Why Ellen Sturtz, the Lesbian Activist, Heckled Michelle Obama

Ellen Sturtz, the GetEQUAL activist who heckled Michelle Obama at a fundraiser early this week and made international headlines, defends her actions today in a WaPo opinion piece.

SturtzWrites Sturtz:

As a gray-haired, 56-year-old lesbian, I don’t have time to wait another generation for equality — it’s been almost 40 years since similar legislation to ENDA was first introduced in Congress. And being polite hasn’t gotten us any closer to it becoming a reality.

Sturtz says her comments were a spontaneous reaction to Obama's statement about standing up for kids because she thought about all the homeless LGBT youth on the streets who have nobody to speak for them.

Continues Sturtz:

For most of my life, I have been in one closet or another, as my “coming out” process took decades. I remained in the work closet the longest, as a public servant doing environmental and consumer protection work. In the mid-90s, in the final round of interviews for a position I was offered and accepted, I was asked why I was moving to the area. I lied and responded that I was moving to help take care of a “family member.” The interviewer seemed satisfied with the response, not wanting to pry further and assuming it was an elderly parent. In truth, it was my partner of seven years — who I felt I had to hide and whose humanity I felt ashamed to acknowledge.
After years of these lonely, isolating and dehumanizing experiences, I’ve only recently been able to find the strength to advocate for myself and millions of others.

ObamahecklerSturtz praises the First Lady but stands by her statements:

Mrs. Obama has accomplished extraordinary things and is inarguably the conscience of the White House. She understands injustice at a deep level, and it was that political conscience I was hoping to stir at this week’s fundraiser. Some have said it was disrespectful for a white woman to interrupt an African American woman, or for an activist to interrupt the first lady. All I can say is that in that moment, I could no longer remain silent while standing in front of one of our country’s most powerful political figures. I spoke up for the millions of LGBT Americans who have to make small and excruciating choices each day about the extent to which they are able to live safe and honest lives.

Read the full editorial here.


  1. ratbastard says

    I like her. Good for her. And too bad about the first lady. There were better ways for her to have handled the situation; like, I dunno, honestly answer the question? *clutch the pearls*

  2. DannyEastVillage says

    I’m in sympathy with all her views – but I”ve been tired–since the 70s, I’ve been tired–of lesbians who feel compelled to shove their anger at the injustice done to themselves into everyone’s face. (She tells the story herself in the quotation in this article.) Her choice was that of a 15-year-old just starting to learn not to be a child. She proved her adolescence in her very bad choice or getting in the face of such a staunch ally as the First Lady.

    “I can no longer remain silent” in the context she chose was preaching to the choir. Now that you’ve tried your wings a little where it was safe, Ms Sturtz, go now and try them again in the face of the enemy.

  3. QJ201 says

    History Lesson:
    Many supported and loved everything ACTUP did…until the demonstration in St. Patrick’s Cathedral went from a planned “silent protest” into a loud confrontational protest.

    Folks thought ACTUP went “too far” and support for it waned.

    Same is happening here. Regardless of the righteousness of the action, heckling the First Lady at a private small event went too far.

  4. Anonymous says

    Based on what I know about women, and married couples, I would say you are right. A wife will be perfectly happy to let her husband run the most powerful country in the world, with the largest economy, and most powerful military, and not have anything to do with it. She will just let him do his thing, and leave him alone, to carry out his plans, with no wifely interference. sarcasm

  5. ratbastard says


    IT WAS A POLITICAL FUNDRAISER. SHE WAS FILLING IN FOR POTUS. The first lady wasn’t at a function honoring cub scouts or the garden club, in which both cases,yes, it would have been inappropriate.

    The first lady is also an experience high powered corporate lawyer, not some housewife whose husband became POTUS.


    ACTUP acted in many case obnoxiously in-your-face. Key word here is ‘obnoxiously’. Ms. Sturtz may have interrupted the first lady, but I would not have described her as being obnoxious in the sense ACTUP and some other advocates acted and act.

  6. Josh says

    She was in the wrong.

    The LGBT community has *overwhelmingly* condemned her.

    I do not remember seeing this level of agreement on an issue for a very long time.

    And now she lacks the good sense and courage to admit that she messed up.

    She targeted the wrong person at the wrong venue and made us look like political neophytes.

