My default TV news outlet is CNN. With the Orlando nightmare, I was very skeptical about the coverage that the LGBT terrorism act would receive on any outlet. I figured that we would be seen in a comical light or in a stereotyped way. I assumed that the two prime-time LGBT anchors would be good, but that’s about it. I was wrong.
I was very wrong. I can’t believe how wonderfully CNN has portrayed members of the LGBT community. Each and every one of their anchors, analysts, and guests have been incredibly supportive. There is a real difference from the reactions of the straight and LGBT commentators. This attack has been very personal for LGBT people. Gay bars are a type of security blanket for us and one was violated. I get the feeling that LGBT folks are really taking this personally. All I have been doing is crying at CNN, so that says something for someone who is usually stoic.
CNN allowed their LGBT anchors and guests to be who they are. Neither Anderson Cooper nor Don Lemon tried to hide their sexual orientation. They also featured the gay male CNN Vice President of Media and Talent Acquisition (paraphrased title) and another gay male CNN Contributor. One poignant moment was an interview with a transgender woman that Don Lemon conducted. He artfully helped explain her to the audience. Unfortunately, he had to show the world (He was on CNN-International at the time.) that transgender people are just like anyone else. The day Anderson Cooper read the list of those murdered is probably the most intimate, emotional TV I have ever witnessed.
CNN’s treatment of, sorry to say, Republican elected officials that flipflopped from homophobic in the wake of the disaster has been excellent. CNN ruthlessly grilled the Attorney General of Florida and Governor Rick Scott, among others. They held the feet of our elected officials to the fire. CNN was not afraid to point out bullshit in these assholes who did a total change of their views of the LGBT population.
At a minimum, I have to say this. CNN’s anchors, contributors, and behind-the-scenes staff treated LGBT folks like everyday, ordinary people. They shined a light on the LBGT community and treated us like normal everyday people. Finally someone treated us like normal people, plain citizens, not defined by our stereotypes.
I am not endorsing or being paid to promote any product or service.