Category: hate

Forbes Promotes Gay Shame; Mean Girls Racism Big Brother; American Idol Racism Lawsuit

Forbes Promotes Gay Shame

I often talk about how shame plays such a huge part in the lives of gay people. And even though we’ve come so far in the past few years that same brand of shame still continues with publishers like Forbes. And the kind of shame I’m talking about now isn’t something that always registers as quickly as it should…I would bet most of the people who read what happened this week with Forbes and the President of Ireland didn’t even pick up on it.

According to this article in Huff Po, Forbes published an article about the President of Ireland and they said he was gay in the article. They were wrong. The President of Ireland isn’t gay. But instead of just posting a simple retraction, Forbes posted a fucking *apology* to readers, not the President. They will allegedly contact the President of Ireland in private and apologize to him for calling him gay. Obviously, they feel the need to go out of their way because he’s not gay.

 The article, posted Tuesday by Ireland-based blogger David Monagan, called Higgins an “acknowledged homosexual.”

Higgins, a poet and intellectual who supports gay rights, was elected as Ireland’s ceremonial head of state in 2011. One candidate he defeated, Sen. David Norris, is Ireland’s foremost campaigner for gay rights and famously open about his homosexuality.

It’s important to pay attention to the way this is worded. Forbes called him an “acknowledged homosexual.” That phrase itself is an insult, like “practicing homosexual.” But they didn’t call him a car thief, a murderer, a bank robber, or a rapist. They didn’t call him anything that should have warranted an apology. They said he was gay. All they had to do was retract what they’d done and move forward. No apology needed, because gay isn’t something negative and it isn’t a crime.  

But the fact that they felt the need to issue an apology, as if there is something inherently wrong with being gay in a general sense, shows how Forbes and other media outlets are constantly promoting gay shame and most of the general public doesn’t even know it, including gay people who are still struggling with issues and not out of the closet. I know that’s the kind of article I wouldn’t have even noticed ten years ago. But now that I’m more aware of how the LGBT community is portrayed in the media, it’s like that proverbial slap in the face. And I think it’s time to start slapping back.

Mean Girls on Big Brother

One of the reasons why I’ve been watching the reality TV show Big Brother since it first aired about eleven or twelve years ago is because it’s interesting to watch how real people interact, and react, in a stressful situation where they are kept hidden from the world and they are competing to win a half a million dollars. Since I started watching BB, I’ve seen everything from people stabbing each other in the back to falling in love. It’s part of the game, it can be highly entertaining and amusing, and the gender politics is fascinating.

But I have never, not in all the years I’ve been watching, seen anything like what’s been happening this season. There is a group of mean girls that rivals anything that’s ever been produced in a film or a book. It’s worse than what I’ve seen in publishing with mean girl book review sites. And these women on BB aren’t just mean girls, they are racist and filled with hate. In most cases they don’t even know it. Here’s just a tip of what’s been happening with these mean girls. If you do a simple search for “Big Brother 15 Mean Girls” you will come up with tons of other articles and forums with people who agree with me. In fact, America got a chance to vote someone off this week, and they chose the meanest, racist girl in the house. Unfortunately, she figured a way out and she’s still there.

The plastics are up for eviction. And by plastics I hope you have watched the movie Mean Girls. Aaryn is Regina Goerge, Kaitlin as Gretchen Weiners and GinaMarie as the dumb Karen. Will the Queen Bee get stunned by getting voted out? Perhaps, this week has been fetch.

The most interesting thing this season about the mean girls and the racist remarks is that they’ve made hideous slurs against Asian Americans, and the host of Big Brother, Julie Chen, is Asian American. You have to wonder, first, how dumb can these mean girls be? So far, Chen has addressed the issue on her own TV show, but she’s been playing it cool every Thursday night during the live eviction show she hosts. And frankly, while I admire Chen for being professional and taking the high road, it’s getting a little frustrating. Even last night, Chen had a guest on the show who was a previous contestant, Jeff Schroeder. I’ve posted about Jeff Schroeder’s anti-gay remarks in previous seasons. And yet there he was last night, sitting opposite Julie Chen, laughing and joking around about some of the meanest, racist people I think I’ve ever seen on TV, and not a word was mentioned. His anti-gay remarks were never addressed aloud, and since then CBS has continued to promote him.