    Want to make a statement? Self-immolation would *really* make a good point. Doing a shout-out to a politician’s wife at a fundraiser is a fart in the wind.

    The only attention she brought was to herself as the heckler. The message was lost.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.

    But the getEQUAL has always been about getting their name out there.

    She acted as much for her organization as she did for her cause.

    It is truly pathetic.

  7. Josh says

    And as a follow-up, Eartha Kitt didn’t issue a statement through any organization broadcasting what she did.

    The message was not lost in the promotion of self or organization.

  8. Josh says


    Wrong. She was there as a fundraiser for the DNC.

    She was not a proxy for the president.

    Do you know what the conversation at the White House was that night?

    “How was your day?”

    “OK. I lost my temper when a heckler hassled me about ENDA.”

    “Sorry to hear that.”

    Then they had dinner and put the kids to bed.

    She did *nothing* to advance her cause except irritate the First Lady who is an ally.

    She accomplished nothing. All of the posts we’re seeing this week. No one is discussing content (except those who believe that an executive order, easily rescinded by a future president) is a good idea.

    And the world at large? It’s all about someone heckling Mrs Obama. Or a lesbian heckling Mrs. Obama.

    The rest is utterly lost.

    Those of us who are veterans of direct action look at this and shake our heads. It is everything we avoided. getEQUAL has just done one stupid thing after another. They have never achieved a single goal but have been quick to overstate their impact when they join in a goal which is already inches from achievement.

    They are, quite simply, neophytes.

  9. Adam says

    I’d like to thank Ellen Sturtz for standing up for the issue of gay rights. If the First Lady was offended, so be it.

    Obama is too busy spying on us and doesn’t have time to worry about our rights.

  10. Bill says

    Sorry, Sturtz was way out of line. Tacky, rude, disrespectful and ill-mannered. If this had been some Tea Party whack-job in Michelle’s face would we have been so amenable to their “righteous cause”? Nope. There are LOTS of ways to effectively lobby – pissing in your hosts punch bowl rarely gets the results intended.

  11. Bill says

    Sorry, Sturtz was way out of line. Tacky, rude, disrespectful and ill-mannered. If this had been some Tea Party whack-job in Michelle’s face would we have been so amenable to their “righteous cause”? Nope. There are LOTS of ways to effectively lobby – pissing in your hosts punch bowl rarely gets the results intended.

  12. Tyler says

    Utterly wrong and utterly stupid. Mrs. Obama’s talk had absolutely nothing to do with this topic, and to purposely embarrass her in public is really quite inexcusable after the support that she has shown this community. She is not an elected official, and Ms. Sturtz needs to go back in her closet of ignorance.

  13. PAUL B. says

    I love Michele Obama…and Surts’s behavior was out of line. But…good for her! Having the balls to speak out passionately for what you know in your heart to be true may have it’s time & place…and this wasn’t it. She couldn’t contain herself and I forgive her completely for not thinking this through to the end. She’s running out of time to see her life fully validated by her government….it’s pissing her off. I get it.

  14. ratbastard says

    Most of you ARE NOT true Progressives or liberal; you’re Democratic party hacks and shills. I respect genuine, real Progressives and Liberals. I don’t respect party hacks, Democrat or Republican.

  15. Phil says

    She’s a loser, and a rude loser. She doesn’t represent any of us, although she seems to think that she holds that mantle(“an advocate for millions of others”?? give me a break). I don’t mind anyone being in the closet or discrete, but don’t tell everyone how heroic you are and that you represent us when you are only recently out. Let’s put this loon back in her closet with a large amount of meds and then nail the door tightly shut.

  16. Adam says

    Yay for Ellen Sturtz, a fearless and strong gay woman. She has ten times the courage of most gay men.

    Obama has been exposed as a fraud on gay rights such as ENDA.

  17. ben says

    ” I could no longer remain silent while standing in front of one of our country’s most powerful political figures.”

    Oh please.I’m not impressed. You heckled the first lady not some elected official. You took the easy way out. You made a big showing, angered an ally, and now want to draw some empathy. It is easy to stand in front a room and scream. But don’t be surprised when you don’t get the intended result.

  18. JONES says

    While I understand her frustration that years of a closeted life of denial and lies beget and appreciate her new found sense of liberation at coming out Sturtz needs to hear and to understand that her actions reflect badly not only on herself but on those she claims to be speaking out for. I don’t consider her actions as something that I would condone in others or do myself and want her to know that.

