“See n this how Tyler justifies his “homophobic” shit…cuz he got not one but TWO openly gay members in his crew. He got a lesbian AND a bisexual so obviously none of the shit he says should offend gay folk… Right? Its like if you a white man who married a black woman you can walk around in Harlem shoutin I LOVE N**GERS (witta hard “r”) n if anybody come at you sideways you jus be like NAH ITS COOL MY QUEEN ONE A YALLS…I LOVE N**GERS (witta hard “r”) n they gon jus be like OH PARDON ME SIR…MY MISTAKE n give you a pound n then be out…”—Big Ghost on Tyler, the Creator
GUYS LISTEN UP
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST IS GOING TO CENSOR KRISTA’S PERFORMANCE JUST BECAUSE IT ENDS WITH THIS:
“pressure is building for Eurovision to censor Krista’s performance to appease homophobic broadcasters. Already, Turkey has refused to broadcast the show on air because of it!”
IF YOU’RE AGAINST OF THIS KIND OF HOMOPHOBIC BULLSHIT GO HERE AND SIGN THIS!
why "love is all you need?" spits in the face of queer experience
content warning for bullying, self-harm, suicide, and violence at link.
this video was recently brought to my attention. titled “love is all you need?,” the point of the short film is to bring awareness to the harmful effects of homophobia via the route of reversing homophobia—and the end result is heterophobia, the hatred of straight people. it showcases a young girl’s struggles of being heterosexual in a homosexual world. in the short film, ashley fights to overcome the effects of bullying, rejection born of fear, parental pressure, inability to come out…you know, all the things typically associated with being a marginalized white, cishet, middle class girl in america.
it’s been hailed as an eye-opener for people across america. it’s been praised as heartbreaking, touching, and universally powerful. it’s groundbreaking! it gives exposure to stories of bullying and hatred in our society! but do you know what it actually doesn’t do?
broadcast the voices of queer people.
when we make a short film about reverse oppression, we aren’t actually opening anybody’s eyes to anything (or, rather, we shouldn’t be). it’s not revolutionary or even particularly interesting. showcasing a young straight girl’s romance, regardless of the subsequent failure of said romance, is simply giving representation to more straight people. it makes it appear as though the problems of gay people could be the problems of straight people; however, in the process, it fails to recognize the very diverse voices of queer people all across the world.
not only is the film still focusing on straight people (because heaven forbid we portray queer people in a positive light!), it’s also appropriating the stories of queer people by directly lifting elements from their story and imposing them onto a straight character. and why? because we want this medicine to go down easy, don’t we? what this film basically does is take away the endlessly valuable queer voices that we need in the media, assigning their stories to a more acceptable vehicle in the form of a straight girl.
think about this for a second. there have been countless films about the horrors of homophobia and the harmful effects of heteronormativity—yet what’s the only one that gets any coverage? that’s right: one that paints straight people as the real victims. we are supposed to not only empathize but also sympathize with the main character. we are still supposed to view gay people as the ‘other,’ the anonymous entity that is opposing everything we hold dear to our hearts as a nation.
do you know where my representation in this short film is? it’s in the bullies. it’s in the cruel taunts, the teasing, and the violent hands. my representation is being painted as the bane of society—a view that is already pervasive enough in the media. we were assigned the role of school bully; we were assigned the role of stereotypical gay kid; we were assigned the role of the ones that drive others to suicide.
that isn’t the only thing i found wrong with this video, though. in fact, there’s so much wrong with it that i might not be able to fit it all in one post. but something that was constantly bugging me throughout the film was how the film dealt with gender roles.
we already know that the film worked pretty hard to reverse ‘gay’ and ‘straight,’ something they were pretty upfront about. but if you watch it, you can see that they did some bizarre clusterfuck of gender roles too—and by reversal, i mean they clearly had zero concept of gender roles. when ashley was talking to her mothers, one of them mentions the football team; when ashley admits she didn’t make the football team, she’s ashamed, but does say that she’s going to be in the school play.
now back up for just a second here. her lesbian parents want her to try out for the football team; instead, she tries out for the school play, which is shown to be almost exclusive to gay guys (romeo and julio; she has a minor part, etc.). if you think that doesn’t sound like stereotyping in itself, then you need to reevaluate whether you’re stereotyping or not. lesbians are all tough and manly and play football! gay guys are all girly and effeminate and like drama!
