5 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: The T-Word, Keeping Women In the Kitchen, and Not The 'Same Love'
Welcome back to our weekly round-up of the most infuriating bits of anti-LGBT rhetoric to grace our news feeds in the past seven days. And as usual, right-wingers around the world gave us plenty to choose from — our only problem was picking only five outrageous stories to share here. Read on to see what made the cut, but expect a healthy dose of snark in the following pages — sometimes it's the only way we can get through the day.
5. Gabourey Sidibe Uses Slur to Joke About Trans Women Arrested En Masse
Back on January 23, Gabourey Sidibe appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show, and she was generally charming and funny as usual. But when she started to recount what she says was a common scene outside the bars in her hometown of New Orleans, she devolved into using a string of transphobic slurs.
Here's the exchange as it went down on the January 23 episode of Arsenio:
Gabourey Sidibe: There was a bar that we would frequent and every time we'd go, when we were leaving, every single time there was always like a gang of cops arresting trannies.
Sidibe: Specifically trannies.
Arsenio Hall: Yeah…
Sidibe: And I don't know what goes on with trannies but that tranny-on-tranny crime needs to stop!
Arsenio Hall and audience: [Laughter]
Sidibe [chuckling]: It is tearing our nation apart!
Now, to her credit, the Precious and American Horror Story: Coven star apologized for her comments on Saturday, tweeting that she didn't "realize that it was a slur. I'm very sorry for my poor choice of words." In a separate tweet one minute later, Sidibe tweeted that she was "Also sorry for having made light of a bad situation. It was not my intention."
I believe that Sidibe used the T-word unknowingly, and I don't particularly think she meant it as a way to demean transgender women. But when those women — who are disproportionately the victims of homicide and police violence directed at them because of their gender identity — are treated like the punchline to a joke, it's worth calling people out, even if those people are our allies or, as my colleague at The Advocate notes, even if those people are members of our own community.
When the T-word is the last word that far too many transgender women hear before they are brutally murdered, we have to call it out when we see the systemic oppression of our friends. When drag queens and cisgender (nontrans) gay men appropriate the word that has likely never been hurled at them in earnest, it's worth calling out that reclaiming a word is the responsibility of those who have been oppressed by that word. We don't tolerate white people using the N-word because it isn't theirs to appropriate. We don't let straight folks call us "dykes" unchallenged, because they haven't had the experience of hearing that word spat at them as they were shoved to the ground, or as someone tried to "correctively rape" them. So it's time we stand up for our trans sisters and allow them to the ones — the only ones — who determine when and where that word can be used. As for the rest of us, let's strike it from our vocabulary — because I've yet to hear the word come out of a cisgender person's mouth in a way that isn't at the very least derisive to transgender people.
4. Fox Puts Women Where They Belong During Super Bowl XLVIII… In the Kitchen
We're not gullible enough to try and look to Fox News for any kind of revolutionary, or even moderately progressive commentary on gender. But wouldn't it be nice if the "Fair and Balanced" folks at Fox weren't so reliably awful when it comes to recognizing women as, you know, a productive and worthwhile part of society? Maybe someday.
But that day certainly wasn't this weekend, when the penis-toting anchors of Fox & Friends Sunday sat back in their Lay-Z-Boys and ordered their female cohost to make them a drink, wench! (OK. They didn't use the word "wench," but when even the anchor is calling out problematic, tired gender stereotypes on-air, you know it's gotten bad.)
Tucker Carlson and Clayton Morris lounged in recliners during the pregame show Sunday alongside Dan Silberman, president of Mancaves, a company that builds the custom spaces. No girls allowed, naturally!
Morris observed that Game Day would be incomplete "without some great food and some great drinks," which was clearly the lady-anchor's cue to make herself useful.
"So, basically you're telling me that the guys are in the mancave, and the lady gets stuck in the kitchen, huh?" quipped Anna Kooiman, before apologizing for her unruly borderline feminist outburst and giggling, "I'm just kidding!" Can I get you a blow job with that cocktail?
OK, again. That last sentence didn't actually happen. But take a look at the actual exchange, and you'll see we're not that far off:
Oh and in case you were thinking this was an isolated incident, may I present last year's Super Bowl coverage on Fox News: Fox & Friends Sunday's former anchor, Dave Briggs slammed anyone who tries to talk through the big game. "If you want to yap," Briggs said, according to Media Matters, you should do so "with the ladies in the kitchen!"
Because that is obviously where women belong during the Super Bowl. Since there are no women who watch sports ever, and definitely not a sizable contingent of lesbians who tune into the Super Bowl for a variety of reasons.
Find more outrage on the following pages.
3. LGBT Bostonians Still Not Welcome in St. Patrick's Day Parade
Because if there's one thing the Irish can't relate to, it's being discriminated against for the accident of their birth. (And for the record, that image above was the welcome LGBT Bostonians received the last time they were able to march in the parade — in 1993.)
More than ten years after Massachussetts became the first state in the U.S. to establish marriage equality, LGBT Irish-Americans still can't march in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade wearing anything that denotes their gayness. And the kind folks organizing the parade didn't even have the decency to reject the LGBT groups over the phone, instead opting for an after-hours voicemail.
Statewide equality organization MassEquality was notified their application to participate in South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade had been rejected by the parade organizers Wednesday, who cited the 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, as the reason they are legally able to exclude LGBT groups from participating. In that ruling, the Supreme Court granted John J. Hurley — the parade's previous organizer — the right to deny any group from participating if it presented a message that was contrary to the one the private organization wished to express.
