First published at 365gay.com on June 24, 2011
This column marks the end of my weekly contribution to 365gay.com. It’s been a good run, and I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you and farewell.
I’ve been a columnist since 2002, when I started contributing to Between the Lines, Michigan’s LGBT newspaper. Those contributions evolved into a bi-weekly column, which was occasionally picked up by other regional papers, as well as the online Independent Gay Forum.
In 2007 Jennifer “Jay” Vanasco—this site’s amazing editor-in-chief—invited me to bring the Gay Moralist column to 365gay.com. Soon thereafter I went from bi-weekly to weekly, a schedule I’ve since maintained with only a few breaks.
Like any regular appointment, a weekly column has its advantages and drawbacks.
On the plus side, I’ve built a steady readership, and the vigorous schedule has kept me on my toes as a writer.
On the down side, it’s not easy to come up with a fresh, column-sized idea every week. I sometimes find myself re-plowing the same fields.
Indeed, my columns tend to fall into four basic types. Here they are, with a link to a nice example of each:
Column type #1 [http://www.365gay.com/opinion/corvino-taking-on-the-new-argument-against-gay-marriage/]: Our opponents are being stupid. But I’m a nice guy and I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. So here’s my best effort to make sense of the stupidity.
Column type #2 [http://www.365gay.com/opinion/corvino-fighting-gay-dehumanization/]: Our opponents are still being stupid. But sometimes you just can’t fix stupid, so instead, let’s just ridicule them.
Column type #3 [http://www.365gay.com/opinion/corvino-sex-and-distortion/]: Now we’re the ones being stupid, and it’s time for someone to hold up a mirror.
Column type #4 [http://igfculturewatch.com/2007/07/12/small-conversions-big-victories/]: Personal story suggesting broader lessons or themes.
Incidentally, each of these linked columns first appeared at 365gay.com. The last one disappeared from the archives when the site went to its new format, but I include it especially because it was my inaugural column for the site, and it remains one of my all-time favorites.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with re-plowing the same fields. I’d like to think that I’m a better writer than I was in 2002, and that I’ve picked up new readers along the way.
But as I’ve changed, and as the site has changed, my weekly contributions have felt more forced. It seems like a good time to step back, enjoy some quiet time, and then explore other opportunities.
In nine years as a columnist, my goal has always been to generate more light than heat on topics that usually do the reverse. I’ve tried to combine logical precision with sensitivity and humor. I’m sure I’ve often failed.
I won’t be disappearing from LGBT advocacy altogether. I’m still working on a book, Debating Same-Sex Marriage, in which I argue against Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). That book is expected to appear next year from Oxford University Press, along with a solo book (yet to be titled) in which I make the moral case for gay equality.
I will continue traversing the country to speak on these issues. My talk “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SutThIFi24w&feature=player_embedded] has mostly been replaced by a new program, “Haters, Sinners, and the Rest of Us,” where I draw on my two decades’ experience in the culture wars.
And while I recently retired my marriage debate with Glenn Stanton—again, because of fatigue from re-plowing the same fields—I expect to be doing some debates with Gallagher and others. I still have faith in what the great utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill called “the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
I may also contribute articles to other venues—probably with less frequency but in longer formats. Check my website [http://johncorvino.com/] if you’re curious about what I’m up to, or “friend” me on Facebook [http://www.facebook.com/#!/johncorvino]. (I have a Twitter account, but I never use it.)
And who knows—maybe I’ll even try my hand at a few “Ask the Expert” videos. Anyone need the advice of a moralist?
Thanks to my editor, Jay Vanasco, for her unwavering support. You’re the best.
Thanks to the rest of the staff, including the interns, who keep things running smoothly.
Thanks to the friends and colleagues who have read my drafts and offered thoughtful criticisms: you’ve saved me from many embarrassing mistakes.
Thanks to my partner, Mark—for his support, for his careful proofreading, and for too often putting up with “Not now, honey, I have to write a column.” I love you more than I’ll ever be able to put into words.
Thanks most of all to my readers, sine quibus non. I may not know you, but I’ll miss you nonetheless. Take care of yourselves.