Finally, this week on the American soap The Young & The Restless Michael finds out the truth that his wife Lauren is having an affair. I like this storyline because it is nice to see a romance between an older woman and a younger man. I think Carmine really does love Lauren even though she’s married. Lauren and Carmine have better chemistry than Lauren has with Michael. Michael has gotten boring and dry.
I think the reason why people are privately laughing at Reese Witherspoon getting arrested is it proves she`s obnoxious. Witherspoon has a pretentious persona which she has crafted and perfected for the media and public. However, when Reese asks the police office as she`s getting arrested do you know my name? Witherspoon`s husband`Jim Toth was arrested for a DUI. Witherspoon rudeness towards the police officer illustrates some of these Hollywood celebrities believe they are above the law.
Lost in the media’s praise for Jason Collins decision to come out is the sad story that he lied to his fiance Carolyn Moos for eight years. The gay community has swept this ugly aspect of Jason Collins coming out story under the rug. The homosexual community is very hypocritical about these down low brothers like Jason Collins. One argument is, Jason Collins was lying to himself, he felt he needed to maintain a heterosexual image in order to not be ostracized in the NBA. However, why do some gay closeted men drag a woman through their drama? Why ruin someone else’s life?
Carolyn Moos was very restrained during the Piers Morgan interview she can’t be honest with her feelings of pain. If Moos was blunt about being angry at Jason Collins the gay mafia would scream she’s a homophobe. I think the gay community can’t have it both ways we want to be accepted by society yet refuse to acknowledge when a LGBT person does something wrong. Why does the gay community ignore the deception of these gay celebrities like Jason Collins? It is disgusting, sick, and sinister what Jason Collins did to his fiance their relationship was a facade to hide his homosexuality.
The gay mafia’s silence about Jason Collins deception is interesting. After all, why dirty up a good thing? I think it is pathetic, sad, and tragic that Collins lied and deceived his fiance for eight years. Think about it, eight years is a long time to hide your true sexual orientation from a fiance. Carolyn Moos had planned to get married to Jason Collins, have children together. Now, eight years of Carolyn Moos life is wasted and destroyed simply because Collins was a closet case. Why lie to a woman for eight years? Why lead someone on for such a long period of time?
It is still over a month away from the French Open starting but Novak Djokovic’s stunning upset of Rafael Nadal 6-2 7-6 in the Monte Carlo final is a breakthrough. This is the first time in over eight years Nadal has not won the Monte Carlo Masters title.
Nadal is the only man on the ATP Tour to win a title eight times in a row he’s dominated Monte Carlo since 2005.
Djokovic played fearless tennis, he attacked Nadal’s backhand approached the net when necessary and he kept Nadal off balance.
Novak also took the ball early on the rise forcing Nadal to react by taking the ball early. Nadal’s strategy against Novak wasn’t smart he kept on hitting the ball to his two handed backhand but that’s Djokovic’s strength.
Against Roger Federer, Nadal’s high looping top spin forehand bounces too high for Federer to generate pace off the backhand side. However, since Djokvovic is six foot two and he has a two handed backhand, Nadal’s topspin forehand doesn’t bother him.
Nadal is still the king of clay though, he’s won the French Open seven out of the last eight years.
Novak Djokovic is off to a good start in the clay court season but the real test is at the French Open at the end of May.
Nadal’s dominance on the clay courts is incredible so although the Monte Carlo masters is not a grand slam anytime a player beats Nadal on clay that’s a cause for celebration.
However, this is Nadal’s second clay court defeat in 2013, he also lost the final of a minor event in February in Chile to a journeyman.
Usually, Days of Our Lives gay couple Sonny and Will are as exciting as burnt toast. Since the beginning of 2013, the homosexuality has been toned down in order to not upset the conservative homophobic viewers for Days of Our Lives. Sonny and Will do not have a passionate relationship their romance is very PG 13, very chaste, very dry, and very boring.
