to be pushed.  Then he got into bed with Hamster & Greenwald.  He, like too many on the left, are forever whining about Pres. Obama yet when in our recent history, have we seen a President get more accomplished so soon.  I can’t understand  why in the hell they ignore the accomplishments.