This is the first in our new series – Re:views – where we check out different commentaries or books we find interesting and worth a closer look.
We’ve been sitting on this monster of a video commentary that’s, by all contemporary standards, very provocative and hard-hitting. The 12-part series takes some patience and great interest in the topics to sit through entire episodes, but insightful references and less-heard viewpoints peppered throughout make it worthwhile.
It was frankly hard to start watching because of the title that seemed to come straight out of the American conservative playbook of the 1990s, but it made us think about the word “agenda,” and how its significance has shifted in a few decades. An agenda suggests an elaborate plan that may or may not be hidden – this would generally apply to most groups seeking political or social change. It sometimes paints the alleged agenda-bearer as untrustworthy due to their unknown intentions; this is perhaps why it was used in the past by opponents of LGBT ideology, who felt that activists were not upfront with the extent of change they sought.
Fast forward to the 2020s, and frankly, the word “agenda” doesn’t carry the same weight any longer. For one, many of today’s activists are pretty upfront about their intentions. Moreover, raising awareness of an “agenda” doesn’t sit well with efforts to be less tribal and generous towards those in disagreement. We know plenty of activists who don’t all have the same agenda, and don’t think that they should all be painted with the same brush.
Nonetheless, we do see why the makers of Ever Thought of That chose this provocative title, having drawn parallels with modern day LGBT activism and that of the 80s. They examined content from a ‘blueprint’ for LGBT activism proposed in a 1990s bestseller: “After The Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s”. The authors, both gay men, were unashamed to speak of “An Agenda For Change” – a list of beliefs and actions they sought to change in society.
To their credit, Ever Thought of That takes pains to make distinctions between LGBT activism and LGBT persons. Each video references this distinction, and it appears on their website, although we’re not sure how effective this will be since identity and activism are currently so intertwined. The personal is political, they say (which is of course, another topic to unpack for another day).
The Message and the Messenger
Diving into the thick of it, ETOT goes in where many fear to tread. It’s almost comprehensive in its coverage of arguments and viewpoints that undermine popular LGBT narratives – from conversion therapy, to health issues.
It doesn’t surprise us that it’s entirely anonymous, though its website states that “Individuals who care deeply about LGBT individuals and Singapore are behind this initiative.” And clearly so – the makers are very invested in this topic. The video series goes deep into the history and background of different movements and draws from a wide range of sources to make its arguments compelling. We find it worthwhile even for those who disagree with Ever Thought of That, to actually counter the arguments (instead of just crying for blood due to the “discrimination” and “hate”).
Worth a Watch?
Definitely, even if you vehemently disagree and even if you’re some pro who can’t take the plain graphics (you can tell the makers are on a tight budget). Some of us who preferred reading went straight for the transcripts on the website.
Be prepared to be rattled, especially if you consider yourself an activist (and maybe even if you aren’t). We told you so!