Saturday, March 17, 2007

The response from Lake Wobegon

I did not receive a personal reply from Garrison Keillor regarding my previous post - but he did have this to say on his A Prairie Home Companion website (I know, I'm quoting the entire post, but I hope that he wouldn't mind and won't come after me for copyright infringement):

Ordinarily I don't like to use this space to talk about my newspaper column but the most recent column aroused such angry reactions that I thought I should reply. The column was done tongue-in-cheek, always a risky thing, and was meant to be funny, another risky thing these days, and two sentences about gay people lit a fire in some readers and sent them racing to their computers to fire off some jagged e-mails. That's okay. But the underlying cause of the trouble is rather simple.
I live in a small world — the world of entertainment, musicians, writers — in which gayness is as common as having brown eyes. Ever since I was in college, gay men and women have been friends, associates, heroes, adversaries, and in that small world, we talk openly and we kid each other and think nothing of it. But in the larger world, gayness is controversial. In almost every state, gay marriage would be voted down if put on a ballot. Gay men and women have been targeted by the right wing as a hot-button issue. And so gay people out in the larger world feel besieged to some degree. In the small world I live in, they feel accepted and cherished as individuals, but in the larger world they may feel like Types. My column spoke as we would speak in my small world and it was read by people in the larger world and thus the misunderstanding. And for that, I am sorry. Gay people who set out to be parents can be just as good parents as anybody else, and they know that, and so do I.

Mr. Keillor doesn't tend to apologize for anything he says, so I didn't expect to have a tearful, heart-wrenching apology issued. He did, however, say he was sorry in his own small-town way. As for me, I accept his apology.


Lewis said...

Hum. I'm not all that sure. It is, indeed, difficult to get words back in one's mouth after they've come spewing forth.

CondoBlogger said...

Maybe my humor or satire radar is not working... I just didn't read it that way.

But he makes a lot of good points and I'll take his word for it that he was only kidding.