We’re living in interesting times now. And racism is a huge topic this summer, especially in the African American community thanks to Paula Deen’s racist remarks and thanks to the Zimmerman verdict. And for CBS to ignore what’s been happening on Big Brother with regard to the racism, and to welcome Jeff Schroeder on the show as a guest, is about as insulting to all minorities as what Forbes recently did to the LGBT community. I wonder if the mean girls will be invited back a few years from now if BB is still on TV.

I know Big Brother is only a game. I get that. I know people are expected to do and say things in order to win that they normally wouldn’t do or say in real life. But how far does it go? And how long will it continue before CBS mentions it openly instead of just skirting around the issue. This past week there was an interesting discussion between Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg on The View. Walter’s was promoting her 20/20 special about the new royal baby, and Goldberg said she wasn’t interested in the royal baby. Walters smiled and continued to promote the 20/20 special. The next day I checked the ratings for the 20/20 special and they weren’t very good, so maybe Goldberg had a point? And if TV networks and producers think they can get away with the same thing they did twenty years ago, they’re in for a surprise. Most of us don’t care about the royal baby enough to watch a one hour special. But we do care about racism. And if nothing is mentioned about the racism on Big Brother at all this season, I have a feeling a lot of people like me won’t be watching Big Brother next summer.

American Idol Racism Lawsuit

Whether you agree with this or not, I thought that since racism is a huge topic of discussion right now I should post about it.

“American Idol” is being sued by 10 black former contestants, claiming they were kicked off the show in their respective seasons because of their race, TMZ was the first to report.

I used to watch American Idol faithfully, but then I noticed subtle forms of racism, especially with gay contestants and gay remarks. Simon Cowell used to find it amusing to refer to Ryan Seacrest with snide comments filled with gay innuendo, as if there was something comical…or shameful…about being gay. Cowell thought that was okay to do, and no one ever questioned him. Cowell is a straight man and like most straight men he has the power and the upper hand at all times. Seacrest who is also a straight man laughed it off and ignored the comments. That kind of gay pejorative was the reason we stopped watching. It just wasn’t funny to us, and that spoiled the entire show.

But this issue with American Idol is more complicated than other racial issues I’ve seen. There have been African American contestants who have won American Idol. And there was even a gay contestant who won. So it should be interesting to see how it plays out in court. Frankly, I hope they all at least win a settlement this time, just for the anti-gay comments Cowell used to make to Seacrest. Am I being too politically correct? Probably. But it has to start somewhere.

Emotional Weekend: Cory Monteith; Trayvon Martin; Gay Racism

This weekend I haven’t had time to post much because I’ve been out of the office, but two very significant events happened yesterday that I’ve been thinking about all day today. Although both events are totally unrelated, two young men who had families and loved ones were taken away from this earth far too early, and we’ll never again get to experience the talents Cory Monteith had to share, or the talents Trayvon Martin might have had to share with the world. From what I’ve seen on social media this weekend, both Cory and Trayvon left an emotional impact on many people. More than I think either one of them ever would have realized. I read one facebook update about Trayvon Martin by an author last night that I know truly came from her heart.

But I have always promised that I would never discuss politics, religion, or hot topic issues on this blog, and I’m not going to comment any further on Trayvon Martin. This post is about the tragedy itself, it’s not a political rant where I’m going to scream and shout who was right and who was wrong. In this respect, I agree with the statement President Obama issued:

President Obama called the death of Trayvon Martin a tragedy on Sunday. But after a verdict that sparked charged reactions nationwide, he urged Americans to focus on “calm reflection.”

I’m nobody special. I’m just a small genre author who tries to entertain people as best I can, and I never expect to make billions of dollars or have large publishers knock on my door. But I also don’t believe that any form of violence or discrimination has ever resulted in something positive, and to remain completely silent isn’t right either.

I once read a comment that went like this, paraphrased, “Don’t get into any online flame wars unless you’re willing to go up on that hill and die.” I wish I had been clever enough to come up with that one first. This advice works wonders, however, we all have something in our lives for which we would be willing to go up on that hill and die. And I do understand the emotional outcries that have happened all weekend for Trayvon Martin. For me, I would be willing to go up on that hill and die for anything that involves an LGBT issue, that brand of LGBT discrimination, and the form of racism/abuse gay men and women experience.

