Not Breaking News!

August 24, 2013 — 18 Comments

0024 Pink Not Gay 01Earlier this summer former-Cosby kid Raven Symone revealed that she is gay, which I mention only because a couple of days later Pink went public with the news that she is not gay. I have mixed feelings about the whole celebrity-sexuality announcement thing – on the one hand I think it’s great

for young people to see that there are gay folks out there who are successful, happy people. Gay role-models hadn’t yet been invented when I was growing up and I think every kid should have one. On the flip-side, I don’t think we’ll reach a point of true equality until my regularly scheduled programming stops being interrupted with BREAKING NEWS!! every time some child star from the ’80s pops up to say, “I’m gay!”

But back to Pink …

I first heard just a bit of the story on the radio and didn’t think much of it. Rumors often swirl around the sexual-orientation of stars so it isn’t unusual to hear these not-so-newsworthy news reports. But I was a little surprised when I later saw an article in the Huffington Post about the incident that led to Pink declaring her un-lesbianism – the headline read Pink Called A Lesbian In Twitter Attack After Dancing With Gay Pride Flag.

Oh no! I thought. Poor Pink was Twitter-attacked. That sounds serious! I must read more to find out if she’s okay.

The reporter, Cavan Sieczkowski, went on to write –

“Pink was attacked on Twitter and called a “lesbian” after she performed with a gay pride flag at a recent concert in Australia.

The singer has been Down Under for her “Truth About Love Tour.” During a stop in Sydney over the weekend, Pink danced with a rainbow flag draped around her shoulders after grabbing it from an audience member in the front row.

Apparently, not everyone loved the impromptu performance. Some tweeted at Pink, calling her a lesbian, Towleroad noted.

But the 33-year-old was unfazed by the hateful chatter.”

And then the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse appeared, a plague of locusts descended from the skies and a horde of flesh-eating zombies emerged from beneath the stage! Chaos and carnage ensued.

In other news, on a kindergarten playground in Southern California yesterday, 5 year-old Ian Jacobs was called a “stupid doody head” by a classmate. Fortunately, he was able to fire off a quick “I know you are, but what am I?” before he could be fazed by the hateful chatter.

Shouldn’t the headline have been Pink Has Short Hair, Is Sort of Butch, Sneers Like Billy Idol, Dances With Gay Pride Flag and Some People Mistook Her For A Lesbian. Nothing To See Here Folks, Move Along …?

Since when is “lesbian” hate-speech? What the hell am I supposed to call myself then? To be honest, I spent years saying “gay” and avoided the word “lesbian” because I thought it sounded too clinical … like labia or speculum. So rather than feeling like I should be wearing a lab-coat and carrying a clip board when I say it, now it seems a white robe and hood sensation might be more appropriate. Great.

But from one of Pink’s responses to the “attack,” it’s clear that it’s not the word “lesbian” that’s at issue here – it’s being a lesbian.

P!nk@Pink

Fun fact:when you twitter me and say “you’re a lesbian” it really doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a compliment. Most of my fav ppl are, so…

I get mistaken for being straight all the time (seriously, who do I have to sleep with around here for people to figure out that I’m gay??), but I don’t find it offensive – just a little depressing because it makes it hard for other single lesbians (and hot soccer moms) to find me. In fact, I know that some people actually think I should consider it a compliment. And that is sort of insulting, because it means they think it’s preferable not to “look like a lesbian.”

I wish this article had mentioned that some epithets or derogatory terms had been slung around, but the only thing mentioned were the tweets suggesting that Pink is a lesbian. It would be easier to write off someone tweeting “dyke!” as the ignorance of a narrow-minded person with a schoolyard bully mentality, than to ignore the reminder that the accusation of being what you are is considered a hateful attack.

In another tweet following the incident, Pink encouraged her “attackers” to step up their name-calling game:

P!nk@Pink

I’m sure all you hate filled humans can come up with something a little worse than that?!? Come on – be creative. You have 140 characters!

I wonder if any of them came up with the 10-character word that is also untrue of Pink but actually truly hateful?

Homophobic.

18 responses to Not Breaking News!

  1. 

    There was an article on the Huffington post website recently, where one of the actors from the Harry Potter series was commenting on gay actors coming out of the closet – oh woops, sorry, heads up, I’m digressing from the post at hand… And he made the point that there’s a misconception that if you’re a gay actor/actress, you won’t be able to play a straight role, with a heterosexual love interest, which is ridiculous.

    CLEARLY there’s still the impression that being homosexual is a personality be all and end all ‘trait’, in which case, are you so witty and eloquent because you’re a lesbian?

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  2. 

    Thanks for calling this to attention. I like how Pink handled it.

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  3. 

    Petty and disrespectful… we are living in sad times I tell you my friend.

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    • 

      There have always been those with negative feelings towards gay people, but Pink’s response shows that more and more people are unwilling to put up it. Hopefully the voices like hers will eventually get loud enough to drown out all the petty nonsense.

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  4. 

    I am with you–I wish there were lesbian role models when I was growing up because I thought I couldn’t be gay because it was so rare I would never even meet a gay person. On the other hand, constantly hearing all of this becomes tedious because a lot of the coverage around it can be hateful. People have said Raven Symone has ruined her image by coming out. Sigh….

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  5. 

    Movie stars aren’t role models, certainly not any more, they are simply movie stars. When you think about, the status of that label is as insane of so many other forms of labelling . . . just sayin’ cuz sometimes it’s gotta be said.

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    • 

      I don’t know that movie stars ever were role models … Fatty Arbuckle anyone? And certainly not all celebrities who come out as gay can be considered role models; but until I get famous enough so that all the kids can look up to me and follow my example, they’re gonna have to take who they can get.

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  6. 

    I love this….funny! I actually call myself Lebanese…it confuses some and amuses other, including myself! I also love that you follow the non gay Pink….I just got tix for the show! She can’t be gay anyway….she has pink hair:)

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  7. 

    “Lesbian” is “hate speech” when lesbian is the word you choose to use for someone you hate. There is always a word like that around. It never matters if the target IS one or not. It’s just what you call whoever you hate, because it’s actually the worst thing you can think of.

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