2017 Pride season is on the horizon, so, once again, I wanna help you “allies” be a little less terrible.
With all the mess surround president Drumpf (and there’s way too much to keep up with), one of the big topics is his ties with Vladimir Putin and Russia. For those unaware of said ties, I don’t feel like giving an overview and you’re likely reading this from a device that has Google. But basically, some of the popular chosen responses to the connection between the two has been something to the tune of:
Now, look…the intent is clear and I get it. Trump is known to be less-than-enlightened when it comes to LGBTQ people, and Putin? Well, duh. So, of course, the “logical” thing would be to would be to insinuate that they must be a couple, because that’s long been the go-to for most “allies” (and even some Gay people, to be honest). On the surface, it seems helpful. It even might seem funny. But simply put? If you’re purporting to be an “ally” of ours, stop doing this bullshit.
First of all, if we know that Putin and Trump are two people that carry antagonistic attitudes towards Gay men and other LGBTQ people, on a good day, don’t you think it would only serve to further endanger us by insinuating that homophobic people are Gay? Don’t you think that would just drive them to resent Gay people even more? Perhaps consider that, aside from the fact that it does nothing to reverse to effects of anti-Gay legislation, it could serve to embolden their policies against us that much more.
Not to mention that the whole “homophobes are just closeted gay people” trope is problematic, in and of itself. It creates this implication that Gay people are responsible for our own oppression, which gives cishet homophobes an easy out. It insulates the issue of homophobia to Gay men, ourselves, which disrupts much-needed inspection of the patriarchal systems that are actually maintaining homophobia. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe some homophobes are closet cases, but that’s nowhere near the extent of the issue. On top of being inaccurate, it’s a lazy oversimplification of a complex, systemic problem.
Also, and maybe most importantly, what does it say about your “allyship” and how you view Gay people, that you think Homosexuality or femininity in men is something that could be used to insult people that you dislike? Fact of the matter is, in this patriarchal system that we live in, one of the worst things that you can call a man is “Gay” (another rant for another day), and I feel like a lot of y’all who use these insults absolutely know that. How is it affirming to me as a Gay man that you would treat my Gayness as the butt of your joke against your opposition? If Homosexuality, in and of itself, is the punchline, then how is that not homophobic?
“Allyship” for us is simply a matter of affirming our humanity and right to exist as our true selves…dassit. But taking and reinforcing the very anti-Gay tropes that were created by patriarchy & homophobia in the first place? If that’s your idea of support for Gay people, keep it. I’m good.
Just something to think about.
P.S. For the Gays who’ll inevitably respond by claiming I’m too sensitive or trying to explain how satire works (even though you clearly have no clue), I’d recommend raising your standards and loving yourselves a bit more. And that’s about all I got for ya.
Liberals don't have the spine to get tough w/ conservatives politically, but spouting homophobia at them is perfectly fine for you, huh? 🙃🙃🙃
— Let Him Eat Cakes (@angryblackhoemo) May 2, 2017
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