Apologizing for Gay Slurs

Yet another celebrity creature is apologizing for a gay slur.

I almost don’t want to link to the article in question, because, well, it happens often enough that who it is this week, doesn’t even matter to the discussion.

“I have lots of XYZ friends” is often the lament offered as proof that the person at issue isn’t really prejudiced, they just didn’t think before they spoke.

Perhaps it’s time for people to consider that careless and thoughtless speech is revealing of your character. It speaks to lazy thinking and self absorption above all else, but I do not believe that it necessarily reveals any prejudice on the part of the speaker.

Unless you are Mel Gibson, because seriously, that level of conspiracy paranoia and historical anti-semitism runs deep, although, I was always mystified why Gibson’s “sugartits” comment to the female officer went unremarked upon in the media. Jew bashing is appalling but blatant sexism is apparently still okay.

I just don’t think that it serves the gay community or the cause of equality when GLAAD issues hand slapping against every celebrity who’s careless with words. Especially calling for someone to be fired, because unless the person is in a position of authority and trust over other people, it’s an extreme reaction.

Celebrities are not responsible for the safety and well being of anyone – however, politicians, the courts, schools, employers – these people are responsible – have a fiduciary duty in fact – towards other people who are vulnerable and for whom bigoted attitudes go a long way to undermining and harming people.

People say dumb things, forget where they are, that the microphone is on and that they aren’t with their friends who knows that they are decent and non-bigotted.

We need to let them apologize for stupidity and all move on. Frankly, it’s far more serious to deal with politicians who have the ability to create and sign legislation into law, and policing the language of celebrities, doesn’t help equality. It just ends up seeming insecure and whiney.

Vigilance, but with a eye on the larger goals.

We need to start distinguishing between lazy thoughtlessness, for example “That’s so gay” and things like Mel Gibson says – “the ass is for shitting.” Something that’s not even true of straight people, never mind the revealing of his homophobia in a manner he expected to be applauded and taken as normal.

Does the speaker beleive that what they are saying is what other people think – like somehow, saying bigotted things is somehow brave, bold or honest.

When really, most people who assert that they are Telling It Like It Is are really saying how they would like it to be, which is generally unpleasant for any group of people they don’t like and don’t think that the rest of the people should tolerate.

I think that might be the most horrifying idea, that we should have to tolerate Them.

When I look at the last half of the above line, the idea that anyone would think that any group of people is so loathsome that even co-existance isn’t a given, that effort must be made to tolerate them in the midst of all of humanity, why do Those People have to be included….

Honestly, I don’t get it. I do not get disliking or fearing groups – or individuals of said groups – because they are different appearing or acting or dressing or behaving.

I don’t understand why some people are so bothered that other people live and think differently than they do. Conformity is the antitheses of humanity that is so adaptive to every environmental niche, with widely divergent cultures and traditions, why does any one have to be better?

There seems to be so little happiness in the world, how can anyone begrudge anyone for finding happiness?

 

10 thoughts on “Apologizing for Gay Slurs

  1. “When I look at the last half of the above line, the idea that anyone would think that any group of people is so loathsome that even co-existance isn’t a given, that effort must be made to tolerate them in the midst of all of humanity, why do Those People have to be included….”

    It is very hard for my mind to wrap around this type of thinking. I don’t think I will ever understand such hate and intolerance. If everyone could work on acceptance of others who may be different than you or think different than you, life would be much more rewarding.

  2. Our society places serves up celebrities on a silver platter and puts them up on pedestals. We seem to forget, though, that they are just like the rest of us. Bigoted, hypocritical, corruptible, etc. I no longer get surprised by their bullshit. Lots of us can be secure in our beliefs without resorting to flaming assholeness like Mel Gibson. He believes in the Bible? Much of what is in that contradictory text preaches tolerance

  3. Someone once told me it was “disturbing” that I didn’t accept Jesus as my lord and savior. Really? It doesn’t disturb me that you do, so why should you care that I don’t.

  4. I worked with children with extreme emotional difficulties for over a year-kids diagnosed with schizophrenia, or even as having sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies. They used the “that’s so gay” thing and we talked about it and it’s possible consequences. They understood, and I never heard them say it again.
    It’s unbelievable that we can teach extremely disturbed kids this, but fully grown, “normal” adults can’t get a clue.

    • I think that the difference is that the kids are making an effort to fit in
      and people who already not only belong, but are in a sphere where the normal social rules don’t apply
      they have no incentive to be thoughtful or consider the implications of their words and deeds

      which, makes me wonder who the real sociopaths are

  5. Wow, great post. Lots to consider here. The ‘I have lots of XYZ friends’ statement hit me first, as I dated a black man in redneck NW Florida in the early eighties. We heard that shite a lot, and at first it was okay, but with repetition it became obvious that the speaker was indeed racist and trying to convince themselves that they weren’t.
    Totally agree with the sugartits comment. I would have punched him…which goes into my third point of opinion. Over-reaction to an issue is the best way to get publicity for the issue. Of course it appears to cheapen the whole fight, but it is a proven method. Scream about silly things, and attention will be given to the main issue. Humans as a species just aren’t advanced enough to take people or problems on a case by case basis, and its hard on those of us who do think that way.

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