    Michelle Obama is an ally. You don’t disrupt an Ally. Activism 101.

  19. MIke says

    Is Michelle Obama announcing “Best Musical” this weekend? Just curious. Better not be Best REVIVAL of a Musical or she isn’t playing oh hell no. Where my marines at?

  20. says

    You need to find some new words besides “shills” and “hacks,” Rat, you’re tiring them out. And you come across as an anti-Progressive shill, pot calling kettle black.

    Democrats, liberals, and progressives have viewed this incident in various ways; there has been no blanket response. The right hates both the First Lady and lesbians, but they probably hate the First Lady more for the usual reasons.

    Ms. Sturtz obnoxiously made her point (the intention) and got press for it in a way she wouldn’t have if she’d politely asked a question at the appropriate time. But, when you’re in the face of someone like the First Lady, you should be prepared to have someone get in your face right back, and it seems she wasn’t. Also, what will be remembered from this incident? The issue of discrimination or the game of which side people are on–First Lady vs. Gray Lesbian? It brought a little attention to the issue, but whether it was constructive attention remains to be seen.

    P.S. Amusing that the troll who hates all women is suddenly applauding a lesbian.

  21. PAUL B. says

    Jones…thanks for your voice of reason. Reading some of these comments I wonder just how far we’ve really come. I mean, listen to Phil…not pretty. Sturtz may not have done it the way I would have…but she absolutely “represented” me in many ways. Some of us need to realize we’re not cut from the same mold…didn’t we already figure that out? I mean really…”nail the door tightly shut”. Just silly.

  22. Clifford says

    I don’t mind her interruption at all. What does bother me is her assertion that the First Lady is “inarguably the conscience of the white house”. Really? I don’t think lesbians would be too happy if I said that Pres. Obama “inarguably wears the pants in that family”.

  23. james says

    When will the LGBT community learn that a Executive Order won’t help us, Yes Obama could sign one that bans federal contractors from discriminating against us, then the next President can cancel it. We need The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). not an executive order, since the order would only be a temporary fix.

  24. UFFDA says

    Sturtz just showed again how rude and unreasonable gay people can be which means how dangerous they can be which means I’m not always going to be on their side. I wish they were nicer people. I usually , want to support them but in this case one rotten apple has spoiled the barrell. Michelle Obama is a good person who means no harm and has done a lot of good for gay people. Shame on Sturtz.

    That’s the opinion of most well-meaning good hearted Americans and I agree with it.

  25. Phil says

    Paul B: some ill-bred, imprudent fool who doesn’t understand the democratic process goes off on the First Lady in everyone’s name and it is us who are at fault for condemning this? No. Mrs. Obama, every family has a rude, crazy cousin and you met ours the other day. We apologize and hope you don’t think she reflects the views of the rest of us despite her self-annointing.

  26. Jude says

    Great statement by Sturtz. The publicity brought international attention to a gay rights issue.

    I guess the rest of you drinking lattes and typing blog comments think you’re helping the cause. Good for you, thanks.

  27. PeteP says

    This is probably the weakest display of activism that I have ever seen. Heckle the First Lady – are you kidding? Why don’t you go to Liberty University and heckle? Why don’t you shout down Scalia at one of his speeches? Go confront our enemies, not our allies. This was about as meaningful as holding up a “Support Marriage Equality” sign in West Hollywood.

  28. PAUL B. says

    Phil…I don’t think Ms.Obama needs you to tell her, nor do the rest of us….that Sturtz “may have” lost her cool. Your name-calling certainly rises to the occasion, doesn’t it?
    Anger management class maybe…you and Sturtz can get a two-for-one coupon.

  29. says

    When I was a member of the Gay Activists Alliance back in the late 60’s one of the things we went over and over again was how to craft an effective protest. The key thing was getting g our message across. That meant picking our targets carefully and making sure our actions or the target’s presumed authority in the public eye didn’t overwhelm what we were trying to do. But that’s exactly what happened here. Instead of a protest concerning marriage equality it became a personality spectacle: Michelle Obama vs. Some Angry Lesbian.


