Alex Blaze

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Filed By Alex Blaze | April 27, 2009 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Carrie Prejean, gay friends, Miss California, Miss USA, rex wockner

Carrie Prejean said to Rex Wockner:

I have a lot of friends that are gay.

I'm beginning to think that, in order to make more gay friends, I have to switch teams. Obviously the homophobes are the ones with all the gay friends.

Anyone think we could start a gay dating service based on this observation? How about

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It's amusing, yes, but it's also indicative of a trend in minority oppression - the conception among dominant groups concerned with political correctness that having a "token gay friend" or black friend or muslim friend or whatever can protect them from allegations of discrimination. It's interesting what's behind this, socially and culturally. It does reflect a kind of cultural "splitting" - a person is either all good (not racist, not homophobic, etc) or all bad, and it is impossible for people to harbor bias against some but not others. That leads to the defense "I have lots of gay friends" or "some of my best friends are gay" which, veracity aside, is telling in that it is meant to show that the person in question holds enough tolerance to be friends with 1 or more members of a target group, and thus must be free of bias to an acceptable standard. It completely neglects (because it's based on) the fact that it is easy to tolerate or accept one or a few people in a target group, especially if there is a personal relationship, without generalizing those positive feelings to the whole group, especially if cultural messaging defines that group as a dissimilar "other." Think of the people talking about Obama 'transcending race' (of course, they mean transcending blackness - rarely do people say that a white leader transcends whiteness - thanks to Tim Wise for revealing this nugget to me) - that's often a surprisingly accurate appraisal of those attitudes: he's an educated, inoffensive multiracial man and it's easy to separate him mentally from, say, impoverished urban blacks kept down by institutionalized oppression.

Interesting things to think about.

David in Houston | April 27, 2009 10:19 PM

When she said she had gay friends, I immediately thought she was lying. She might know a few gay guys that do her hair and nails. But I doubt that she's actually friends with them. Based on her homophobic answers to the questions, you can bet that she would have asked one of her gay friends why they chose that lifestyle. You can also bet that if she did ask them, their response would have been that they didn't choose it. I wouldn't surprise me one bit that someone at the church coached her to say that to gain sympathy.

How many people have said "I'm not racist, I have black friends?" It's the same way with GLBT. Now think about "I'm not a homophobe, I have gay friends", or "I'm not a transphobe, I have transgender friends", in that same way. About the same, isn't it? If you have friends, you have friends, they don't have hyphens or qualifiers, you're either friends or you are not.

You know, and a lot of these people do really have friends who are gay, etc., but business is business. Like John McCain or Rudy G.

Same thing I thought, Polar. "Some of my best friends are [insert minority group]" is the way to pretend to be diverse in your world view while clinging tightly to your own prejudices.

and i agree entirely with the original premise: maybe i need to be on the straight team to find more gay friends. i'm lacking something in my life and that's gay friends; so since all these quoted straight people have gay friends, maybe alex is right!

not just straight, you have to go out in public and say something silly like "homosexuality is as bad as rape or incest." Then you'll have lots of gay friends.

Friends don't talk down to their friends, so I seriously doubt Carrie actually has any gay friends.