Originally Posted by u-dog
2. But Jake begins by articulating this "poor me, I'm the only one in my family not allowed to marry" thing. That is whiney. Then he goes on to explore the psychological and spiritual cost to GLBT people of marriage inequality. Those costs are REAL and the arguement TRUE and RELEVANT but it walks the edge of "whiney". When it follows the "poor me" opener it seems like just MORE whining by GLBT folks. I think everything Jake says is true, but the way he builds his argument comes off as whiney. The piece would have been stronger if he had led with the idea that marriage inequality hurts America and all Americans and then maybe CLOSED with the personal cost of injustice.
Just my opinion.
Wow! I couldn't possibly disagree more. No wonder when you first wrote "whiney" I had no idea what you were talking about!
The way to get readers to keep reading beyond the first sentence or two is to lead with a personal story and an individualized personal experience they can relate to. The description of his siblings' weddings is the perfect lead-off for the thrust of the essay. It takes the reader there with him. If he had started off with 'marriage equality is important to America" he would have alienated a good 50% of the readers from the very first sentence. This way, he keeps them for at least a paragraph, and if they are enticed, maybe through the entire article.
Then after this personal introduction which got the readers' attention comes the larger framework, and now readers who have not thought of these matters before have an image in mind that they can relate to: Jake's family and Jake's feelings from which they can extrapolate a larger picture regarding the gay folks they know: 'Gee, does my gay cousin maybe feel this way? What about the lesbian couple down the street?" etc. The personal story shows the import behind the national framework of an otherwise mysterious-to-the-average-straight-person movement for marriage equality.