Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hero of the Week: SIDNEY STARR

Admirable. Courageous. Noble. Strong. These are all descriptions of a true hero. On the first week of this blog's Hero of the Week, a woman by the name of Sidney Starr exemplifies what it means to be heroic. Starr is a model, entertainer and is soon to grace your television screen with her irresistible presence. Aside from her physical beauty, Starr's charisma and talent radiates from within. If all that weren't enough, her bravery in the face of intolerance and her patience with all the bullshit in the entertainment industry has set her apart from the rest. 

Another facet of Starr's identity is that she's a transgender woman. Although there have been several recent strides with trans visibility in America (i.e. the success of Laverne Cox), society is still consistently disappointing when it comes to the treatment of the transgender community. Starr is presumably all too familiar with the criticism and ignorance that trans people face today. In recent years, Starr has been accused of ruining a male rapper's career simply because of photographs they took together and petty gossip. In all the interviews with Starr that I've seen, the interviewers are generally accusatory, disrespectful, inappropriate, and sometimes bigoted.

In one distastefully offensive interview, the nationally syndicated The Breakfast Club in 2013 made a mockery of Starr's transgender identity by asking her questions regarding her genitals, mixing up her chosen pronoun, pointing out her "male attributes," and even criticizing her Christian beliefs. DJ Envy was primarily fueling this transphobic encounter by saying that Starr was not a real woman and that she was "bamboozling" men just by being herself. In a related interview with Charlamagne Tha God (let's call him by his less ridiculously pompous name -- Lenard), Starr was referred to as a "tranny" and a gay man. 
Sadly, Lenard and DJ Envy's transphobic ignorance is not original or unique. They largely represent the mindset of today's society. I'm ashamed of how so many cisgender people feel the need to delegitimize another person's gender identity and belittle those who may not live up to their strict expectations of heteronormativity. The majority of cisgender men feel threatened by Starr because they find her attractive and they're fearful of the stigma of being romantically involved with a trans person. This perpetuation of stupidity makes it seem as if being attracted to a transgender woman is like a fetish or comparable to homosexual feelings. Well, being fearful of something is not an adequate excuse for being an asshole. 

Despite all of the bullshit thrown her way, Starr carries herself with grace, confidence and pride. From an outsider's perspective, she seems unafraid of adversity and determined to make are passions in life come to fruition. With a sharp tongue and a daring sense of sexual expression, Starr is unapologetically true to herself. I hope to see her success flourish in the coming year with her reality TV endeavors on VH1 (produced by Tyra Banks). Sidney, thank you for being a hero. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Nadiya Nonsense: Homophobia on "Survivor"

For the majority of my life, watching Survivor on CBS has been an annual family tradition. Each year there's the villain that everybody loves to hate. This year, though, it only took one episode for someone to get on my damn nerves. Twin sisters, Nadiya and Natalie Anderson, have been on the reality TV scene for a few years because of The Amazing Race and they have always been able to get a good laugh out of me. Until two weeks ago, I thought they were probably the most amusing duo on any reality game TV show. Sadly, their presence on the 29th season of Survivor has been nothing but aggravating. 

On the Coyopa tribe, Nadiya was quick to start making alliances and she immediately warmed up to the only gay man on her tribe, Josh. Like most basic straight girls (something I've experienced countless times since early childhood), Nadiya decided to inform Josh that she was "counting him as a girl." She opened her big mouth again in Tribal Council by saying, "the gay guy - we're already counting him as a girl." This type of ignorance is so elementary. The idea that a gay man who may not exude a forced macho persona is not really a man at all. It's this type of stupidity that makes my eyes ache from rolling too far in the back of my head. Although I realize that her intentions were probably not malicious, that does not mean she shouldn't apologize for stereotyping somebody on national TV and denying a gay MAN's gender identity because he does not live up to societal standards of masculinity.  

