McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–On March 1 of this year, in this very space, yours truly predicted that talk show darling Rosie O’Donnell’s admission that she was lesbian would be a test of where Americans — particularly soccer moms — really stood on the issue of homosexual affirmation.
Allow me to rewind. I wrote: “I anticipate Rosie will lose some of her target audience. Some soccer moms will abandon her because they believe homosexuality is wrong. For others, her coming out is simply going to be too much information. Just how many followers she will lose remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: Rosie’s revelation will prove to be a barometer on the moral health of America. Once she officially comes out of the closet, we will have a good indication of where our nation stands on the issue of homosexuality. Nothing personal to the ‘Queen of Nice,’ but I hope her image suffers with soccer moms and those who love them.”
It is six months later and O’Donnell’s target audience has not responded well to her “new” image. This week Rosie announced that she is walking away from the magazine that bears her moniker. O’Donnell’s official line for leaving the periodical is her loss of control of the direction of the enterprise. “I cannot have my name on a magazine if I cannot be assured that it will represent my vision and my ideas,” she stated at a news conference this week.
Rosie’s explanation might make her feel better and she might even believe it; however, the reality is “Rosie” the magazine is faring about as well as a snowman in the Bahamas. When she launched her foray into the periodical business, her sexual proclivities were not an issue. In fact, most of her soccer mom followers assumed she was straight. Her magazine was a hit, selling as many as 750,000 copies via newsstands. However, once she announced she was homosexual, sales plummeted. “This year, some issues have sold only 200,000 issues on the newsstand,” reported USA Today.
When Rosie came out of the closet, she shed her sanitized image. Shortly after admitting her lesbian lifestyle, she made a few risqué nightclub appearances where the “Queen of Nice” quickly became known as the “Queen of Raunch.” She also began to champion homosexual adoption in the state of Florida. Currently, Rosie is sporting a new butch-dyke-gothic hairdo, not a style that the average soccer mom finds appealing. Of course, according to observers, none of the above has anything to do with her failing and soon to be defunct magazine.
Rosie was incredibly popular when she portrayed herself as mainstream and normal. Gushing about her schoolgirl crush on actor Tom Cruise and supporting women’s causes, she was a ratings super-star. As a lesbian activist bashing those who dare oppose her lifestyle choice, she is a has-been.
Rosie’s decline poses a dilemma for the homosexual rights movement. How do they portray themselves as the guys and gals next door while at the same time garnering affirmation and celebration of their lifestyle?
When homosexuals attempt to depict themselves as normal and nothing more than part of the American landscape, they become just that, part of the landscape, and by-and-large invisible. With no declaration of one’s private preference, there is no issue, no controversy, but of course no affirmation or celebration either. However, when homosexuals act out in stereotypical fashion, flamboyantly and aggressively demanding that society endorse and affirm their lifestyle, much of America is turned off.
Rosie was the homosexual rights gang’s best shot at mainstream affirmation. She had a squeaky clean persona, an established audience and was a trusted part of many daily routines. However, once she revealed that her private reality was anything but routine, soccer moms lost interest.
Gay activists are bent on forcing America to affirm and celebrate their lifestyle. However, Rosie’s plight underscores that much of America does not affirm homosexuality as mainstream. In the mind of most homosexual activists they are “damned” if they do not push for acceptance of their lifestyle. However, it is also clear that in the minds of many Americans they are also “damned” if they do. Time will reveal who will prevail, but for now, chalk one up for the soccer moms.
Boggs is pastor of Valley Baptist Church, McMinnville, Ore.