Just like any other gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer person in the US, I experience various forms of discrimination and gay racism all the time. Sometimes it’s more obvious, sometimes it’s subtle, and sometimes it comes in the form of assumption. By assumption I mean that people who aren’t gay decide to tell me what it’s like to be gay, as if they know better and that my personal experiences as a gay man mean absolutely nothing to them. One good example I can give deals with a few books I’ve written that have movie tie-in themes. All of the books are my brand of parody, and I’ve posted about this openly so many times I’m just going to link because I would only be repeating myself if I did it again. In other words, my parodies were not taken from bestselling books like Twilight and turned into multi-million dollar bestsellers by big crafty publishers like some books I won’t mention right now. And my books were never taken from gay films with gay content like Brokeback Mountain, or other gay movies, also like some books I won’t mention right now.

When I was growing up there was nothing with gay content at all in the mainstream. For a gay person who liked romance of any kind there were films like Pretty Woman and An Officer and a Gentleman and we made due with what we had because we didn’t have any choices. “They” gave us no choices. And to this day, I’m in my early forties and I still don’t see many gay romances in the mainstream for the entire community to watch. I post about gay films all the time that are trying to get funded through kickstarter. And just look at how many studios turned down the Liberace story. They had to go to HBO. When I was growing up, the majority of the LGBT books released were hard to find if you didn’t live near a small indie bookshop (most of us didn’t), so we didn’t get a chance to read LGBT romances either. I grew up completely void of any romance with even a hint of gay content. And the very few romances out there that had minor gay characters almost always ended up in suicide.

So I not only wanted to tackle a few age old storylines with my books, like Pretty Man with the Cinderella trope in the film Pretty Woman, but also make them lighter, a little humorous, and give them the strong erotic scenes I always thought would add to the parody. I didn’t want it to be a bitter political statement, but I did want to make a statement I thought was important…and still do think is important. But what was intended to be fun and satirical has often turned into a brand of gay racism that I’ve experienced all my life. This is something that someone once said about a parody I wrote:

This isn’t humorous or satirical. Good parodies are clearly commenting on the original author or a touchy current political event in a satirical way, et cetera. In fact, the US Supreme Court ruled that a parody is “the use of some elements of a prior author’s composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author’s work”. This doesn’t seem to be clearly commenting on anything.

That was left by someone who didn’t think one of my books with movie tie-ins was satirical or a parody, which leads me to believe they don’t know much about what it’s like to be gay in America and face discrimination all the time. Or what it was like to grow up in America thirty years ago. I don’t mind people who disagree with me or what I write, and I respect everyone’s opinion completely. However, as a gay man, and as a gay man who has experienced the kind of blunt dismissal almost all gay people have experienced, I happen to think that my social comment by writing gay parodies on straight romances was not only touching on current political events (gay marriage for one), but also past political events that involved the LGBT community long before the term LGBT even originated (the fact that gay men were so closeted and hidden in Take Me Always). And once again, to dismiss me in such a way, and to question my motives as a gay man who has experienced this discrimination first hand is something that bothers me enough to go up on that hill and die.

The list of books I’ve written that parody straight romance movies isn’t that long, at least not compared to books and stories I’ve written that didn’t parody anything. I didn’t want to make this movie thing a career goal, but in the same respect I wanted to make my own political statement by writing those books and telling the mainstream writers and producers that we’re here, too, and that we deserve a movie or book like Pretty Man or An Officer and Gentleman sometimes. They don’t even throw us that proverbial bone unless there’s something highly sensational about the story.

I know some people get what I did, and I thank them an I truly appreciate them for getting it because it validates me as a gay person (not just a gay man: I think we’re all part of the LGBT) who is still surviving inequality just by living in the Commonwealth of PA where gay marriage is not legal. They also know that I never tried to hide the fact that my books were my brand of parody…for a gay audience or for those straight men and women who like to read gay erotic romance. Gay racism, just like ethnic racism, religious racism, and rape culture, does in fact exist all over the world, not just in the US. Sometimes it comes in the form of slamming gay people, sometimes it comes by dismissing them and ignoring them, and sometimes it even comes about by telling them that they are wrong and what they’ve experienced as gay people doesn’t matter.

