The Advocate names its person of the year- Pope Francis
By Brody Levesque | LOS ANGELES -- America's oldest gay magazine announced its choice for person of the year Monday, Pope Francis, shocking many in the LGBTQ community. Lucas Grindley, the Editorial Director for Here Media, parent company of the Advocate, defended the magazine's choice in an article published Monday explaining the decision and on Twitter in a series of tweets.
According to Grindley, the leading alternate choice was Edie Windsor, writing;
"While Edie Windsor, for example, is among the list of finalists, she is not Person of the Year. Windsor is a hero to LGBT Americans for taking the final punch in the fight against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act."
But he then noted that while "...Windsor herself is a powerful symbol for the many others behind the scenes. Also at the Supreme Court that day, for example, were the four plaintiffs in the related Proposition 8 case from California, and they should be lauded. Or, any of their lawyers."
He then drove the following point home with;
"Edie Windsor is a hero, one well worth recording in history books that retell the story of DOMA’s demise. But she is not the Person of the Year. She couldn’t possibly be, not for The Advocate, where we celebrate the work of so many who contributed to that landmark Supreme Court victory."
Grindley then defends the choice of the Pope instead of Windsor writing,
"Pope Francis is leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics all over the world. There are three times as many Catholics in the world than there are citizens in the United States.
[...] But none of that should lead us to underestimate any pope's capacity for persuading hearts and minds in opening to LGBT people, and not only in the U.S. but globally."
Grindley then compared the Pope with President Obama noting; “the same way that President Obama transformed politics with his evolution on LGBT civil rights, a change from the pope could have a lasting effect on religion.”
Reaction from the public was swift and in some cases not appreciative of the Advocate's choice as evidenced by comments left on the magazine's webpage article;
Neil Roth · Top Commenter · Retired at Unemployed/semi-retiredWhat a bunch of BS! It was ignorant of Time to name him 'Man of the Year'. It is unconscionable for The Advocate to do so!When this guy says, "If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?" he didn't say, suggest or even hint that the RCC accepts gay people. If we 'seek the Lord with good will' we are expected to confess our sin of homosexuality and to put it away by either changing or ignoring who we were created to be.I think The Advocate may well be at the end of its usefulness to the gay community. I'm pretty sure its at the end of its usefulness to me.
Chris Sullivan · Top CommenterThe man says a couple of vague comments about our community, changes not one of its teachings and now he's person of the year? Are you fucking kidding me? My how easily we forget all the horrible things this man said about us before he became Pope. Teachers are still routinely fired for being gay and the catholic church is still front and center in actively denying us our civil rights everywhere in the world that they can - and THIS is the person you choose as Person of the Year??? I hate to say this but The Advocate has become a disgrace and I feel embarrassed and ashamed for them. The tortured logic of the this article only speaks to the truly desperate for acceptance mindset of its writers. What a sad end to a once great magazine.
In a series of tweets, Grindley took on the critics;
"@sisterkrissy What I really hope is that by elevating his words, it forces those who disagree with the pope out from the shadows."
"@ZFCHI The Person of the Year is whoever is most influential on the lives of LGBTs. On equality, don't straight people make a difference?"
Not every person disagreed and backed the The Advocate's decision;
Brian Keith Martin · Follow · Top Commenter · Minot State UniversityLooks like I'm in the minority here, but it is not the first time, and likely to not be the last. While being a gay man is a part of who I am, it is only part of who I am. It is a small issue compared to the many trials and tribulations I and the vast majority of peoples endure as a members of the human race. I applaud the efforts of this man to espouse the actual tenets of Christ, and the beliefs I hold as a Humanist. I for one am willing to hold my judgement and give Pope Francis the opportunity to evolve on other LGBT issues.
Rob Johnson · Follow · Top Commentergood lord some of you guys and gals got your skivvies all in a bunch over this. the most powerful figure in the Catholic Church -- the person millions of people on this planet believe is direct conduit to the divine creator -- the FUCKING POPE is advocating for accepting gays, he's taken a bold position against centuries of dogmatic oppression, and now The Advocate is likewise taking a bold stance in trying to meet him halfway.and while you people are collectively wetting the bed in your shrill outrage. Well, if you don't fucking like it, don't go to their goddamned church already, but respect that some in your community do, and at least recognize there's some real effort at reconciliation happening here.It is powerful and amazing thing happening. in short, it's fucking HISTORICAL. now blow your noses and get out there and act like people for chrissakes.
According to the magazine the other finalists chosen in addition to Edie Windor and the Pope included U. S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Rap Artist & musician Macklemore, Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kristin Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, WNBA athlete Brittney Griner, Blue Is the Warmest Color actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, Anton Krasovsky, Russian TV anchor, the Colorado trans teen at the centre of the trans rights issue Jane Doe, and teen scientist Jack Andraka.