  30. Trust says

    Although I appreciate Ellen’s “enthusiasm,” you don’t get what you want by screaming, crying, ranting and raving like a 5 year old brat. You just look like a loon. We will get to our goal the same way we’ve made so much progress — by just being ourselves; living our lives. By being visible, loving, PATIENT, and respectful. That’s how you win people over. That’s how you change people’s hearts and minds.

  31. redball says

    i like her and i love in-your-face activism when gross injustice is happening.


    i was only 8 when the ACT UP st. patrick’s cathedral action happened and i learned about it 16 years later while conducting research for my master’s thesis.

    that action was EPIC. f.ck the church. they deserve NO respect and it’s leaders should be drawn and quartered in the public square. 😉

  32. Queer Supremacist says

    Ally? We define the terms of the alliance, and thus far the Obama administration has come up short. He wants all the credit for doing none of the work.

    Go Ellen!

  33. from Mexico says

    Right on cue, we see the blue dog Democrats circle the wagons around Michelle Obama. Is there anything more tribalistic than a blue dog Democrat?

  34. says

    she has a passionate point, and i applaud many similar-actions, but this was badly timed and badly executed, on her part.

    Sturtz has a voice that needs to be heard, and glorious FLOTUS has one that gets listened to. there are ways to go about this, and Sturtz missed an opportunity.

    and, as others have said and others have ignored, an Executive Order is not the way to go about these things. They’re simply not solid enough.

    this isn’t excusing anything; one can be disappointed in the lack of speed in “getting what we want” while still being aware of WHY things are done.

    executive orders can be undone with the stroke of one Bigoted Republican Pen.

  35. Brad says

    Ellen Sturtz is a genuine, brave and patriotic hero for what she did. She used her constitutional right to voice her displeasure at the President’s lack of real action on LGBT issues. In short, the First Lady was giving another pretty speech and another cocktail party for the gays with her hand out for donations. Mrs. Obama’s reaction could have been very classy. Instead she just got irritated and threatened to stomp off in a temper tantrum. She was at a political fundraiser for a party that has been tepid in its support of LGBT rights. I have no sympathy and a lot less admiration for Michelle Obama. She and her husband are quick to ask us for money, but they do little in real action our community and only reluctantly when forced to. That’s not a staunch ally, that’s a lukewarm supporter.

  36. says

    Whom did you vote for in the last two elections, Brad?

    it’s amazing – despite the reality that, yes, we’re not all thrilled with not getting what we deserve, in the speed we desire, President Obama is so far the most LGBT-positive President in the history of the united states of america. we’ve seen more advances in the last few years than in the last few decades combined.

    “only reluctantly when forced to”

    – I’ll take “B.S. Racist Gay Men Say” for 500, Alex!

    curious – if you find the Democrats’ support of the LGBT Communities to be “tepid” , which adjective would you use to describe the Republicans?

    thanks in advance for your clear and specific answers to my questions.

  37. PAUL B. says

    Phil…I knew you had to be young by the tone of your comments. I just had no idea you were at the “sticking your tongue out” age.
    More importantly…Kiwi hit the nail on the head in a way that is precise & not mean-spirited. Better than I could have.

  38. Chitown kev says

    yes, there are strong similarities of Ms. Sturtz to Eartha Kitt but remember, Lady Bird Johnson posed a question and Eartha Kitt answered it…just not in the way that Lady Bird Johnson thought that she would.

    I’m not hating on either party in this case.

  39. Merv says

    Ms. Sturtz needs to learn that the expression is “speak truth to power,” not “speak truth to power’s wife.” Michelle Obama is not a politician. She’s the WIFE of a politician.

  40. says

    Sturtz is selfish and self-interested. Not only does she coddle up to Murdoch, she embarrasses many LGBT’s who laud the methodical manner in which Obama is approaching our issues. Interrrupting and attacking Michelle Obama and then going in the WSJ further denigrates the progress which has been made. Sturtz may have gained fame and notoriety but she has turned off countless Americans sitting on the fence about LGBT issues.

  41. says

    This is ridiculous. If Sturtz had waited until Michelle was done with her speech and then asked her question in a polite, adult manner, Mrs. Obama would have gladly heard her out and answered her question to the best of her ability. But nope – it was all about making a scene and getting attention at the expense of p*ss*ng off an ally and making us look like rude children.

