Dear White Gay Men, Stop Turning Yourselves Into Heroes

Discussion in 'LGBT News and Events' started by OckyDub, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. OckyDub

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    Dear White Gay Men,

    Well what a wild couple days you’ve had. When recently-elected Alabama Senator Doug Jones was sworn in to the US Senate, you came across a photo of his openly gay son Carson Jones staring blankly at Mike Pence. And with a bar set lower than Precious’ self-esteem, thanks to you he’s now some sort of LGBT hero. By next week you’ll be saying that Carson Jones threw the first brick at Stonewall.

    It’s time for you to put down the poppers for a second and refocus.

    I’m not saying that photo isn’t amusing, I definitely chuckled but it wasn’t until you all took to social media calling the picture “everything,” “iconic,” and “an act of resistance” that I took issue. The most popular tweet about this photo calls it the “photo of the decade.”The “photo of the decade” is this photo of a white gay man looking at Mike Pence the exact same way gay men look at everyone? Honestly, it’s not even the photo of the week — trust me, I opened Scruff just this afternoon.

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    The HRC even said “We are all Carson Jones,” which makes sense since the HRC is pretty much just white gay men.

    Here’s the thing about white gay culture: you guys have this remarkable ability to make any man who happens to be white, gay, and alive a hero — and a lot of times he doesn’t even have to be gay * stares directly at Timothee Chalamet *!

    The photo is just a photo, but the reaction to it brings into focus more problematic issues. It highlights how little you are fighting for equality and how much you are fighting for your own privilege.

    As you all know, the LGBTQ+ community suffers oppression from majority culture in a variety of ways. A lot of these miscarriages of justice get overlooked and underreported. Trans women of color are dying at alarming rates so you can have wedding cakes, so it seems a little strange to spend time giving praise to this white gay man for a blank stare. To call staring aggressively at a homophobic Vice President an “act of resistance” is a slap in the face to those who have fought and continue to fight on behalf of all of us. The most obvious problem with this is that blank stares are typically the extent your activism.

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    It’s no secret that QPOC have contributed a lot to LGBTQ+ culture, from voguing to ball culture to all the terms you’ve stolen and still use incorrectly. Alvin Ailey revolutionized modern dance. James Baldwin wrote queer criticism that has inspired generations of gay men while also being a leader during the Civil Rights Movement. And yet, in spite of all the hard work QPOC have put in and sacrificed, we rarely, if ever, receive our due. Well, the bill is here and it’s time you pay up.

    For the LGBTQ+ movement to make strides in addressing its own demons and fully liberate our community as a whole, this near-canonizing amongst you of other white gay men for merely existing needs to be curbed. To have lived and died fighting in the name of queer liberation is the only option for many QPOC, as our intersectionality forces us to be vigilant in our battle against oppression both within the LGBTQ+ community and outside of it. Outside of the LGBTQ+ community we are n**ers, spcs etc. The problem is that inside of the LGBTQ+ community, we are also those things. We’re told we’re undesirable but it’s “just a preference” and then excluded from the narrative, while you whitewash our cultural contributions and present them as your own. Enough.

    Your complacency and apathy to the struggles above highlight much of the underlying issue, which is that your activism is firmly grounded in privilege. Your advocacy only extends as far what’s important to you, not the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. What you wanted was the right to marry to save on taxes and reap its benefits personally, not because it benefited the entire community. The entire gay rights movement has somehow posited this idea that if white gay men win, everyone wins. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when you actively takes steps to make sure that QPOC lose.

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    You want your Pride parades uninterrupted and your wedding cakes bought with ease because, as white men in a society structured to benefit you, you’ve been taught that everything should be yours. Your homosexuality has provided an obstacle to that entitlement and you’ll do almost anything to get it back. Endlessly hyping up other white gay men like Carson Jones and praising narratives that represent you is the way to receive access to the level of white male privilege you so desperately desire, while those around you continue to suffer. You should expect more from yourself and QPOC should feel no problem demanding it from you. I certainly don’t.

    When it comes to Carson Jones, you should all take a beat from stalking his Instagram to remember that he’s still from Alabama. I wouldn’t put all my Truvada pills in that bottle just yet. We’ve still gotta make sure his Just A Preference rewards card isn’t activated, he’s not a misogynist, and that he doesn’t side with Jamie in The Last Five Years. That is, if you don’t see those dealbreakers as perks.

    Conditionally yours,
    Phillip Henry

    Phillip Henry is a writer, comedian, advocate, and performer in New York City. His writing can be seen in various publications including Teen Vogue and Mic. He hosts a weekly LGBTQ comedy variety show The Tea Party in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan.

    Dear White Gay Men, Stop Turning Yourselves Into Heroes
     
  2. BlackguyExecutive

    BlackguyExecutive Former Diplomat, Current Opportunity Seeker
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    I agree with the article and I think the photo is awesome. The gay side eye is epic. You know the Vice President left and went to the prayer room.
     
  3. NikR

    Bae Material The 1000 Daps Club

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    Only a matter of time before they find a Sean Cody look-alike porn star for the dude. Oh, wait...
     
  4. TheGrotesqueLestat

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    So why was he there?
    Besides he is not even looking at Mike Pence!
    :fakenews:
     
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