Thorne Dreyer :
PODCAST | Suzanna Danuta Walters discusses the ‘Sabotaging of Gay Equality’

The author of the provocative cultural critique, ‘The Tolerance Trap,’ joins us in a lively and revealing discussion on Rag Radio.

suzanna walters

Suzanna Danuta Walters.

Interview by Thorne Dreyer | The Rag Blog | June 30, 2014

Our Rag Radio podcast features Suzanna Danuta Walters, author of The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality.

Listen to or download the podcast of our June 20, 2014, Rag Radio interview with Suzanna Walters here:

Rag Radio is a weekly hour-long syndicated radio program produced and hosted by long-time alternative journalist and Rag Blog editor Thorne Dreyer. The show is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, a cooperatively-run all-volunteer community radio station in Austin, Texas. It is broadcast live on KOOP every Friday from 2-3 p.m. (CST) and streamed live on the web.

Suzanna Danuta Walters, author of The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality, has written and lectured extensively on sexuality, popular culture, and feminism, and is currently the Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University. She is the author of several earlier books, including All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America, and Material Girls: Making Sense of Feminist Cultural Theory.

On the show, Walters reminds us that “we ‘tolerate’ that which we would rather do without” and that tolerance and acceptance “are problematic frameworks to argue for civil rights and real robust social inclusion.”

tolerance trapShe voices her concern that gay marriage – which she affirms as a “basic civil right” – “has become the issue of the gay movement… that it has become almost synonymous with gay rights.” Walters believes that gay marriage is being “conflated with the whole panoply of issues and ways of thinking and challenges that the gay movement has long been in the forefront of arguing for.”

“It is very different,” she says, to talk about real integration, celebration… transformation.”

According to Suzanna Walters, “tolerance leaves bigotry unattended to…” It says that “we’re in a civilized society so you can’t stone us anymore… you can’t openly hate and discriminate.” Tolerance, she says, “lets heterosexuality off the hook… It doesn’t address why anti-gay bigotry and animus and hatred continue. It doesn’t get to the heart of it… It leaves power and power relations unattended to.” Someone, she says, “is doing the tolerating of someone else.”

About Walters’ book, The ToleranceTrap, Michael Kimmel, author of Angry White Men, says: “While the mainstream LGBT movement is clamoring for acceptance and tolerance, Walters worries about the radical vision contained by gay liberation being diluted, minimized, transformed, perhaps even lost forever.”

And, according to playwright Eve Ensler, this book “rattles the cage of tolerance in pursuit of true gay liberation. For gays and straights alike, it challenges us to be more our quirky, original, sexual, gorgeous selves and to settle for nothing less than radical love and freedom.”

853px-Rag_radio2Rag Radio is hosted and produced by Rag Blog editor Thorne Dreyer who was a founding editor of the original Rag, published in Austin from 1966-1977. Tracey Schulz is the show’s engineer and co-producer. And we are honored to have noted investigative journalist Ken Martin is our apprentice.

Rag Radio has aired more than 200 shows since September 2009, on KOOP 91.7-FM in Austin, Texas. Rag Radio is broadcast live every Friday from 2-3 p.m. (CDT) on KOOP — and streamed live on the web — and is rebroadcast and streamed on Sundays at 10 a.m. (EDT) on WFTE, 90.3-FM in Mt. Cobb, PA, and 105.7-FM in Scranton, PA. Rag Radio is also aired and streamed on KPFT-HD3 90.1 — Pacifica radio in Houston — on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. (CDT).

After broadcast, all Rag Radio shows are posted as podcasts at the Internet Archive.

Rag Radio is produced in association with The Rag Blog, a progressive Internet newsmagazine, and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

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Coming up on Rag Radio:
Friday, July 11, 2014: Eddie Wilson, co-founder and owner of Austin’s legendary music venue, Armadillo World Headquarters (1970-1980), and owner of Threadgill’s since 1981.

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2 Responses to Thorne Dreyer :
PODCAST | Suzanna Danuta Walters discusses the ‘Sabotaging of Gay Equality’

  1. Rickie Moore says:

    Dear Suzanna, Thanks for your important book. I’m working in the gay community in Amsterdam to encourage Self Love, compassion and awareness of image among gay men here. After hearing you with my old friend Thorne, I knew I needed to change the formula of the cunselling/therapeutic system I developed years ago: Tri-Energetics which stated: Know what you need, Say what you want, have clear intentions. Be flexible TOLERANT and curious. I have now officially changed tolerant to compassionate, something I’d wanted to do for years. THANKS. Rickie

  2. joe manning says:

    Suzanna you da keeper of the flame. Keep reminding us of humanity’s polymorphous potential. The LGBT movement has been coopted and chastened as have all other human rights movements. Some of us are old enough to remember “free love” and the 60’s sexual revolution. Thanks for keeping that spirit alive alive.

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