Saturday, September 13, 2014

Are Gays Being Exploited? Gay Music Exploitation? Gaysploitation Films

Are Gays Being Exploited?

I was watching a film recently titled, "Snitch." It wasn't a bad film, and there was nothing political about it. But in one scene a character played by Susan Sarandon says something interesting. She's a politician running for office and she's getting pressure to get more exposure and she replies with a comment that goes something like this, "What should I do? Show up at a gay wedding?"

With that one statement her character sums up what a lot of gay people are thinking nowadays, especially gay men. I've seen comments and discussions on facebook about this, mostly the discussion is brought up by gay men who have grown frustrated to the point of giving up. I'm not going into detail here. I'm just linking to an article that talks about gays being exploited. I don't totally agree with the article either, and it's not a source I normally take very seriously. But the topic is relevant in a general sense.

In another example of liberal hypocrisy, on May 8, 2012, North Carolina voted for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex unions. The following day, President Barack Obama announced that he supported gay marriage. Many people applauded the President, but few questioned his timing. Clearly it’s worth contemplating how many votes Obama could have changed had he supported marriage rights beforehand. It’s true that the amendment passed by a wide margin, but it seems cowardly to wait until the dust settles before telling people which side of the battle you’re on.

Again, I don't totally agree with this article, and I'm not fond of the web site because of the fact that it is so partisan. However, there's a lot of exploitation going on right now, and what bothers me the most is that people are profiting from it in big ways.

You can read the rest here. Don't shoot me for this link. I don't do this often, but this time I thought it was interesting to look at a different POV. It's extreme, but not completely inaccurate.

Gay Music Exploitation?

Last year openly gay rapper, Le1F (aka Khalif Diouf), went on a Twitter tirade about Macklemore who won an award for best music video and best video with a social message. Macklemore is a straight white male, not openly gay. Le1F blasted Macklemore for allegedly ripping off his song, and for profiteering on gays. There's a list of tweets by Le1F here, one of which is compelling, where Le1F says he's going to write a song about another group of people struggling because "mama needs a new fur coat."

And in this piece about Macklemore on Chelsea Handler, they mention the incident, too.

Openly gay rapper and producer Le1f blasted Macklemore on Twitter for ripping off his song “Wut.” He says Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” sounds dangerously familiar to his song. Le1f also called the rapper out for profiting off the plight of gays with the song “Same Love.”

Le1f questioned Macklemore’s motives asking, “do proceeds go to any gay people? the HRC? Aids foundation? Or does this straight white man keep the money?” Later he tweeted, “News just in: gay people don’t care about your video about gay people.”

I actually didn't even know about any of this so I can't comment in detail. But it's not the first time I've seen blatant exploitation of gay people in a broad sense, and always done with the premise that the straight people are helping us and supporting us. I think in some cases they are, but that doesn't mean they get the right to usurp us or our culture. And profiting from our struggles because they know they can is even worse.

At least Le1F had the guts to bring the discussion up. No one else has.

Side note: Other's have alleged that this gay exploitation has been happening. You can read more here.


Gaysploitation Films

Here's a link to a list of films with ratings and short commentaries. I feel highly vindicated with this link because at least now I know I'm not the only one who feels this way about some of these films. You have to go there to see what I mean.

Here's that link.

Other than the links I just posted above, you won't find much out there about gay exploitation with a simple search. And I think there's a logical reason for this. I agree with Le1F the rapper when he states that gay people really don't care about Macklemore's song, his award, or the money he made...“News just in: gay people don’t care about your video about gay people.”. I didn't care about it until I started writing this post, The only reason I'm writing this post is because I saw a gay writer comment on social media and get slammed when he mentioned gay exploitation.

Up until then, I didn't care much about the topic, but I'm starting to wonder now. If you don't care about something it's not going to pop up on your radar, so to speak. There's a lot of exploitation happening all over, in all the arts, these days. Especially in book publishing. But the simple truth is that we...gay people...just don't care enough about it to complain about it. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, especially when you consider how many non-gay people are profiting on gays while gays still can't seem to be taken seriously in books, films or music...at least not completely. I think that the straight white male winning a music award for a social message about gays and not a gay artist winning an award is a good example of this. I spend a few minutes a week wondering what's happened to gay literature.

There's also a fear factor, too, all gay people in the arts must consider if they want to survive. I'm not even comfortable posting this on the blog for fear of hidden backlash from those who are profiteering, and I'm absolutely not going to promote this post on social media for fear of the arguments I'll receive. And I'm not even going into my own personal feelings. There really shouldn't be an argument about it. The gay guy should always get the last word on the gay issue, and yet so often these days he/she doesn't. It's almost as bad as being thrown back into the closet.  








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