But don't go around thinking that means there's a blanket ban on gay people in the parade, stress the organizers. We just don't want to know who is gay and marching in our parade. You know, since "don't ask, don't tell" went so well, we figured we'd apply it here, too.
"We don’t know who’s gay in the parade, and we don’t ban gay people," parade organizer Philip Wuschke told the Boston Globe. "We ban gay demonstrations, people that are sending out the wrong messages, messages that we don’t agree with. It’s not that type of parade. They have their own parade. Ours is a day of celebration, not demonstration."
Got that, homos? You can't be proudly Irish and proudly LGBT at the same time. You've gotta pick one, and obviously, in Southie, you don't want to admit that you're queer… Even if you married your same-sex spouse in a nice, big, Irish Catholic ceremony. Still — no green beer for you!
2. Even LGBT Teens Writing to Each Other Violate Russia's "Gay Propaganda" Ban
Lest you think that Russia's poorly defined nationwide ban on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" in areas visible to minors applied only to adults "propagandizing" the "social equality" of heterosexual and non-straight relationships, never fear: The Kremlin is here to shutter even the slightest effort to provide support to LGBT teens who are now more likely than ever to believe that they are the only ones in the entire world who feel like this. (You remember that feeling before coming out, right? And saying the words "Gay is OK" probably didn't carry a hefty fine and the threat of arrest and police harassment for you at that time, either.)
But on Friday, a Russian journalist was accused of violating the country's ban on so-called gay propaganda for establishing a social media group that supports and shares stories from LGBT teens.
Lena Kilmova was issued an "infringement notice" that she was in violation of the nationwide ban after a lawmaker who sponsored that legislation filed a complaint against her, according to RIA Novosti, a news agency backed by the Russian government.
Vitaly Milonov, who cosponsored the St. Petersburg ban on so-called gay propaganda that helped inspire the similar nationwide ban enacted last June, confirmed to RIA Novosti that he filed a request to investigate Kilmova for her establishment of a group called "Children-404" on Russian social networking site Vkontakte and on Facebook.
"Without such groups, no kids like that would exist," Milonov told RIA Novosti, which also notes the St. Petersburg lawmaker has campaigned against MTV, modern operas, abortion and teaching evolution in schools.
Children-404, which gets its name from the internet protocol code when a webpage cannot be found, shares first-person stories from LGBT teenagers, which the page calls "the invisible victims of homophobia." Since its founding in March 2013, the page has published more than 1,000 letters from LGBT teenagers, according to the St. Petersburg-based Straight Alliance of LGBT Equality, which partners with Children-404.
"In light of general trends in the country, I am not surprised," said Kilmova in a statement from the Straight Alliance. "But it is very sad that letters from LGBT teenagers themselves are called 'homosexual propaganda among minors.' It is absurd! Milonov, the complaint initiator, has two demands: to fine me and to close the group. If it will be closed, LGBT teenagers will lose the only place where they can openly speak about themselves and receive advice they need to live. It will be a catastrophe."
This appears to be the first instance where communication ostensibly between minors has run afoul of the Russian law, though it's worth noting that Kilmova is over 18. And even if she weren't I find it hard to believe the Kremlin would make such a nuanced decision in applying its vague and clearly discriminatory laws. Of course, at least five violations of the law have been reported, including one where a local newspaper was fined for reporting on a local geography teacher who contends he was fired for being gay.
Find the most outrageous story on the next page...
1. Christian Rapper Sets the Record Straight: It's Not The "Same Love"
But you know what is the same thing as loving, committed same-sex couples marrying, according to Houston-based rapper Bizzle? Pedophilia. Don't believe me? Just take a peek at the Christian rapper's lyrics to his response to the massively successful hit by Macklemore and out artist Mary Lambert, which is creepily set to the same instrumental as the pro-equality anthem.
"It angers you if I compare you to a pedophile / cause he's sick, right?" asks Bizzle. "And you're better how? / 'Man, I ain't choose this' / you think you chose that? / 'but I was born this way' / well, prove he wasn't born that / but you were never a girl / he was once nine / so at one time in his life it was just fine / what makes your laws right? / i'm not buying it / so put 'em in that same trash can you put that bible in."
And, seriously, homos, stop complaining that you don't have equal rights, because domestic partnerships granted you full equality "a long time ago," according to Bizzle. Besides, how can we expect God-fearing Christians to love us when we're busy interrupting church services to violently assault elderly women? That's no way to make friends.
"And I never want to act like all gay people are the same, 'cause that's ignorant," spits Bizzle after more than five minutes of lazy rhymes that could only be characterized as "ignorant" if someone was looking for the kindest adjective possible. "But at the same time, what I won't allow you to do is paint this beautiful picture, like we don't have people from the LGBT community out here, running up in churches, disrupting services, kissing on the pulpit. Out here, attacking old ladies, throwing crosses down and stomping 'em, violently assaulting people. So don't take my most aggressive lines that you know are to that group and try to apply it to the friendliest, lovingest gay person. 'Cause that's not the case."
You can listen to the track below if you've got the stomach for it — you can even download it for free! Or you could just head over to your nearest church and beat up some old ladies. Since we know that's what you'd really rather be doing than listening to this prophet's harsh truth.