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Viral video shows Jane Fonda setting the gold standard for being an LGBT+ ally way back in 1979

Josh Milton September 10, 2020
Jane Fonda was setting the standard for LGBT allies way back in 1979

A 1979 interview of Jane Fonda setting the bar of allyship has resurfaced, blessing us all with her tenacity and radiant hair once more. (Screen capture via Twitter)

Jane Fonda, the hale actor who has remained on the frontlines of Hollywood and social activism for decades, managed to set the standard for being an LGBT+ ally back in 1979.

An interview with the Grace and Frankie star has gone viral on Twitter, in which Fonda fortifies her support for LGBT+ rights amid the White Night Riots in San Fransisco – an outpouring of anger over the death of Harvey Milk, a friend of Fonda’s.

The slain gay activist was the first openly gay elected official in San Fransisco, California, and was once described by Fonda as having a “huge generous heart [and] spirit”.

When Milk’s assasin, Dan White, was given a tepid sentence by the courts, the streets of San Fransisco erupted with protests, smouldering police vehicles and shattered properties, signalling the depth of anger felt by the local LGBT+ community.

‘What am I here for if not to be used by good people for good things?’

During a television interview, a glamorous Fonda is grilled by a reporter over her alignment with the LGBT+ rights movement during the end of the 1970s.

He asked Fonda: “Do you feel that the gays in San Fransisco, who are very powerful and very strong, need support? Are they still being discriminated against?

“Oh, absolutely,” Fonda sharply replied. “Culturally, psychologically, economically, politically – gays and lesbians are discriminated against.

“They are a very powerful movement, especially in San Fransisco, they don’t need me, but they like me, they like our organisation, the Campaign for Economic Democracy, because they know that working together we can be stronger than either entity is by itself.”

The reporter then asks her if she feels the queer community is “using” her or her advocacy group, to which she gracefully replies: “I hope they use me.

“What am I here for if not to be used by good people for good things? I’m part of an organisation and you could also be cynical as you are and ask me isn’t the organisation using me?

“But you could also think, aren’t I using the organisation just the way the gays and lesbians here are using the organisation they’re a part of if it helps give us perspective, helps us keep our values intact, it increases our power – because as individuals we don’t have very much, but altogether, we have a lot of power.”

Fonda, who wrote The Communist Manifesto, added: “Everybody uses.

“The point is what are you using for if it’s just for greed or selfish reasons? That’s one thing.

“But if you’re using each other for things that are positive, then why not?”

The reporter asks how Fonda sees the future of the LGBT+ rights movement, considering that many people don’t like the “power of the gays” and it seems the guys behind her capture how we feel about the question, to be honest.

Same, unknown moustachioed men. Same. (Screen capture
Same, unknown moustachioed men. Same. (Screen capture via YouTube)

Fonda admitted that it’s difficult to predict the future, and she stressed that what the movement is seeking “is nothing less than respect and justice”.

“You’re on the side of the angels,” she said, “it’s just and it’s right.

“So, if we’re going to survive as a world, and we may not, but if we do, they’re gonna win.”

We are once again asking that Jane Fonda be protected at all costs.

Pretty much anyone with a soul praised Jane Fonda for giving a masterclass in allyship all those decades ago. 

More: ally, California, Harvey Milk, Jane Fonda, san fransisco, Twitter, White Night Riots

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