Monica Roberts

Yes. Perez, You ARE a Representative of the Gay Community

Filed By Monica Roberts | April 23, 2009 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media, Politics, The Movement
Tags: gay marriage, GLBT issues, media, Monica Roberts, Perez Hilton

perez hilton.jpgI'm not a representative of the gay community, in the same way that being Cuban, I'm not representative of the Latino community.

I just speak for myself. And I'm Perez Hilton, Rick Sanchez. I can be offensive. I don't have to be politically correct. I can call her the B-word.

Perez Hilton, April 2009

One of the major errors of the GLBT community is they continue to forget that once you declare that you're gay or transition, you are a minority and the old "rugged individualist" rules no longer apply to you.

As a matter of fact, in the Houston GLBT community we used to have signs posted in many GLBT clubs that stated:

What I do reflects on you
What you do reflects on me
What WE do reflects on the ENTIRE gay community.

It's something we already know in the African-American community, but it reminded people of the fact that whether you like it or not, the parent society will look at you as a representative of the marginalized community and your behavior better be on point lest you paint the entire community in a negative light.

One the continued problems of this movement and a reason it continues to have PR problems is the consistent failure to realize that you ARE a minority and the rules you USED to operate under are different.

You have to be cognizant of the fact that every GLBT person is a potential ambassador to the community. It's even more important to remember that point when the media spotlight is on you. When the unblinking eye of a camera is on or a tape recorder is running for a print interview, at that moment you are a representative of the GLBT community.

And as a former employee of GLAAD, Hilton should know that better than anyone.

carrie prejean2.jpgYeah, what Carrie Prejean said was jacked up on many levels. I was even more pissed off about the "in my country" comment that got lost in this dustup over her opinion on same-gender marriage.

You had a perfect poster child for bigotry right here, but Perez Hilton fracked it up by arrogantly going too far with his criticism of Ms. Prejean.

Calling her a "dumb b***h" was out of line. You do not have the right as testosterone-based lifeform, be you gay, straight or trans to call any woman the b-word. Hilton then compounded the mistake by arrogantly stating on an international network the next day that you have the right to be offensive. I sincerely doubt you'd feel the same way if someone called you the derogatory terms for a Latino or the f-word.

That was Grade A stupid.

You also forgot the element of race that's always bubbling under the surface in American life. A Latino publicly calling a White woman the b-word ain't gonna fly.

09Miss USA finalists.jpg
Perez Hilton played right into the meme of the "selfish gay male," because he grossly overreacted instead of blasting her for the comment without being offensive, then backing off and letting her get justifiably whacked in the court of public opinion.

But because he didn't, Prejean now has a plausible argument she can peddle to the Faux watching sheeple that the "mean gay blogger" cost me the pageant, and Hilton's reprehensible antics have now turned Carrie Prejean into an aggrieved poster child for the Reichers to use as a baton to beat the community with instead of the inarticulate bigot she really is.

Gee thanks Perez, way to go.

The bottom line is that your actions, positively or negatively, DO have an effect on the entire gay community, even if you don't think so.

(Crossposted at TransGriot)

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Yes, yes, yes, yes. You can't go on teevee to be the face of same-sex marriage for a week and then claim that you're just acting as an individual representing no one.

Were I to appear on television and to denounce Perez Hilton as "another douche of a misogynistic gay man" you can be sure that Lesbians would all get tarred in the fallout.

Great Post!

Perez's comments following the pageant were actually much more ignorant and offensive than those of Ms. California. His actions were petty and immature. But I'm still trying to understand why he has a platform, I mean really - why are people paying attention to him?

because his misogynistic remarks are fodder for the Right's grist mill and weapons that will be used against us.

I'd suggest a ball gag but we'd probably see a video of him squealing with delight as part of the next NOM ad....

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 24, 2009 8:08 AM

Thank you Monica. As always perception is reality. I would maintain that the dunce is on television because...he is an entertaining clown...with a scandalous name... for the straights who would like to believe all GLBT persons are some version of him.