believe it or not, this is NOT turning anything on its head. this is so rooted in society that it’s tired to even see it being used in a short film about bullying LGBTQ+ youth. this just cements and one hundred percent reinforces the idea that liking girls is a masculine trait while liking boys is a feminine trait. now, where could that idea possibly come from? (hint: it’s homophobia!)
however, every lesbian couple you see is still beautiful and feminine, even though they did throw in a shitty bit about the football-drama dichotomy. both of ashley’s mothers wear traditionally feminine clothing, have long hair, etc., while any boy you see is still traditionally masculine. no exploration of how gender expression could potentially be more free in a homonormative world has been done at all. butch & femme have been erased ENTIRELY—and this is some very serious erasure to be done in a film that claims to turn inequality on its head.
it still has the very stereotypical mother-father dynamics firmly set in place. one of ashley’s mother acts more ‘motherly’ toward her, while the other has more of a ‘tough love’ act about her and is clearly supposed to represent the father. we’ve seen the tired cliche ‘gay son coming out to parents, father is disappointed’ scene over and over, and this echoes it. the implications of having a father-mother dynamic instead of a mother-mother (or father-father) include giving a pretty clear statement that same-sex marriages are STILL dependent on heterosexual roles.
it doesn’t help that homophobia is grossly simplified in the short film. all the adults are seen as rather clueless; they just ‘grew up that way.’ they’re either concerned for ashley and sometimes a bit abrasive, or they’re crazy religious zealots! all the bullies are just evil nameless homos, because there is no possible way that anybody could engage in homophobia in ways other than taunting or violence. it ignores how pervasive homophobia truly is by assigning it to arbitrary figures. now straight allies get to pat themselves on the back. “i’ve never beaten up a queer person before! i must not be homophobic!”
this film doesn’t even begin to encompass, however, the huge reality of what LGBTQ+ actually means. it’s supposed to be a film to showcase bullying and how wrong it is; however, the only thing that’s truly changed is that it’s a homonormative world rather than a heteronormative one. it is still clearly cisnormative, mononormative (i.e., pansexuality/omnisexuality, trisexuality, asexuality, bisexuality, etc. don’t exist) world. there are no trans* people to speak of, nor are there any people with anything but a monosexuality. cis gay, cis lesbian, cis straight. those are the three things you can be. is this starting to sound like some seriously shitty representation or what? (there are also no polygamous relationships, but come on—media should have at least caught up enough to showcase a slightly more complex relationship between TWO people.)
there’s some serious racial stuff going on as well. the main character, along with her family, are undeniably white. however, several of the girls who bully ashley at least appear asian, and one of the boys who plays ‘smear the queer’ with her is an older black male. your only characters of color are portrayed as Evil Gay Bullies. that is problematic whether you like it or not.
moreover: straight people are not ignorant. this film assumes that every homophobe, every straight person, must be ignorant in order to bully. this is a ridiculous point of view. straight people actively ignore queer struggles; straight people actively fight against them every fucking step of the way. this is not ignorance, this is privilege and hatred. stop treating them like babies who need to be coddled. they need to get a fucking education, stop being so hateful, and get a clue about what queer struggle really is—and not in the terms of ‘oh look at the poor straight girl.’
the final point i’d like to make, at least for this post, is to address the slurs. several slurs are used for straight people in the film. the main one appears to be ‘breeder,’ a derogatory word for men who sleep with women or vice versa. (a ridiculously cisnormative definition, but what can you expect?) however, d*ke and f*ggot are also used repeatedly—as is queer. that word, for any of you who don’t know, should be reserved for somebody who does not conform to the gender binary or is not heterosexual. a gay male can call himself queer. a trisexual person can call themselves queer. a trans* lesbian can call herself queer. somebody who identifies with no gender can call themselves queer. a cis lesbian can call herself queer. somebody with a non-european idea of gender can call themselves queer. but a straight cis woman has done no work to reclaim the term. the term never referred to straight cis women in the first place. why in the world is it acceptable for them to appropriate the term from us? it’s absolutely fucking ridiculous. same with d*ke—that is a word for lesbians to reclaim. and same for f*ggot—that is a word for gay men to reclaim.
what we NEED to do is give more queer people voices. we need to let them talk about their experiences. we need to be intersectional; we need to acknowledge the huge span of LGBTQ+ issues and not simplify them to a ‘powerful’ or ‘moving’ feature that does little but make people feel good about themselves while simultaneously setting harmful gender roles in stone.
