Dear American Idol Casting Directors,  

I have received many phone calls and emails begging me to try out in front of the executive producers of the show in the past couple months. I’m not interested.

LAST YEAR I was interested, and I tried out but you DIDN’T WANT ME, I wasn’t “contemporary enough” and being transgender wasn’t such a hot issue in the media like it is now. This year, I see what American Idol is all about, another pre-casted show, that’s looking for “singers” to boost their ratings, and now they just need that TOKEN TRANS person for America to gossip about, to hype up the show.

I realized that YOU ONLY WANT ME BECAUSE I’M A TRANSGENDER PERSON who happens to be a singer, not because I’M A SINGER WHO JUST HAPPENS TO BE TRANSGENDER, and because of that I’m not interested.

This year you picked me because you WANT SOMEONE THAT’S TRANSGENDER and you don’t want someone “that people might make fun of, or [someone] who looks too much like they are men who transitioned to women, or [that] look FAKE or GIMMICKY.” You said you don’t want a transgender person “WHO STICKS OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB.” You also referred to trans people as “MEN IN DRESSES” and “TRANSGENDERS.” That is very ignorant, and transphobic.

You told me that American Idol wants “sexual BLONDE GIRLS who are DUMB” and “BLACK GIRLS who are DRAMATIC.” That is sexist and racist.

I questioned you wether the show was a singing show or not and you said that “IT’S A TV SHOW.”

You said “people don’t really make it in music anymore cause there’s nothing to sell, cause now you are a commodity.” To quote my hero Macklemore, “If I’d have done it for the money I’d have been a [bleep] lawyer.” I told you that making music that’s TRUE is what’s the most important thing to me. I don’t want my music controlled by American Idol or any other show, I WANT TO STAY TRUE in my art FOR MY FANS.

I feel that American Idol would EXPLOIT me and maybe exploit the TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY for the purposes of TV ratings and profit. That’s not the right reason to go on television, and that’s not the right thing to do for my community. If it was purely an educational program, and not some overly sensationalized show than I would totally do it.

American Idol isn’t punk rock, punk rock is about being honest, and American Idol isn’t honest. It’s mostly pre-casted, and deep down, it probably isn’t even about singing anymore.

I reject your invitation to SELL OUT. After all, I’m a SINGER, who just happens to be transgender.

Thank you.

Love, Ryan Cassata

As you love me, please vote for Quentin Alexander to advance on American Idol this week. Google “American Idol vote”; you’ll see a widget to vote - give him 20 votes. Go to americanidol.com/vote, and give him 20 more votes. 

Don’t love me? That’s fine. As you hate racist assholes, please vote for Quentin Alexander to advance on American Idol this week. 

And now, I’ll explain why. (this is a bit long, but I am THE RAGE right now, so bear with me) 

This Wednesday was top 7 night on American Idol. The way eliminations work now, the safe contestants are called first, in no particular order. Quentin was called fifth - which meant that when he was called, he - and the viewing public - discovered that the bottom 2 were Joey Cook and Rayvon Owen. Joey Cook is Quentin’s best friend (he’s officiating her wedding later this summer); Rayvon is also Quentin’s friend. 

Quentin performs. He seems sad/upset at the end, so Ryan Seacrest *prompts him* (more than once) to explain why. 

Quentin: This sucks.
Ryan: OK, what sucks? Tell me what sucks?
Quentin (gesturing to Joey and Rayvon): We have two of the best vocalists… my best friend is sitting over there. This whole thing is wack. But I’m gonna shut up right now.

Now, I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty clear to me, and to 90% of regular idol viewers who have written about this, that Quentin was expressing sadness/ strong emotion at the fact that his friends - including his best friend - and two of the best vocalists on the show - were in the bottom 2. WHICH IS A REASONABLE HUMAN REACTION. He wasn’t saying the show was wack. 

Quentin leaves the stage. Judge Harry Connick Jr. ASKS RYAN SEACREST IF THE CAMERAS ARE ROLLING, and AFTER MAKING SURE HE CAN HUMILIATE QUENTIN ON LIVE TV (I will NEVER get over this), says: 

“ Quentin! Quentin! If it’s that wack, then you can always go home. Because Idol is paying a lot of money to give you this experience, and for you to say that to this hand that is feeding you right now — I think it’s highly disrespectful.” 

Okay. I’m fine. I’M FINE. I’m just remembering how a powerful white man berated a young black man for being sad that his friends might go home, and called him DISRESPECTFUL. 

Oh, trust me, IT GETS WORSE. 

Quentin comes back on stage, walks up to the judges table, and explains to Harry Connick Jr. that he wasn’t saying the show was wack, but that “for my personal feelings, it sucks to see two people who I’ve grown to love going home. So I’m not disrespecting the competition 
Harry: “Well, that wasn’t clear.” [sure, Jan] 
Quentin: “And I’m glad I got to clarify that for you.” 

AND THEN, because I hate everything in the world, after Quentin’s second performance, JLo told Quentin he had to learn how to control his emotions (yes, let’s keep beating this kid up for… NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG), Quentin reiterated that he’d meant no disrespect to the competition, and…

Ryan Seacrest… made a joke… about Quentin punching Harry Connick Jr.: “I honestly though you were gonna go hit him — and I was gonna have to step in.”


If you don’t trust my interpretation of the scene, that’s fine. Here’s a recap, with the video. Here’s another recap, with video. Here’s a recap with the video of both discussions (after his first and second performances). 

