Skip to main content

View Diary: Gay Americans & 9/11: On a Queer Day (214 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I hope there is some comfort (8+ / 0-)

    in knowing that for many gay men, Bingham is the hero of 9/11. I doubt there is any other racial, ethnic, national group that has a hero like that, so closely associated is he with the day's events and the few specifics of Flight 93. Sure, there was a straight guy in back of the plane who said "Let's Roll" to his wife. But we all sense that Bingham, that take-no-prisoners 6'5" rugger sitting up in First Class (in seat 5A, right?), helped get them into the cockpit. (Why did no other plane succeed in overthrowing its hijackers, getting through the cockpit door? Well, because Flight 93 was different. Among other things, Bingham was on board, sitting up front, talking to his Mom about helping other passengers fight the hijackers. A 6'5" rugby player, known in the scrum as a master of tactical aggression... You think he wouldn't know how to take someone down?!?)

    I know Bingham was single when he died; he didn't have a partner to call, so he called his mother. (Without question, I would have called my Mom, too.) Sure, that probably makes Bingham's story a little harder to sell to Hollywood. Ironically, perhaps, there's something about the way Bingham's role has been largely whitewashed in the fictionalizations which only makes gay people like me think the more highly of him. Because we've all seen our roles whitewashed; our part of the story is always left out. Oddly enough, the whitewash is what makes Bingham an authentic hero, in a psychological sense, for many gay people.

    For what it's worth, I'm still grateful for McCain's words at Bingham's memorial service, noting that Flight 93 was probably headed for the Capitol Building: "He may have saved my life," McCain said. Damn straight about that one...

    From each according to his abilities, but to be in the town jail, as Thoreau knew, can relieve any sense of imaginary imprisonment. (Mary McCarthy, Vietnam '67)

    by QuickSilver on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 12:57:59 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I think Alice knows (5+ / 0-)

      and takes great comfort in the fact that Mark's memory is held sacred by so many in the gay community. At this year's Bingham Cup, where I was shooting a documentary about Mark life and legacy, all the rugby players wanted to pose for pictures with Alice. She skipped an all-expenses-paid trip to the Cannes Film Festival to promote the "United 93" film, just so she wouldn't miss the tournament. One huge guy came up to her and said something to the effect of "I just want to tell you how important it is that you are here. So many of us have parents who didn't accept us as gay, and the fact that you are here and were so accepting of Mark makes it a little easier. It's like you are a Mother to all of us." Another big muscular guy who had been in the closet read about Mark online, emailed Alice and she helped him to come out to his friends and family a few days before the tournament. He drove from Connecticut to meet Alice for the first time, and thank her (and Mark) for helping him to be true to himself for the first time.

      One rugger we interviewed perhaps put it best: "A lot of gay people you only hear about because they were victims, like Brandon Teena or Matthew Shepard. Mark was NOT a victim."

      All these interviews, as well as footage of Mark memorial with McCain's speech, and an interview with McCain, will be in our film. We are not trying to sell it to Hollywood, by the way, but are going the independent route. Check out With You: The Mark Bingham Story

      BTW, "Let's roll" was a phrase that Mark used frequently. A voice was heard to say that over the phone line; it was (of course) ascribed to the "straight guy in the back of the plane."

      Somewhere a senator sits behind a big wooden desk...he took his money just like all the rest- Neil Young

      by ctami on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 01:31:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but thats why you dont hear about them (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        QuickSilver, pico

        its easier to think of us as weak. we can't have served in the military and not screwed around with the straight guys because after all we are gay,a nd that is in their mind what we do. we can't be patriotic because afterall we are gay. we can't love and want better for our country because after all that's not what gays do. we have sex 24/7. due to this mentality- any image of us being heros can't be allowed. to allow them, is to reflect the light of truth on lies that allow peo to be homophobic, and still feel good about themselves.

        Fear is not a winning strategy.

        by bruh1 on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 02:08:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Of course, I'm left wondering why McCain (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      guyute16, Texas Blue Dot, Albatross

      doesn't do more to support gay people then, if one of them may have saved his life that day.

      Mariva's Guide: A magablog of fun, useful, interesting stuff.

      by mariva on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 01:41:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (171)
  • Baltimore (87)
  • Community (84)
  • Bernie Sanders (66)
  • Freddie Gray (60)
  • Civil Rights (57)
  • Elections (41)
  • Culture (38)
  • Hillary Clinton (36)
  • Media (35)
  • Racism (33)
  • Law (32)
  • 2016 (31)
  • Labor (26)
  • Education (26)
  • Environment (25)
  • Politics (23)
  • Republicans (23)
  • Barack Obama (22)
  • Economy (20)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site