Anthony in Nashville | April 24, 2009 10:22 AM

I can't stand it when people with a high public profile claim "I only represent myself" when in most cases their popularity is due to people accepting them as a "community representative."

Chitown Kev | April 24, 2009 2:32 PM

Let me play devil's advocate for a minute.

Y'all sound like Mattachinists.

I distinctly remember listening to a pre-hajj Malcolm X speech that I can't quote him exactly but the insult connected the smell of a dog to a hypothetical white man's mother, I'd have to go look that speech up.

And yes, there were people that were embarrased by Malcolm X acting like that at the time, even if they understood where he was coming from.

Given time and life experiences, Malcolm X changed and became more "presentable" and "acceptable" in many respects.

So even though Hilton, yes, embarrassed the gay community, how quick have we been to say he's a "dunce," a "clown," and a "dumb bitch."

If his appearence on Larry King was any indicaton, he could develop into a good spokesman for our cause. Let's give him a chance.

After all, maybe he doesn't represent the entire community, but he is one of us. And maybe, just maybe, he does represent a corner in many of our minds.

Possibly, Kevin,
If we can get him to stop referring to women as Bitches and c*nts.
Til then, may he fade off to some richly deserved punishment by being trapped in an elevator full of radfemles's

Perez Hilton did not embarass me at all. I am well aware he is one person. I disagree with this collective responsibility because it is parcelling people into subgroups that create the problem you seem to be attempting to address. It appears that straight people have no allegiance to our equality or white people need not bother thinking of any minority issue because it is not who they are according to you. More importantly, i am not going to set out to destroy the freedom of speech Perez Hilton has in responding to the original menace you seem to be giving a lighter pass too. I find your stategy in dealing with this just more divisiveness. One truth is that she and perez agree that skinny women with fake tits parading around in their underwear is just fine and dandy. Perez Hilton does not reflect me on that front either.

The post was about Perez Hilton. There are enough people talking about Carrie Prejean.

The facts are that Perez overreacted to her jacked up comment. He does not have the right to call any woman the b-word, nor does he get a pass for doing so.

You are always looked at as a rep of your community whether you want to admit that or not.

The United States is NOT a post racial nation, and the sooner you deal with that fact the sooner we can tackle the issues that cause the race based drama in the first place.

If you weren't embarassed by this then go back in the closet. His actions cannot be justified and don't help the tolerance push. Doesn't matter if he is gay or cuban or a blogger. Just because someone is white, heterosexual or Republican doesn't give you the right to treat him or her with crudeness. Look at the new face of gay men on tv - a screaming Perez Hilton calling a woman "bit**". Good luck with that.
Double standards never work.

"every GLBT person is a potential ambassador to the community," says a writer for the website on which I got skewered for saying that the veneration of porn stars isn't good PR for the gay community.

Chitown Kev | April 25, 2009 6:52 PM

It's not so much denouncing Perez Hilton's comments that I mind.

Monica is (unfortunately) correct about the importance of being aware of how the majority receives and, to an large extent, creates minority representatives and (as an African American) I have always deeply resented that expectation by both the majority and the minority.

And really, I could give a rat's ass about the majority.

For minorities, however, I have long observed that it tends to produce a weird sort of group think, leaving very little room for individuality other than what is conducted in our segregated "safe spaces" (e.g.the bar, the church, the juke joint). Sometimes it means that the group spokesperson actually speaks for the group without the acknowledgement that the thoughts and opinions of the group can be diverse.

It can dovetail into what is an "acceptable" African American or an "acceptable" gay or lesbian or transgendered person and all to be submitted for the majority's approval. And individuality can be erased.

It can be erased in such a way that I can be called a "gay uncle tom" on a supposedly liberal blog (I will never forget that shit and all for having a different position). Or having other gay guys (including a former boyfriend) that are aghast that I would want to watch a college football game with a couple of straight guys. Or a cousin (straight) that was shocked that I would dare to criticize Barack Obama for his choice of Rick Warren.

And a lot of times, in my opinion, that very pressure to conform to the "community standards" can reinforce the very oppression that members of a minority group seek to escape from.