Today’s episode is interesting, only because the younger cast members were on. It was nice to see Sonny, Will, Tad, Chad, and Brian together. This is what is missing, the young characters having their own storyline together. The current baby storyline is extremely homophobic and offensive. On the American soaps, gay men have to have sex with women and get them pregnant. Gay men cannot have their own storylines, their own conflict their problems must involve a female.
Brant Daugherty is a very charismatic actor, although his character Brian is supposed to be the gay villain yet he is more exciting than Sonny and Will. It appears the writers of Days of Our Lives created the character Brian to bring angst to Sonny and Will but the writers didn’t anticipate that Brian would become very popular. The reason fans love Brian is because he isn’t as vanilla and dry as Sonny and Will. Unfortunately, this episode is probably the last time Brian is going to appear on the show and that’s a shame.
My main complaint with the gay storyline, is the fact the homosexuality is treated as an afterthought as just a sub plot.
The gay storyline wasn’t written for a gay male audience there are certain things that ring false and untrue to me. For instance, Sonny and Will are monogamous. I have a hard time believing two young gay men such as Sonny and Will are not exploring their sexuality. Gay male culture is all about sexual freedom, yes there are monogamous gay male couples. The truth is though, gay men have more access to sex than heterosexual men. Gay male culture is ignored by Days of Our Lives there is no discussion about condom use, or about safer sex.
Sonny and Will are not allowed to have sex with each other, so of course they can’t have sex with anyone else. People argue that that the Days of Our Lives writers are trying to illustrate a young gay male couple can have a romantic relationship. However, the truth is, Sonny and Will were created for a heterosexual female audience not a gay male audience.
The paucity of sex scenes, the inability for Sonny and Will to cheat on each other is not only unrealistic it also does not allow them to have character development.
It is pathetic in the year 2013, that there is this homophobic double standard that all the straight characters can have sex scenes but not the gays.
If NBC was really dedicated to the gay romance, they would have multiple gay characters on the show like other soaps. For instance, the British soap Hollyoaks has several gay characters all of them are interesting, exciting and also very flawed. The gays in Hollyoaks cause disruption, drama, and trouble.
I was hoping that Brian could have caused Sonny and Will a lot of chaos and havoc. NBC, wants their queers to be safe, and friendly and drama free.
In this episode, it is the conclusion of the sub plot that isn’t even a gay love triangle because NBC is too afraid to allow the gay characters to be extremely flawed people. Sonny and Brian never had sex together because NBC is too chaste with their gay characters. Since there is a paucity of gay characters on Days of Our Lives, Sonny and Will don’t interact with people around their age and they don’t have much to do.
Since Sonny and Will are not permitted to be complex like the heterosexual characters their relationship rings false. Sonny and Will are the most boring gay male couple I have ever seen on television. I’ve watched a bunch of gay male romances and I can honestly say Sonny and Will are one of the worst I’ve ever seen.
There are several problems I will identify about the difficulties I see with Sonny and Will. First, is the dialogue, the way how the NBC writers have written Sonny and Will they call each other “dude” and “man” gay men we don’t talk like that. Sonny and Will do not talk like a gay male couple they talk like a bunch of college frat guys.
It seems to me, the NBC writers are trying to make Sonny and Will as heterosexual as possible. Sonny and Will hardly kiss and when they do kiss I don’t believe they are in love. The actors Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith are solid actors they are capable of angst. However, in terms of the sexual aspect of Sonny and Will’s relationship the acting is very poor. The lack of intimacy between Sonny and Will makes it painfully obvious that NBC is not interested in treating the gay characters with respect.
Second, The heterosexual characters such as Sami & EJ, Rafe & Kate, Gabi & Nick, Brady & Kristen have had multiple sex scenes in a bed. The straight sex scenes are very passionate, they get to roll around in bed together, and moan and make love. By contrast, Sonny and Will everything is alluded to, there was one brief scene this year in bed. The problem is, it wasn’t a sex scene it was an afterglow scene. Every time Sonny and Will want to be intimate they are always interrupted!