But I know deep down that anyone else who is gay out there knows what I’m talking about. You know how excited you were when you first watched that Harvey Milk documentary in PBS many years ago, or when you saw a minor gay character in a movie when you didn’t expect it…even if he or she jumped off a bridge in the end. Or how excited you were when Will and Grace came on TV in the 90’s. And you were excited for one reason: you had nothing else with which to identity in the mainstream. The feedback I’ve received from younger gay men and gay men of all ages with the movie tie-in books has been phenomenal. They understood the parody and they even identified with the characters in the books. And that’s the most important thing, and the most cherished thing any writer can expect. It makes the gay racism easier to deal with for those who don’t get it, or are unwilling to acknowledge it.

So this past weekend was very emotional for a lot of people, especially in the LGBT community with the loss of Cory Monteith. Monteith was part of a TV show that broke ground for the LGBT community, even for those who didn’t like the show as much as others. He was, in many ways, the ultimate hero at times on the show. At least he was for me. I don’t watch Glee religiously, but Monteith was one of the main reasons I did watch.

The magnitude of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin has been felt ten times over each time something related to his death has happened in the past year or so. And the most recent event was the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. I’ve seen such hurt and such disappointment it’s hard to write this post. As I stated earlier, one woman author I know wrote something so eloquent I felt a sting in my eye without even realizing it. And I’m so used to racism and discrimination that doesn’t happen often for me.

We have race issues of all kinds in the US. I’m not going to get into other parts of the world because I’m not familiar with them. But we have to continue to work on things here in the US in order to move forward and to make things better for kids of all ethnic backgrounds, including LGBT kids. And once again, I’m going with the President on this one, and I’m not coming from a political place right now. This is coming from the heart:

 We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.

A blogging author I follow who is a straight white male wrote a middle grade book that I read and loved. He recently posted about his book, which included a mixed-race character, and how he thinks we need more mixed race characters in YA and middle grade books. After that one post, he lost more blog followers in one day than he’d ever lost before.

Big Brother 15 Racism Free Pass

Big Brother 15 Racism Free Pass

For the past thirteen years, every summer Tony and I have followed the saga of the Big Brother house guests on CBS. In the earlier days, pre-DVR, we would even bring blank video tapes on vacation with us to Provincetown so we could go back to our hotel room and watch what happened later at night. And BB is actually the only reality show of this nature we have continued to watch over the years. We grew tired of Survivor and American Idol a while ago. And after Donald Trump came out so viciously against gays we gave up on The Apprentice, too.

One of the main reasons I’ve always watched BB is because I find the interactions between the house guests fascinating. The basic premise of the show is to put a group of people together from all walks of life and make them compete in physical and mental competitions for a grand prize of five hundred thousand dollars. Each week, a house guest is voted off the show by his or her peers. It’s amazing to see what people will do for money, and how low they will stoop sometimes, but it’s also amazing to see how they form relationships with each other and how they often support each other. The house guests are not allowed to have any contact with the outside world the entire time they are sequestered in the BB house. In 2001, because the show was aired during the summer, none of the remaining house guests that season even knew about the terrorism attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It was very emotional.

There are always a few things you can expect at the beginning of any BB season opener. And this summer was no different. The host of the show, Julie Chen, always looks amazing, and as the house guests are introduced we see a cross-section of new contestants who represent various segments of the US population. As a side note, it would be nice to see a little diversification sometimes so that all segments of the LGBT community are represented, including house guests that are either transgender or bi-sexual.

In any event, this particular season has turned into a firestorm of racism that’s even shocked me. It includes everything from misogyny to slurs against Asian Americans. And BB is no stranger to hate, as you can see from this former post I wrote in 2011 when a past contestant, Jeff Schroeder, made hate comments against gays.

He made a comment this season about kids books and gay characters in kids books that was probably the dumbest thing I’ve heard on television in years. In this case, he was talking about a character in Harry Potter, Dumbledore.

As far as I know, unless I missed it, Schroeder has yet to apologize for anything he said on the show that was anti-gay. In fact, he’s still faking it and smiling and doing interviews with the new BB 15 cast. He is a straight white male. This is a link to Jeff Schroeder’s anti-gay comments on youtube from 2011. If you do a simple search with his name and “anti-gay” you’ll find many other examples I’m not going to link to here. What’s up with that, CBS?

This particular season of BB, number 15, isn’t even completely underway and so far there have been racist and anti-gay comments that have erupted into one of the biggest online firestorms I’ve seen in a long time.  Aaryn Gries has been fired from her modeling job for racist comments about Asian Americans, Gina Marie Zimmerman has also been fired from her job for making similar comments, and Spencer Clawson’s job is now on the line because of his anti-gay comments and his fondness of the way Hitler made public speeches. You can read about all of them here, with more links. None of the house guests even know about this right now because they have no contact with the outside world in the BB house.