  42. Michael Bedwell says

    “Equality is a moral imperative. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of a fully inclusive Employment Non Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I WILL NEVER COMPROMISE ON MY COMMITMENT TO EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL LGBT AMERICANS. Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. JOIN WITH ME, AND I WILL PROVIDE THAT LEADERSHIP.” – Barack Obama, Job Application, February 28, 2008.

    “I’ve said this before, I’ll repeat it again—IT’S NOT FOR ME TO TELL YOU TO BE PATIENT, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans petitioning for equal rights half a century ago. NOBODY IN AMERICA SHOULD BE FIRED BECAUSE THEY’RE GAY, despite doing a great job and meeting their responsibilities. It’s not fair. It’s not right. WE’RE GOING TO PUT A STOP TO IT. I WILL NOT WAVER IN MY COMMITMENT TO ENDING DISCRIMINATION IN ALL ITS FORMS.” – President Barack Obama, HRC Dinner, October 10, 2009.

  43. Bernie says

    I am sorry that the heckler turned out to be a gay woman….but that has not swayed me…….I think what she did was RUDE, inappropriate and intrusive in the setting and context it was done….President Obama has done more for the GLBT community than any other president and both he and Michelle are big advocates….I applaud Michelle for what she did

  44. Terry Robinson says

    I find the adoption of shouting and heckling so obnoxious. Behavior like you displayed to the first lady will not help your cause or that of other gay and lesbians.

  45. Armando says

    Who’s mind did she change? What positive action came out of her heckling? The only thing that happened is that she made a name for herself. She has done nothing for the cause, but everything for herself. To me she’s like the idiots in a movie theater who won’t shut up. I didn’t pay to hear them talk either.

  46. gb says

    I’m proud that she did it. Looks like some here just don’t care for lesbians. It takes a certain generation to react like she did. In the 60’s and 70’s militant behavior was more common — and effective.
    Spineless compliant gay men today are more concerned with our superficial image, than our rights.

  47. Ira Zimmermann says

    This is the first time in history when the LGBT community has the sympathies of a strong majority of the American people. For the first time people are seriously listening to us, and this disturbed woman gets to be our community’s public face? A petulant tantrum thrown in front of the most popular woman in the country (and the First Lady and an LGBT advocate to boot) is the way to advance our civil rights? Ellen Sturtz is nothing short of an embarrassment.

  48. Joseph Singer says

    She may have some noble goals, but heckling the first lady isn’t going to score you any points. Did she expect FLOTUS to go home that night and tell BHO over dinner that he really needs to get his azz in gear? Or did she do it just to make a spectacle knowing that what she did wasn’t going to do a damned thing except to annoy FLOTUS and put her name on the 6 o’clock news?

  49. Telling says

    So tired of tacky, rude, miserable gays like Sturtz. How is this hag brave when she spent most of her life cowering in the closet? Now that she’s past the point when anyone would care, she wants to come prancing out of the closet and then get up in somebody else’s face like she’s some brave lesbo. Typical cowardly gay. Whatever Ellen.

  50. Matte says

    Sorry, heckling an ally gets us nowhere. Ms. Sturtz needs to acknowledge how much this presidency has done to support our rights. Can you name a previous presidency that has come even close?

  51. Mike says

    I applaud Ellen, she has brought this issue out into the mainstream and has many people talking about this who, otherwise, may have been ignorant. Flotus handled it badly. She could have acknowledged her passion and advised her that she will speak with her after she is done with her speech.

  52. TruthSerum says

    Please, this story was mentioned in the mainstream news for about 5 minutes…no traction at all. The gay blogs are talking about it now, but otherwise this story is dead as a doornail and rightfully so. Ellen Sturtz came across as some low class lezzie and the First Lady sent her right to hell.

  53. RyanC says

    The problem with this is she didn’t get anybody really talking about the issue. She didn’t bring the issue to the mainstream media, she brought herself to it. All anybody is discussing is whether her approach was rude or not.

  54. Zeta says

    i’m sure she and Mrs Obama would get along much better with each other than any of the so-called community members on this thread.

    Posted by: shane | Jun 8, 2013 11:25:37 AM

    Michelle Obama doesn’t suffer bullcrap artists short term, but as a successful black woman she has a lot of experience dealing with entitled white people long term. So Michelle would get along with her — don’t mistake that for friendship or fellow feeling though.