So like the provoking Twitter fiend that I am, I tweeted at Nadiya expressing that I did not appreciate her homophobic comments, and that I was pleased with her getting voted off the island on the first episode (too harsh?). To that she responded exactly like an unapologetic ignoramus would: 


She also tweeted this following our encounter: 

Also, she retweeted this moronic tweet that was sent to me by some random troll: 

Meanwhile, people actually agreed with me on this issue. Check out the retweets and favorites: 

How is it possible that this type of stupidity still exists in the world? Being a gay MAN, I have a right to be offended by this perpetuation of homophobia on television. Her original intensions aside, how does this girl justify her blatant disrespect for another person? She seems to have no remorse or understanding of the weight of what she said on Survivor. Do not put me and my community in a box, Nadiya. Gay men do not exist to tell you that you're pretty and to go shoe shopping with you, okay? The problem with Nadiya's statements is that it inadvertently could have ostracized Josh from the game. The game is often divided between male and female alliances. Nadiya stripped him of his "maleness" very publicly in the game, but he would never really fit in with an "all girls alliance" since he is not, in fact, a female. 

And just to pour salt in the open wound, Nadiya's behavior on Twitter only made her appear more ignorant than ever. What can I say? Some people are not open to a productive dialogue. What's lacking here is respect. By being an unfiltered airhead, Nadiya made an ass of herself on national television. She deserves every ounce of criticism she gets for this debacle. 

If you're a gay man who is as fed up as I am with this bullshit, please feel free to tweet at Nadiya (@NadiyaaAnd). Also, please comment if you agree or disagree with my feelings about this issue. I want to hear from YOU

Here's what some other gay MEN feel about Nadiya's nonsense: 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

10 WTF Religious Practices

This is a list of ten religious practices in the United States that will NEVER make sense to me. Say it with me, "WTF?!"

1.) Visits from Jehovah Witnesses 
You're always very friendly, but please understand my disinterest in everything you have to say. By the way, if there are only a limited amount of spots in Heaven, why are you trying to lessen your chances by spreading the news?! 

2.) Televangelism 
 What scares me most is that people buy this bullshit (literally out of their pockets)! Joel Osteen's followers and U.S. taxpayers are financially supporting his elegant lifestyle. Oh, haven't you seen his $10.5 million mansion? 

3.) Bris Ceremonies 
This is a Jewish custom where an infant gets circumcised during a celebration. Personally, I'm not a fan of genital mutilation. If I haven't scarred you enough, adults can also choose to have a bris later in life. 

4.) Faith Healing 
Reverend Peter Popoff (in the picture above) "heals" people with his touch and prayers. He also sells Miracle Spring Water to help with your financial troubles. The next time I see this crook's picture, I hope it's a mugshot. 

5.) Christmas 
Of course the U.S. loves a holiday that celebrates American capitalism and wealth. Wait . . . what does this have to do with Christ, though? I hesitate to even call this a religious practice anymore. Unless, of course, you call knocking out an old lady during a mall frenzy Christ-like. 

6.) Islamic Prayer (Adhān) 
If you say you're nightly prayers, fine. But praying five times a day is excessive! I thought the Christian god was demanding. Allah is a hard-ass! Or is she just really needy? (Let's assume Allah is a busty black woman. Why not, right?)  

7.) Being Mormon 
From those funky "temple garments" to the belief that Earth is only 7,000 years old, the Mormons take the crazy cake. I'm hoping Jesus returns to America to pick up the Mormons and take them all to Kolob where they belong. 

8.) Smudging 
Many traditional Native Americans and those who practice Neopaganism often burn sage and other herbs to purify the body or a location (e.g. a new home). The reason I chose smudging is because I've seen it being done and it's so fucking bizarre. You'll rid your house of spirits AND set off the smoke alarms.  

9.) Being Slain by the Spirit 
Human psychology is so fucked up. The woman in this clip is "feeling the Holy Spirit" and physically reacting to it. People jump around, convulse, and even collapse to the ground. I'm neither convinced nor impressed by this portrayal of foolishness. Enough is enough, people! 