Spencer was one of a handful of contestants who were caught on the “Big Brother” 24-hour live feed making a series of comments. Spencer used gay slurs, and praised Hitler’s speaking abilities, according to Reality Blurred.

A simple search will lead you to all kinds of articles and posts about BB 15 racism, and there are examples. What I find interesting is how CBS has decided to handle this. Every Thursday evening there is a live show and one of the house guests is voted off. After the recent racism comments, I was particularly curious to see how Julie Chen would handle last night’s live show. She basically handled the issue as a professional and didn’t approach the topic head on. But she did get in a few comments the offending house guests clearly didn’t pick up on, especially Aaryn Gries.

CBS didn’t air all the hate comments yet, and from what I’ve read they weren’t sure they would air any of them at first.  But it seems they’ve changed their minds.

“CBS and ‘Big Brother’ showed it because it is now driving a story. It is now affecting how the other players want to see her gone,” she said of Aaryn. “You can’t just put it in there and say, ‘Judge her, everybody!’ It has to have to do with the game and the rules of the game … She will have to face consequences.”

So it’s okay to put Paula Deen out there and judge her, but it’s not okay to put Aaryn Gries out and judge her in the same way. As far as I know, Paula Deen’s comments were made in confidence, and Deen claims they were not malicious and she’s apologized in public. Aaryn Gries may have thought she was making her comments in confidence, but she also knows she’s on a live feed twenty-four hours a day and everything she says and does is being recorded. And last night on BB when one of the house guests went to Aaryn Gries and gave her a chance to redeem herself on national TV for making her racist comments, she basically made a face, brushed it off, and said she didn’t care. Aaryn Gries is a straight white female. I saw this myself, and so did millions of other people. I cringed for everyone she insulted, I cringed for the house guest who tried to bring the topic up, and I cringed for Aaryn Gries. It’s not often you get to see that brand of hate (and dismissal of hate) so openly on live television.

In an open letter to BB’s production team, former house guest, Ragan Fox, is calling for BB to disclose all the hate speech that’s been happening this season on BB, and to bring it all out in the open.

I just read Andrea Reiher’s Zap2It article in which she documents racism, misogyny, and homophobia that’s already emerged in the Big Brother 15 house. Feed watchers have watched Spencer call women “c#nts” and spit the word “fag” in Andy’s face. Similarly, Aaryn Gries (pictured above) complained that Andy would most likely get next week’s MVP because “people love the queers.” Aaryn’s also demanded Candice, an African American woman, say “asked, not axed” and suggested Helen, the season’s sole Asian American houseguest, should “go make some rice.” GinaMarie also wondered if they could make Helen’s eyes straight. And this is only WEEK 1! Imagine what will happen when they forget about the cameras.

Keep in mind that I have been watching the show all season, and I didn’t even know half of the things mentioned in Fox’s paragraph above. So far, as a viewer, I’ve only seen Aaryn Gries’s Asian American slurs. And that’s because this is all CBS has decided to air in public so far.

In this one sentence, Fox sums up exactly how I feel. And I think millions of other Americans feel. Let’s stop giving them a free pass.

Big Brother, I LOVE you, but, if you really want to provide a groundbreaking twist, SHOW CBS VIEWERS HOW SOME STRAIGHT, WHITE PEOPLE talk about gays, Asian Americans, and African Americans.

You can read the entire letter in full, here.

I love you, too, Big Brother, and I understand how important it is to remain objective when it comes to dealing with content of any kind. As a writer I often find myself strugging with the same issues with certain characters and situations. But this is too important to ignore. The fact remains that we have race issues in this country and maybe it’s time to get it all out in the open once and for all, especially since it’s become such a highly charged issue with the Paula Deen controversy and the George Zimmerman trial. With all this going on right now, you have the chance to help change the world.

Lesbian Couple Humiliated and Degraded in North Carolina Restaurant

When a good friend in Brooklyn e-mailed this to me earlier today, I have to say I was shocked to see that something like this would happen in North Carolina. I know a few gay couples who’ve left New Hope to move to NC, and they’ve never complained about anti-gay attitudes…or anything like getting handed an anti-gay letter in a restaurant. I love the Outer Banks. Ashville is not only one of my favorite cities in the US, it’s the home of my all time favorite author, Tom Wolfe, who wrote “Look Homeward Angel.”

