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Date archive for: January 2012

Kristy McNichol is Gay

Kristy McNichol has come out as a lesbian — in order to help people.

Do me a favor and read that sentence again. In a rational world, that string of words would make no sense whatsoever. In a reasonable society, the apropos-of-nothing proclamations of a 1970s child star and all-but-forgotten TV actress wouldn’t even be interesting, much less beneficial. In the universe I’d like to one day inhabit, no one would care about the sexual preferences of a woman whose face you probably can’t even picture.

I have nothing against Kristy McNichol. As a girl, I had a poster of her and her brother Jimmy, whose feathered mane, hairless chest, gold chain necklace, and loving proximity to his all-American tomboy sister made him precisely effeminate enough to be irresistibly, nonthreateningly attractive to a 7-year-old girl. (Oh, the ironies.)

But it disappoints me that Kristy can release a statement a third of a century later saying she’s a lady lover and it makes the damned news cycle. Who cares if Kristy McNichol is into girls? Who cares if the Osmond brothers like to dress up in women’s clothing (I made that up, don’t sue me) or if a young Danny Bonaduce ran a prostitution ring out of his Partridge Family trailer (I made that up, too, but would you be surprised if it were true?).

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Your Child, Your Mouthpiece

She went off. And then she went viral.

Little Riley Maida of Newburgh, New York, made news recently with a video clip known as Riley’s Rant. In it, the precocious 4-year-old stands in a toy store railing against toy makers for assuming that girls only want to play with pink princesses and boys only want to play with superheroes.

“The companies try to trick the girls into buying the pink stuff instead of the stuff the boys want to buy,” she asserts, smacking a packaged doll for emphasis as her dad asks leading questions from behind the camera.

On YouTube, then Facebook, then in the news media (and, no joke, at the table next to me at a burger joint today) this four-foot feminist’s invective made hundreds of thousands pump their fists and chant “Riley for president!” Diane Sawyer all but declared Riley a sage of the age.

But I had a different reaction to the clip. I thought it was icky. Also icky: the viral video of 8-year-old Elijah Cromer confronting gay-marriage opponent Michele Bachmann last month in South Carolina. The boy waited in line to whisper, “My mommy’s gay, but she doesn’t need fixing,” while said mommy stood behind him, filming it all.

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