10.) Snake-Handling Churches 
I don't care what your reason is! If you handle a venomous snake in the name of the Lord, you deserve what the gentlemen is getting above. I'm at my wits end with you religious folk. You're giving the human race a bad name! 

If you have something to contribute to this list, I challenge you to put it in the comment section below. I will respond and also love you forever.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sh*t Republicans Say About THE GAYS

     The overall sentiments of the GOP towards gay rights (and homosexuals in general) include disapproval, disdain and dangerous abhorrence. Their objective is to diminish our status as American citizens, dehumanize our identities, shame us for our sexualities, silence our ever-growing voices, discredit our abilities as employees and parents, and to teach young people that THE GAYS are abnormal and should never be tolerated. I'm here to spit in the face of any Republican who dares to speaks down to me or my community simply because we do not rise to their standards of heteronormativity. I'm here to fly my rainbow flag and say, "Fuck your traditional marriage. Fuck your declaration of war on my pride. Fuck your whining, 'religious freedom' arguments that you use to cover up your bigotry." I'm not on this green Earth to be "tolerated" or liked. Your Bible will not deter me from pursuing my happiness. Most Republicans want the federal government out of our pockets, but they have no qualms about the feds jumping into my bed (sorry for the imagery). You object to my marriage? FUCK your objection! Fuck you, GOP!
     Whew! That introduction got a little heated. Please excuse the excessive use of "fuck," and please know that each one was meant with all my heart. Here are just a few examples of Republicans talking shit about gay people. Heed my warning and have a barf bag near by.  

Rick Perry
“You don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”
Governor of Texas (R) speaking to his concerned Christian-base in his 2011 presidential campaign commercial about ending Obama’s “war on religion.” 

Michele Bachmann
“There’s nothing about gays in [the Constitution] . . . the thing that I think is getting a little tiresome is the gay community have so bullied the American people and they have so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them and they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere. Well, not with the Constitution you don’t.”
Congresswoman from Minnesota rambles on to Lars Larson at CPAC in 2014 on how the gay community is “bullying” politicians into supporting gay rights.

Dr. Marcus Bachmann
“We have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. And just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to go down that road. That’s what’s called a ‘sinful nature.’ And we have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings to move into the action steps."
Michele Bachmann's closet case of a husband speaks about same-sex attraction on an interview with a Christian radio station in (2010). 
Mary Helen Sears
“Satan uses homosexuality to attack the living space of the Holy Spirit… If the GOP continues down this trend and stand for perversions and the daily social fad, the GOP will be truly dead and Satan will have had his day.”
Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party’s 1st district posted this rant in April on the Schoolcraft County GOP website.
Pat Robertson
“I think the homosexual community has put these Draconian laws on the books that prohibit people from discussing this particular infliction . . . You know what they do in San Francisco, some of the gay community, they want to get people so if they got ‘the stuff’ they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger . . . It’s that kind of vicious stuff which would be to the equivalent of murder.” 
Chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network and fresh-faced host of the 700 Club speaks on how THE GAYS try to intentionally spread AIDS using jewelry. He also ran against Bush Sr. on the Republican ballot in the 1988 presidential election.
E.W. Jackson
These people are out to transform the culture. And they believe that sexuality is how everybody ought to be defined. And that means sexual freedom, sexual license to do whatever you want to do. And I know their people say, well, ‘It’s unfair to associate homosexuality with pedophilia or some of these other previsions.’ But I believe that there is a direct connection, because what they really want is absolute sexual freedom.”
Unsuccessful Republican Party Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2013 election makes a compelling argument by miraculously speaking straight out of his ass.  
Ann Coulter
 “I not only want Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell for the military, I want DADT for all of society. Just give me a week where we’re not talking about the GAYS.” 
Social and political commentator and the HBIC (Head B*tch In Charge) of the Conservative Crackpot Committee speaks on The Joy Behar Show in 2011.

If you're as fed up with this conservative homophobia as I am, please comment below.
Provide us with another Right-Wing, homophobic quote. Trust me, there are many more to choose from! 
Ta-ta for now!