Earlier 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.
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:
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?