This is his essay:
"I understand there's an argument that the Folsom Street Fair should be beyond criticism because the event raises a substantial amount of money for charity. People who make that argument need reminding that the good things you do don't cancel out the bad things you do. The bad can certainly cancel out the good, though. Here's an example: Gay circuit parties were once touted as great anti-AIDS fundraisers until somebody told the inconvenient truth that these events were orgies of illegal drug use and unprotected sex.
"It's commendable that the Folsom Street organizers have a social conscience. Where is that conscience, though, when they promote their Marquis de Sade celebration as an expression of "Gay culture"? They're marketing a lie, and one that's immeasurably harmful. All the charity funds in the world can't make up for the political damage done when Gay identity is equated in the public mind with fetish worship, humiliation and the infliction of pain. The price of stamping out AIDS infection shouldn't be the marginalization of LGBT folk and the distorting of LGBT sexuality!
"Yet that's the price we pay every time evangelists use lurid imagery from the "Gay" Folsom Street Fair to bolster their condemnations of the Gay "lifestyle". As you well know, video taken at Folsom is one of the main sources of shock material distributed by anti-Gay forces, and when I say every time they use it, I mean thousands of times a year, every day, on TV, on the radio, in Bible bookstores, and at church services. That's how many times they succeed in scandalizing Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender identity among religious Americans who know little or nothing about it, and the result is devastating. I've often heard leather/fetish enthusiasts laugh and sneer about how Folsom Street film footage rattles the Right Wing. Once that footage circulates in the Bible Belt, believe me, there's nothing to laugh about, and the sneer is directed back at them!
"Those marginalizing images translate directly into renewed opposition to employment protections, marriage equality, adoption rights, open military service, ordination of Gay clergy, membership in organizations like the Boy Scouts and initiatives designed to make school attendance safe for LGBT kids. They help drive a wedge between LGBT kids and their parents. Outside the United States, they help justify the criminalization, brutalization and execution of Gay people in the Third World. Such a high degree of negative blowback can't be laughed off.
"To be sure, fundamentalists will use whatever shocking sexual imagery they can find to vilify LGBT folk, and we can't stop them from doing that; but we damn sure don't have to make it easy for them to do! You and I agree 100% on this point: The Folsom Street Fair hasn't just been contributing to AIDS charities. It's also been sending charitable contributions to our enemies in the form of ready-made anti-Gay propaganda. Which batch of contributions has had more bang for the buck? When I look at the many "marriage protection" amendments now on the law books in state after state; when I think of how the Anglicans and most other organized religious denominations have hardened in their heterosexism; and when I read about murderous mob attacks on Gay people in the Caribbean, the answer to that question is painfully obvious! Social conscience that goes just so far is as bad or worse than no social conscience at all.
"Folsom organizers and their defenders must expand their limited social conscience. They should act forcefully to counter the false impression that the Street Fair is a Gay community event. What's wrong with saying that the (dubious) appeal of sado-masochism isn't limited to any one sexual orientation? It's the truth! There's no legitimate argument against doing so. The organizers should do this ASAP, and then they can hold their annual sex bazaar, raise beaucoups of kinky charity dollars, and continue offending the sensibilities of religious Right Wingers without sharing responsibility for distorting Gay identity. However, if they persist in promoting a lie about my sexuality, there's absolutely no reason why I shouldn't view their group in the same light as I view Focus On The Family, a group that promotes the same vicious lie.
"The hysterical people who call you a clone of Peter LaBarbera do that in order to silence an uncomfortable inner dialogue. They realize that your words have merit, even if they don't agree with you, but they're too immature to express their disagreement in a rational way. Pay them no attention, and keep sharing your important message. For my part, I have a single message for both the Hedonist Left and the Religious Right: Stop scandalizing my name. Leave the definition of my sexuality alone. Keep your sleazy, lying manipulations off of it! It's mine! It doesn't belong to you."