Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wikipedia is homophobic!

Or so says Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff. Well, Kevin, you'll have to excuse me if I don't believe you.

First of all, this is the Washington Blade. Like so many other gay publications of late, virtually anyone who annoys them in even the slightest way is called homophobic, whether or not there's any basis for it. Let's face it, folks: major media is far more gay-friendly, at least in terms of hiring, than it used to be; this means that a lot of the people still holding onto jobs with gay-specific publications are there because their only real qualification is that, well, they're gay, and they're willing to make a livelihood out of being gay. If they were better journalists, they'd be working for a real publication.

Second, based on what I'm reading, it appears that Mr. Naff is upset at Wikipedia not because they actually acted in any sort of a homophobic way, but rather simply because they removed a link to an article he wrote from the Wikipedia article. (I wonder if he put it there himself.) The article that was linked to appears to have been him fecklessly postulating as to whether some particular celebrity is gay or not. The Wikipedia community determined that his speculation (which appears to be based on little if any evidence) was not suitable for inclusion in the Wikipedia article in question. In short, Mr. Naff's personal pride was wounded, and so he lashed out the only way he knew.

Third, Wikipedia is long known to be gay-friendly, even gay-positive. While certainly there are homophobes in Wikipedia, they are not the norm and they are not well-tolerated. There are any number of openly gay administrators on enwiki (really, more than I can count). My favorite incident demonstrating the community attitude toward gays was probably the RFA of Apollomelos. Apollomelos was a gay Wikipedian who torpedoed his own RFA by predicting that he would fail because of the homophobia of the Wikipedia community. His RFA did fail, but because he had an attitude, not because he was gay.

So, to Mr. Naff: Just because Wikipedia removes a link to your column doesn't mean Wikipedia hates gays; it just means that they don't like you all that much. And let's be real, dear, can you really blame them all that much?