Inside the Dolce & Gabbana Baby Drama
It seems that trouble just has a way of following Dolce & Gabanna. The Italian designer duo was in a spot of hot water last year with a highly publicized tax evasion scandal, and they’ve found themselves back in the cauldron again. This time however, it’s for some rather colorful comments on gay adoption. Things have escalated insanely quickly, with massive demonstrations outside their store in London and a social media war with Elton John, so the facts have become a bit blurred in the tirade of passionate opinions. Yet for all the ‘he-said, she-said’ spats entering the blogosphere, their comments have shed light on a serious issue: the self-criticism and shaming that is a divisive wedge within the LGBT community.
The media maelstrom against the designers was unleashed after Dolce made some choice comments in an interview with Italian magazine Panorama on the topic of in vitro fertilization (IVF), one of several revolutionary technologies that allow couples to conceive a child regardless of the gender and orientation of the parents. “You are born to a mother and a father, or at least that’s how it should be,” he said, “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog.”
Naturally, a comment bashing ‘synthetic children’ will certainly garner a backlash, first and foremost from the parents of such children. Sir Elton, though a longtime supporter of the brand, was among the first to rally online for a boycott against Dolce & Gabbana, posting a photo to his Instagram with the caption “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’”. Glee creator Ryan Murphy also threw himself into the fray, tweeting that their “clothes are as ugly as their hate.” Celebrities on social media aren’t the only ones in protest of the designers, as evidenced by a massive protest outside the D&G store in London. Led by prominent LGBT activist Peter Tatchell, the crowds held aloft signs like ‘HOMOPHOBIA IS NOT FASHIONABLE’, comparing their comments to those of the Vatican in their lack of support for gay families.
Perhaps what’s most confounding about this situation is the position of Dolce and Gabbana, who are themselves gay men. Though it is only natural for so many to oppose the duo’s views on raising a family, there is a significant population within the gay community who are staunchly opposed to the idea of getting married and having children entirely. LGBT writers have long theorized on establishing a strictly homosexual identity, one where the ideals of straight couples and straight families are ignored if not rabidly fought against. By no means is there anything wrong with a gay couple wanting to start a family, but a gay couple dissuaded from those wishes should be allowed to express that right just as freely.
Being attacked by so many others in the gay community is a telling sign of the disorganization within the LGBT sphere, one that is prone to high levels self-aggrandizement. And while we are not choosing any sides in Dolce and Gabbana’s latest woe, it might be more beneficial to push the fight for universal acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle outside of the homosexual community. In a protest against gays held by gays, it is hard to find an outcome where anyone can benefit. That said, perhaps Dolce should choose his words more carefully next time.