    Ellen Sturtz doesn’t respect Michelle Obama. That’s the bottom line.

  55. Zeta says

    Kewlteacher wrote an excellent response to Ellen’s WaPo opinion piece, cutting to the heart of Ellen’s false sense of ‘woe is me me’ism (and why ‘real’ minorities roll their eyes). Again, as others have stated, if Ellen wants to make a real difference, she stop with the drama queening on allies, and run for office:

    1:34 AM MDT

    Hmmmmm, an Ellen Sturtz in Los Angeles, retired (wow at 56) nice work if you can get it…anyway I digress…an Ellen Sturtz in Los Angeles has contributed 6000 (yes that is six thousand) dollars to Obama in the last 4 years. I am just wondering, all this bellyaching about discrimination…doesn’t sound to me that is has been a tough time in the city. Ms Sturtz..in all honesty….there are millions of us out here who have never had 6000 extra dollars to give to a poitical campaign. Where is the discrimination? And retired at 56? You must have alot of time on your hands. or…do I have this wrong…please enlighten us.”

  56. Andy says

    That obnoxious woman is not part of my community.

    She is clearly a self-serving individual.
    It was the wrong venue for her personal “agenda”.

    Love you Mrs. Obama!

  57. Jim says

    Ellenn Sturtz looks like a man. This is the reality gays want to hide. Gays can’t all be witty Neil Patrick Harris types. She spoke up, tired of the BS. That’s what we call exposure, although it doesn’t resemble “The New Normal” — which was cancelled. It’s real. Too real for the pretty boys.

  58. RexT says

    Sturtz let Her Alligator Mouth Overload Her Hummingbird Ass in this situation. Obviously. The First Lady handled it in the way she felt was necessary and moved on. Now Sturtz can get back to work – her energy is definitely needed.

  59. Zeta says

    Ellenn Sturtz looks like a man. This is the reality gays want to hide. Gays can’t all be witty Neil Patrick Harris types. She spoke up, tired of the BS. That’s what we call exposure, although it doesn’t resemble “The New Normal” — which was cancelled. It’s real. Too real for the pretty boys.

    Posted by: Jim | Jun 9, 2013 2:55:04 PM

    Speaking of lesbians who look like men — Nicthommi over at Racialicious wrote an interesting comment about just that aspect of this whole mess, they hypocrisy, the double standard, and the deeper divide it reveals:

    “Pretty much. They also regularly count on being backed up by white men when they start “fights” with black women, and her sense of privilege and entitlement was large enough to think this would occur when dealing with the First Lady. At an event held for the purpose of having the First Lady as the special guest who is the reason for everyone being there. Imagine the arrogance of disrupting the featured guest of an event. Just fathom it for a moment.

    “There are many racist white liberals who are defaulting to the “uppity black woman” and “angry black woman” trope, and suggesting that Michelle only put the lady in her place b/c she “could” (as in, she had Secret Service with her).

    “But no, Michelle handled that lady like the boss that she is, and she’d have done the same without the crowd although if this was the workplace the white woman tears would probably have worked.

    “It’s ironic that a non-feminine white woman who does not have a soft and feminine look would also try to claim that she is afraid of the “big” and “manly” angry black lady being in her face. Why are you still the frightened “lady”/damsel in distress in this situation even if you present more like a man?

    “I’m sure Ellen has successfully bullied black women in situations where she had white people who would in fact back her up. That’s why she was shocked here. No one is supposed to side with the black lady over her. Not even if the black lady is the wife of the most powerful man on Earth.

    “Apparently we are so “masculine” that they can be butch or larger than us and we are still perceived as the more intimidating one. Black femininity is pretty much NEVER treasted as a real thing. That disgusts me.”

  60. Zeta says

    Sturtz let Her Alligator Mouth Overload Her Hummingbird Ass in this situation. Obviously. The First Lady handled it in the way she felt was necessary and moved on. Now Sturtz can get back to work – her energy is definitely needed.

    Posted by: RexT | Jun 9, 2013 9:34:49 PM

    She needs to do it without GETEqual. There are too many articles out on the net detailing GETEqual’s non-equal tactics, it’s treatment of minorities within the GLBT community who also want a voice, and its treatment of the Obamas versus Republicans.

    One of the founding members of GETEqual, a black lesbian, quit because of how she was being treated and how disappointed she was with the direction the group was taking.

