We’ve all heard of the birthday invitation fiasco created by radio DJs Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson and what an uproar it caused on both sides of the aisle. After it was discovered to be a hoax by Harper and Karlson, themselves, things fell apart and they were placed on suspension by WKJY 93.3.
Harper and Karlson both maintain they are supportive of same-sex marriage but that doesn’t really seem to be the issue at hand. What is the issue, in the opinion of many in the LGBT community, is the fact that there are too many “hoaxes” taking place from both LGBT people and now heterosexuals. The hosts claim they wanted to have open or creative dialogue on the matter but is this the appropriate method? Perhaps an on-air discussion of marriage equality or same-sex parents would have been better. Instead, they opted to go out of their way to purchase an invitation and set-up a phone number so they could place it on the invitation. They created two fathers, Sophie (the daughter), and a homophobic mother.
When a legitimate case of homophobia like this occurs, the person creating the bigotry usually doesn’t include their phone number and invite “anyone with a problem” to contact them. Sure, bigotry rears its ugly face in many forms but rarely in a direct invitation for confrontation. But when we all saw what Harper and Karlson proclaimed to be a true instance of bigotry, we were outraged! We all wanted to know how a mother could do that to her daughter or how the fathers reacted when they saw the RSVP. Obviously, we all assumed they turned it over to Harper and Karlson at the local radio station but that clearly was not the case. Instead, the hosts appeared to want a discussion and probably had ratings in mind more than a dialogue on the rampant homophobia plaguing our society. When they apologized they also admitted to the phone number having been set-up specifically for this and they had received over 2K messages. They have not revealed what was said in those messages but we’re certain they were not pleasant.
When sending out party invites it’s only natural you will receive the normal amount of RSVP’s for those attending and not attending. It would be uncommon to receive a hate-filled message regarding the sexuality of the parents involved. Sure, we imagine it could happen but it doesn’t appear to happen all the time. Now, when attempting to discuss this with the general public, isn’t the normal routine the safest route? Have people call the radio station to open that dialogue instead of lying and creating an entire family, a birthday, and a bigot of a mother. Perhaps they couldn’t face such a real discussion directly and opted for the controversial method instead.
In closing, it’s one thing to discuss your viewpoints as an adult regarding social issues including sexual orientation, sexuality, or gender identity, but to bring your children or child into the mix is a different situation altogether. If you wish to have open or creative dialogue, be honest with your honest and tell them just that but proceed without bias if it’s truly to be open.