Last summer seemed to be the perfect proverbial storm for celebrity mishaps with regard to questionable statements and comments. I posted about Alec Baldwin here several times, and about Paula Deen, here. Since then, both have been dealing with fallout from these incidents. And now Alec Baldwin has an article coming out next week in New York Magazine explaining himself in detail, with a few interesting observations that are hard to ignore.
'Am I a homophobe? Look, I work in show business. I am awash in gay people, as colleagues and as friends. I’m doing Rock of Ages one day, making out with Russell Brand. Soon after that, I’m advocating with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cynthia Nixon for marriage equality. I’m officiating at a gay friend’s wedding. I’m not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me.'
However, even in this article he's been branded politically incorrect once again because he used the word "Tranny."
He writes about an LGBTI group he met with in Hawaii shortly after the photographer incident and starts a sentence this way: 'One young man, an F-to-M tranny … '
Tranny is considered an offensive term when referring to transgender people.
That's questionable. I've posted about "tranny" as a word or reference here in the past, with examples of how the word is still a huge part of gay culture in some places and many do not take offense to it. Here's what I posted about. This quote comes from Babe Trust, a professional drag performer in Brooklyn.
Tranny means different things to different people. Do I know some people who feel more comfortable with explaining their gender and sexuality as "tranny"? Yes. Its that okay?
By one "community" effectively silencing and oppressing another to "not say" certain words or be so untrusting of people that you believe that everything comes from a place of violence, is sad.
If someone identifies as "tranny," the people who attack the term as offensive are oppressing the people who have a valid claim over the term.
My only comments are now that a lot of this mess with Baldwin has settled is that he might be TOO familiar with the gay community. He seems to know the terms/jargon well enough. When he got slammed for calling Anderson Cooper "a toxic little queen" he really didn't say anything most of the gay people I know personally don't say regularly (not about Cooper, in general). Does that make these gay people homophobes? Is there yet another double standard? Gay men refer to each other as "queens" often, and sometimes in endearing ways that mean no offense, and no offense is usually taken. Trust me, it's not the first or last time Anderson Cooper has been or will be called a "queen" in the gay community.
Baldwin is also being scorned in the article for a small slam against pundit/entertainer Rachel Maddow.
'I think Rachel Maddow is quite good at what she does,' he writes. 'I also think she’s a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air.'
I've never been a fan of Maddow, or her brand of million dollar pundit fakery. But I'm no fan of any pundit who gets paid millions of dollars to sway public opinion in either direction, liberal or conservative. I just don't like them and would never trust them. And I think they are fakes, too, all of them. Think Rush Limbaugh.
I personally don't use the words Baldwin used, like tranny or queen. Not in public or in private. As a writer I know how powerful words can be and how often misconceptions can be drawn...especially in these politically correct times we're living in right now. I don't think Baldwin is a homophobe either, not after reading some of the things I've read from him in the past six months. Calling him homophobic for using the wrong words and terms just doesn't make sense, considering the scope of his life and his past experience. The real homophobes in places like Arizona who want to discriminate against gays by turning them away from public places don't use any offensive words or terms in public, but they're still homophobes of the worst kind. The religious folks who refused to make a gay wedding cake recently didn't use the words, Tranny, Fag, or Queer.
I do think Baldwin is guilty of not being able to play the game as public personality as well as someone like Rachel Maddow, which is a shame. But then again, there's a reason why MSNBC ratings are so painfully dismal.
You can read more here.
Gay Marriage Gains Support
Many polls have been suggesting there's been a rise in support for gay marriage, but this is the first I've seen that actually goes into more detail. Some of the results are even surprising.
A survey by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute released today (26 February) shows some 53% of 4,509 Americans support same-sex weddings, compared to 32% in 2003.
This is the most interesting part for many:
Jews were its biggest supporters with 83% positive feedback, followed by 58% of white Roman Catholics and 56% of Hispanic Catholics. Some 46% of Hispanic Protestants favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Most practicing Catholics Tony and I know not only support same sex marriage, they all know or are related to someone who is gay. That's just a personal observation, not anything scientific. We also know many gay Catholics.
I hope all the folks over at social media check this out when they start slamming all Catholics. I get really sick and tired of it sometimes.
This is interesting about the Oscars. There's a survey that says most Americans haven't even seen best picture nominees yet.
It may be one of the best years in recent memory for high-quality Hollywood film, but two-thirds of Americans have yet to see any of the movies nominated for the best picture Oscar, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday.
To be honest, we haven't seen any yet. We barely have time for a social life so we don't put going to the movies as top priority anymore. Plus, we either stream or rent movies on demand these days. If there's a choice between sitting in my own comfortable home and watching a film or sitting in a cramped seat next to someone who is sneezing and coughing, I'll choose the former. The odds are we will see the films nominated eventually, at least some of them. But not before the Oscars. And, not because they were nominated or won an Oscar.
Side note: Here's a link for those interested in Judy Garland's children doing some kind of tribute to Garland at the Oscars.