    Back in 2010, TRANSGRIOT put up a transcript which occurred on GETEqual’s facebook page, between GETEqual and Monica Roberts. GETEqual told Monica that the reason why they were targeting Democrats more than Republicans was that a) “They all look alike to us’ and b) “Sen. McCain is a Republican. Our last two posts have BEEN about Republicans. RE: Saxby – We would love to, but with only 5 employees, none of which live in GA., our hands are full at the moment.”

    They have $500 to heckle the First Lady in 2013, but they don’t have the money to send people to confront two Republicans because their hands are full at the moment targeting Democrats.

  61. Zeta says

    Why does that matter? because it goes lockstep in what Queerty reported back in 2010 about ex-founder CD Kirvan’s issues with the group she helped to create. We should all be incensed with her — but we won’t all be, will we? :

    “Kirven stepped up to the mic to ask how the LGBT rights movement could more fully represent the actual diversity existing within our community. But instead of having her concerns addressed, Kirven was told they didn’t have enough time to answer her, and would she please ask her question “next time,” whenever that was.

    On the way home, Kirven complained about what happened and was told by one of her GetEQUAL cohorts, “Whenever you play the race card, you drag the gay rights movement down. We have too much to do and don’t have time to have this conversation now.” Kirven felt incensed.”

  62. Jack M says

    She could have picked a better time and place to voice her views. All she did was make herself annoying. And especially doing this in front of the wife of the first President in office to actually regard gays and lesbians as full-fledged human beings.

  63. PhDivalicious says

    I am a straight black woman who strongly supports LGBT rights, and I think everybody kind of got it wrong here. One of the main things we’re getting wrong is the idea that all LGBT people are white. Where do LGBT people of color fit into this debate? Once again, they have been erased by white gay people and black straight people. If I’m sick of that, and I am a straight black person, then I wouldn’t be surprised that many of my LGBT brothers and sisters of color are must be more than tired of it.

    The article gets it wrong by ignoring the fact that MHP and her panelists REPEATEDLY state that they support the legislation in question. They are not dismissing LGBT rights as this article implies.

    I think Ellen Sturtz should have thought more about the age politics of what she did. Does she really think that she needed to heckle about LGBT rights in order to stop Michelle Obama from talking about children’s rights? FLOTUS was not defending banks or oil companies, she was discussing the rights of children; Sturtz seemed insensitive to that. Also, I wish Sturtz had considered the racial politics of what she said during and after the event I was more offended by her racist “frail white female victim of angry black woman” response to Michelle Obama speaking directly to her than I was by her original outburst. She attacked Michelle Obama and then suddenly played victim when Michelle Obama spoke to her. Also, if Ellen Sturtz had been going around scolding the white spouses of white politicians at fundraisers, I wouldn’t question this; I would think that this is just what she does. But that is not the case. She has only heckled the black wife of a black male politician. That gives me pause.

    Michelle Obama was, also, wrong. I wish Michelle Obama had found a way to protect her authority as a speaker AND defend LGBT rights. It didn’t have to be either/or. Her husband is better at handling these things, but he has had more experience. Michelle Obama should have affirmed LGBT rights AND asked to be treated with respect. By not doing both, she ended up on the wrong side of this issue.

    So basically I think everybody screwed this up. But this is what happens when people look at extremely complex issues as if there is only one identity at stake. I think we should be able to defend the rights of children of all sexualities and ethnicities, the rights of LGBT people of all ethnicities and ages, and the rights of people of color of all sexualities and ages, etc. without being rude and hurting each other.

    What about LGBT children of color? Maybe we can start by doing all we can to protect them, and everybody else will be taken care of as well.

  64. ThomT says

    Sturtz acknowledges her own (by choice) long closeted existence brought on this “frustration”. Sorry folks but that HER problem not Ms. Obama’s or anyone else’s. I’m a man who came out in 1972 (at age 24) while working for the federal government – the world didn’t end, I wasn’t fired, I lost no respect or love from anyone who was important to me or cared about me – so I have little (actually no) sympathy for anyone who choose to stay in the closet for years and years and years and then suddenly takes it upon themselves to get aggressive and belligerent because they’ve suddenly decided that the time is right for them to do what they failed to have the courage and backbone to do years ago. Sturtz gained absolutely nothing by her behavior.

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