I’m upset that a 17 year old who is now getting a ton of attention because of his association with 1D (I’m talking about this bullshit okay) can use an incredibly hurtful word, and when people try to point out how it’s wrong to use that word, they get attacked by an army of his followers, and get told “you’re probably gay” as if that’s meant to shut down their argument.
I’m mad that a member of One Direction openly advocates against bullying and yet bullying is SO FUCKING PREVALENT in this fandom. People use hateful language all the time, they use homophobic language towards the boys (even though they mean it as a compliment??? and it isn’t??? being called a f*g or f*ggot is hurtful. that language is used in fucking hate crimes. IT IS NOT A COMPLIMENT). Zayn is on the receiving end of so much racist language that he barely comes on twitter anymore. You’re supposed to like these boys, WHY DO YOU WANT TO INSULT THEM?
Why do you want to alienate members of One Direction fandom? Do you think gay, lesbian, bi, trans* and queer 1D fans don’t exist??? THEY DO, AND THEY DON’T LIKE CONSTANTLY BEING REMINDED THAT THEIR SEXUAL AND GENDER EXPRESSION IS MEANINGLESS TO YOU.
This goes for 5sos too and it sucks that this hateful language is now related to One Direction.
It sucks that I’m the one who is really upset when I didn’t even do anything wrong and I got attacked for it.
I Don't Want To Have To Deal With Racism In Order To Support LGBTQ White People
In the last several years, I’ve found it very difficult to talk to many LGBTQ White people. Everything I learn about LGBTQ experiences is primarily from LGBTQ Black people and other ones of colour. Because I am a cisgender heterosexual Black woman, often times LGBTQ White people approach me with the assumption that I am homophobic, transphobic and theist (where theism justifies the bigotry, as if theism is arbitrary [without history] and only applies to Black people). I am none of these. I’m a Womanist. My feminism is intersectional. I’m an agnostic atheist.
There’s been several times on social media networks (and in person) where a LGBTQ White person started speaking to me with the assumption of homophobia and theism. Once a gay White man assumed the sheer mention of Tracey Morgan meant I defend him. He accused me of homophobia, mentioned that my avatar revealed the truth about me (since in America, to be Black is to be deemed homophobic) and actually hashtagged the word “black” in his tweet reply. For the record, I don’t like Morgan’s comedy; I pointed out how his White audience and White fans laughed at his homophobic jokes, but as a way to punish Black men in general, and uphold White supremacy, White homophobes must be obscured and ignored. This angered LGBTQ White people (others came along) who felt that attacking me with racist tweets was better than recognizing that I didn’t defend Morgan and that yes, Whites, not solely Blacks are a part of the problem of homophobia in this country.
Why would they think racism is the best way to respond to presumed homophobia? Well, as long as this society is White supremacist, media figures like Anderson Cooper and David Gregory continue to push the idea that Black people are virulently homophobic, and Whites receive awards despite homophobia or homoantagonistic policies (i.e. Brett Ratner, Bill Clinton) while Black people are repeatedly and statistically inaccurately portrayed as “exceptionally” homophobic and the “real” problem, White supremacy will not only remain unchecked but LGBTQ Whites privileged in every other area can unequivocally blame Black people for their oppression while ignoring White supremacy, racism and White privilege. His approach ignored what I actually tweeted and was not intersectional.
Another time I discussed media stereotypes and a White trans woman said the media will see me as a “criminal” and her a “whore.” Her response considered my race not my gender and intersectional experience. This isn’t to say that Black women aren’t the most punished and incarcerated women in the country; we are, just as Black men are the most punished and incarcerated of men. But I doubt that she was thinking of women’s incarceration statistics. She was thinking of the stereotype of the “Black male criminal” because I am Black. However, overlooking my experience as a woman, a Black woman no less, she wasn’t able to see how the stereotype “whore” that she thinks could harm her life has harmed generations of Black women and even has hegemonic controlling images (Jezebel/welfare queen/hoochie mama) associated with it. I was expected to listen to her experience as a trans woman since cis privilege shields me from her experiences yet to her, I was interchangeable with a Black man. Again; not intersectional.