But according to this article, that’s exactly what happened to a lesbian couple recently in a NC restaurant.

A lesbian couple dining at a North Carolina cafe was handed a letter that decried homosexuality as being against God’s will.

Arielle and Shawnee McPhail went to The Sting Ray Cafe in New Bern on Dec. 4, according to WCTI 12. On their way out, restaurant owner Ed McGovern approached the couple and handed them a letter asking them to reevaluate their lives.

This is what the letter said:

[…] Please, look at your life. See how it hurt[s] everyone around you. And ask the Lord to open your eye[s] before it [is] to[o] late.
The Love of Christ
P.S. my daughter also was gay. It destroy[ed] her life and my grandson.

And, the article gets even worse in a general sense.

Joel Diaz, the chief development officer for the AIDS Resource Center Ohio, recently wrote a blog for The Huffington Post describing a recent experience during which he and a friend were berated for “gay shit” while holding hands outside Mikey’s Late Night Slice pizza truck in Columbus, Ohio. Fortunately, everyone in line defended the pair.

You can follow the link above to read the entire article, and read the entire letter.

My lesbian friend in Brooklyn said this in the e-mail:

nope. not vacationing in north carolina anytime soon.

I personally wouldn’t take it that far, and I don’t think we can blame an entire state for what happened to the couple. This is the sort of thing that can happen in any state, from New Jersey to California. The good thing is that we’re talking about it now, and when things like this happen they are being reported. For too long, things like this were ignored.

I actually feel a little guilty about this because I should have caught this story and I didn’t. And when I think of the fact that I posted about Amazon bestseller lists yesterday, which is such a trivial, superficial thing compared to what happened to these two decent women, I realize I need to step it up a little and focus on the more important things going on within the LGBT community. I grew a little discouraged after the last general election when I didn’t see any huge support for the first openly gay man to ever run for President. It was as if he didn’t even exist. And he was the only candidate to my knowledge who actually came out and stated that he would, indeed, fight for marriage equality.

In any event, a post to follow soon on gay divorce. I know it’s not the most pleasant topic to get into, which is why I’ve been putting it off for a long time, but as long as same sex marriage is not recognized on a federal level, it’s something all gay couples have to pay attention to.

Please Don’t Call Me Queer!!

Last week there was a slight kerfuffle between LGBT YA authors and a literary agent. I’m not going to link to that because it has nothing to do with this post.

But that misunderstanding brought something to my attention that I hadn’t seen before. Evidently, it’s becoming popular to add a “Q” to the end of LGBT…making it LGBTQ.

I’m gay. I write gay fiction and have been for twenty years. No one told me about the “Q.”

The “Q” means “queer,” or “questioning.” At least that’s what I’ve been told. I’m fine with the “questioning” part. But I’m not so sure about the “queer” part.

Of course I know there are gay people who want to refer to themselves as “queer.” And they want to be referred to as “queer” by other people. And that’s fine for them. Have fun. I just want to make it clear that I’d prefer not to be called “queer” by anyone at any time.

The “Q” word to me is what the “N” word is to some African Americans. It’s degrading, denigrating, and insulting. It’s hateful at best and hurtful at its worst. It causes pain no matter how you look at it. It makes young gay people living in small towns cringe and recoil. And being a writer, I know how strong words can be.

What prompted me to write this post is that I saw a status update on facebook written by someone of African descent who was stuck in traffic and someone viciously shouted the “N” word to him/her. I’m posting this anonymously, verbatim. But it was posted in a public forum, on facebook, so the person in question must have wanted it known.

This was the status update: “Small town life: Someone just called me a nig!?$ in traffic. I feel racism is a form of mental degeneration. Breath, and onward! #Life”

It killed me to see this. I’m a huge fan of this person and I wanted to scream and punch something. But more than that, I felt this person’s pain because I know how it feels to be called “fag” or “queer.”

So if they want to add a “Q” to the end of LGBT, have a blast. Personally, I’d rather think of the “Q” as “questioning.” There’s nothing wrong with the word “questioning.”

But for those who want to be called “queer,” don’t call me a “queer.” That’s already been done before and I’d rather not revisit my reactions.