Now, lest you think that the media have not picked up on the Angry Black Man narrative, here are some of top headlines about the incident: 

“Contestant Storms ‘American Idol’ Judge’s Table” 

“Contestant Throws a Temper Tantrum” 

“Harry Connick Jr. Schools Ungrateful Idol Contestant.” (I’m not linking these; you can google ‘em) 

And here are some common fan reactions, from twitter and the comments on TVLine and MJSbigblog: 
- Quentin being called “scary” (”especially with that thing in his nose”
- Quentin being called a thug
- Quentin being called an “uneducated lowlife/ street kid” (actual quote). 
- People saying Quentin “stomped back” to “get into Harry’s face” (again, you can watch the video, but there is, to my eye, no stomping. He is WALKING. In the loping/ slightly awkward way that Quentin usually walks). 
- On the radio: “Quentin looked like he was going to beat the shit out of Harry when he came back out"

Racist dog-whistles much? 

As my boyfriend said: “Why don’t they just go write “black”? “Quentin looked black. I don’t like him.” That’s what they’re really saying.” 

And I am NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO SEES THIS. MJ, from MJSbigblog, who has been recapping this show forever, on twitter: 

Melissa, on Shakesville: “ the response was so out of line with what actually happened that Iain and I were like: This is racism, right? This has to be racism. They are seeing an Angry Black Man where an upset teenager is.It was soooo fucked up.” (note: Quentin is 21, but point still stands) 

I am terrified that Quentin Alexander is going to go home next week because racist dipshits are going to push him off the show for “forgetting his place” and “being disrespectful.” And more specifically, because a white man (Harry Connick Jr.) made a point of humiliating him on national television (again, he MADE SURE THE CAMERAS WERE ROLLING). 

As you hate racist dipshits - as you oppose people who see a guy who is sad because his friends might go home, and, because he is a black man, call him “scary” and “stomping” and “disrespectful” and “a thug” and “a lowlife” - vote for Quentin Alexander. Google “American Idol” and vote. Then go to Americanidol.com/vote and vote again. 

Now let me talk about Quentin Alexander, for a moment, and why I am 100% not objective, and 100% RAGE about this. 

Quentin Alexander has been my favorite contest since he walked out on top 24 night, wearing the most amazing giant faux-fur coat and massive boots, and sang “I Put A Spell On You.” 

I can’t even - nope. Can’t. Describe. The awesomeness. THAT IS THIS MAN. 

He has been my favorite since he got the top 12 Wildcard slot, sang Royals - a song I LOATHE most of the time. And then he made me cry. Right before he started crying because he was so grateful for the opportunity to be on the show. 

(because he’s so disrespectful - FUCK YOU HARRY CONNICK JR.) 

He has been my favorite since he came out in another giant fur coat and THREE INCH LIFTS to sing “In The Air Tonight” (I have to stop linking all of his performances, I really do…) 

He has been my favorite since he rearranged “You’re The One That I Want” into a haunting ballad - and wore a feathery red coat and red hat to do it. 

He has been my favorite since he sang Kelly Clarkson’s Dark Side - wobbly notes and all - in an all white, fifty piece suit (WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THAT SUIT?) 

He has been my favorite since he sang “Latch” and had fake nails on one hand and also SHOWED HE HAD A SOUL-MELTING FALSETTO TO GO WITH THAT SMILE. 

To me, he is the most exciting, artistic, innovative and unique male contestant we’ve had on American Idol since… Adam Lambert, basically (yes, without Lambert’s vocal perfection, but… wev.) 

And I’ve also loved him because he’s - to quote my boyfriend, again - “a giant fucking teddy bear.” He cries when other contestants are eliminated. He’s always the first person to give other contestants bear hugs when they get through. He’s consistently the first person contestants GO TO to get a hug when they finish performing. If you watch his interviews with Joey Cook, his idol BFF, you know he’s a GIANT FUCKING DORK who is so proud of his fellow contestants when they have great performances, or when they break through artistic barriers. 

Michael Slezak on TVLine, talking about the “Situation”, said it was ridiculous “Especially since Quentin’s been as peaceful as a yoga-class “ohm” all season!” (sorry about the cultural appropriation there). Other people have said that Quentin has been chill enough to calm down an espresso (this is in the Shakesville post). 

I always knew that I would lose my favorite contestant too early. American Idol has a pretty conservative bent. I knew, pretty early on, that at some point the conservative American idol audience was going to go “no thank you” to the flamboyant, theatrical, emotional, femme-leaning black man, especially since we haven’t had a black male winner in 12 seasons, and we haven’t had a black man in the top 3 since season 11. 

But I never thought it would be because of the Angry Black Man narrative. 

If you don’t care about American Idol, that’s fine. 
If you don’t care about me, that’s fine. 

All I’m asking is that you take thirty seconds - that’s all it’ll take - to vote for Quentin Alexander. Make sure he doesn’t get shunted off the American Idol tour (where he’ll make some money! Which is important!) because of a racist media and a racist fanbase. 

He just needs to survive ONE MORE WEEK to make it on tour. 

Google “American Idol Vote” and give him 20 votes. Go to Americanidol.com/vote, and give him 20 more votes.

And reblog this post. 

#Repost @fullbeautystyle
2 DAYS left before it’s on! La'Porsha Renae @laporsharenae our favorite contestant on the farewell season of @americanidol! She is so incredibly talented - who else is rooting for her? 📷:@americanidol #fullbeauty #OwnYourCurves #HonorMyCurves #CelebrateMySize #BBBG #americanidol #farewellseason

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