Recently I had an exchange with a different White trans woman who felt that I derailed her criticisms of cis women by mentioning Black trans women who felt supported by cis Black women. I apologized, as it wasn’t my intent. She didn’t want to continue to speak with me to continue the conversation. However, she started the conversation by mentioning that I was the only woman of colour that she’s ever encountered who mentioned cis privilege/support trans women and no women of colour really do. How do you say that as a White trans woman and not realize it sounds like “you Black women are transphobic just like Black men are homophobic.” She didn’t critique cis White women. She specifically mentioned ones of colour, as a White trans woman. That’s why I mentioned what I did—not to obscure valid critique of cis privilege but to repudiate the White supremacist idea that cis Black women or ones of colour aren’t supportive and cis White ones are. The imperative for me to check my cis privilege (important) yet ignore her White privilege and endure racism (painful) is exhausting to me.
What some LGBTQ White people fail to realize is LGBTQ Black people deal with homophobia AND racism. Will the former write the latter off as automatically homophobic too? I shouldn’t have to be called a homophobe for rejecting racism from LGBTQ White people any more than when I am called anti-Semitic for rejecting Jewish men’s cinematic interpretations of Blackness through a racist lens or Jewish comedians’ obsession with blackface.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t acknowledge cis and heterosexual privilege. For example, I see how Black women who are marginalized and oppressed by race and gender (and class, complexion, weight, ability, education, immigration status/citizenship, nation, for being trans etc.) are further marginalized and oppressed when their sexuality is deemed deviant. Even heterosexual Black women, with heterosexual privilege, deal with our sexuality labeled as a deviant form of heterosexuality; pathological, hypersexual and “unrapeable.” (“Deviant sexuality” is more than a label—it facilities oppression on multiple institutional, structural, systemic and social planes). I also listen to and talk to queer Black men about the intraracial and interracial difficulties of navigating or rejecting patriarchal masculinity and the emotional/physical violence that homophobia breeds. Clearly an intersectional perspective is needed, especially in regards to Black women who are bisexual, lesbian, queer and trans. It’s not one that I can always exhibit effectively because my cis and heterosexual privilege have to consistently be checked. Further, some experiences I won’t even have the experiential knowledge (which culturally for Black people is highly valued as an epistemological approach) that some bisexual, lesbian, queer and trans Black women have, so listening to them and not speaking for them is important to me.
When I see LGBTQ Black people without heterosexual privilege like I have, stating the exact same things that I just wrote above, there’s a problem. That’s their own community that they’re being excluded from by LGBTQ White people. I see this a lot, actually, and I feel stress and pain for them because despite dealing with the same racism as them and for some, the same sexism, misogynoir, colourism, classism, and more, and even with stereotypical constructions of my heterosexuality as deviant, I still don’t face the homophobia/transphobia that bisexual, lesbian, queer and trans Black women deal with, for example. While I face one of the highest risks for rape or assault as a Black woman, I don’t risk being beat up just for “looking gay;” something that Black men face in a hetero-patriarchal and homophobic society. (Gay Black men and Black women have a lot of overlap in experiences since homophobia and misognyoir are honestly two sides of the same coin.)
I don’t understand how to communicate with LGBTQ White people if the assumption is that I am homophobic and theist because I am a Black woman, if the conversation cannot be shaped with an intersectional perspective, if White homophobes are always off the hook and if they continue to believe that Black people are “exceptionally” homophobic and responsible for America being a homophobic nation. If the price of connection is me admitting homophobia that I didn’t exhibit, checking cis and heterosexual privilege that I do have but enduring racism along the way as they deny its existence and pretend like White supremacy and White privilege are figments of my imagination, that’s an impasse.
I don’t want the price of dismantling oppression in one area to be suffering in silence in another. I don’t understand how to support LGBTQ White people who exclude and oppress LGBTQ Black people and ignore intersectionality, racism and White privilege in regards to heterosexual Black people who aren’t homophobic and aren’t using heterosexual privilege to silence them. I most certainly do not condone homophobia from anyone of any race, to be clear. There ARE Blacks AND Whites who are homophobic, and this is a problem. And homophobic or not, ALL heterosexuals benefit from heterosexual privilege, just like individually racist or not, the historical, institutional, structural and systemic manifestations of racism, White supremacy and White privilege benefits all Whites.
I know the possibility of intersectional thinking exists because videos like this powerful spoken word performance with a queer White woman and a heterosexual Black woman help me visualize the possibility. Maybe such a possibility will materialize into common, not fluke experiences for me.