For instance, during the kissing scenes Chandler and Freddie smash their lips together the kissing is closed mouthed. Adult gay men don’t kiss like pre teens! There is no open mouth kissing between Sonny and Will. Chandler Massey seems extremely uncomfortable kissing Freddie Smith his face is wrinkled and he looks very cautious and hesitant. Chandler and Freddie don’t have chemistry together there is no spark between their characters Will and Sonny.
Meanwhile, when Brant Daugherty the guy who plays Brian when he kisses Freddie Smith their kissing scenes are very passionate and seem more realistic. The chemistry between Brant and Freddie seems more natural. Sonny and Brian have a lot of chemistry together but they aren’t endgame.
Third, The gay storyline is in desperate need of another gay couple in order to keep Sonny and Will interesting. Why don’t Sonny and Will interact more with young gay men around their age? Why has there never been a gay bar scene? Why doesn’t Salem have a gay bathhouse? The gay aspect of Sonny and Will’s lives are ignored.
Brian is exciting because he’s a confident, openly gay, and masculine man. In this episode, the writers are attempting to make Will and Sonny look like a strong loving couple while Brian is the evil interloper. However, Brian never really did anything wrong except fall for Sonny. Sonny admits to giving Brian mixed signals that he’s interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with him. Brian had a lot of potential to be a very interesting gay male character but NBC isn’t interested in that.
The problem with today’s scene is there wasn’t any build up to Sonny and Will telling Brian to back off. Brian never forced or pushed Sonny to make out with him a few months ago and almost sleep with him.
The interesting thing is, on the internet many people are vocal that the characters Brian and Sonny have more sexual chemistry than Sonny and Will. A lot of the comments about Sonny and Will are that they are a “cute” gay couple but they aren’t a passionate gay couple. Sonny and Will are adults, yet the writers have written these adult gay male characters as though they are some NBC after school special.
The NBC writers for Days of Our Lives seem determined to utilize the gay characters to “educate” the homophobes that gay people can have boring vanilla relationships too. On the Facebook page for Days of Our Lives, the homophobic people have complained about the gay storyline and yet I wonder what are these people upset about? Sonny and Will hardly kiss, they don’t have sex, they don’t do anything interesting at all!
The quandary is, Sonny and Will’s relationship comes across as a friendship not as an adult sexual relationship. Since Sonny and Will are not allowed to have passionate sex scenes like the heterosexual characters on Days of Our Lives the audience has to use our imagination.
On Days of Our Lives, Sonny and Will have only had one sex scene on November 14th 2012, and the kissing between Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith is awful and awkward.
I think I am going to tune out from watching Days of Our Lives now there is no reason for me to watch anymore. The good thing is, on You Tube there are numerous gay storylines from across the world I can watch.
NBC doesn’t have the courage, or the interest to treat their gay male characters with the same kind of respect as their heterosexual characters. Gay people don’t have sex on Days of Our Lives, gay people don’t have romance, and that’s just not good entertainment.
I agree with the black lady’s You Tube critique of the hit ABC show Scandal that the character Olivia Pope is the white man’s whore. I understand, that a lot of black women love Scandal because it is the first show since 1974 to have a black lady in the lead. Olivia Pope isn’t a mammy or a maid which is often a popular representation of a black woman on television. Remember, Nell Carter’s 1980s hit show Gimme A Break? Carter’s character was a maid for a white middle class family.
A common image of a black woman on television is to be mammy the black female character is usually overweight, unattractive, a loudmouth, and of course asexual. On another ABC show Grey’s Anatomy, Chandra Wilson’s character Dr. Bailey is a mammy she doesn’t really have a life of her own. Dr. Bailey is tough but she’s also very loving and nurturing she conforms to the black mammy stereotype.
Scandal is different from Gimme A Break and Grey’s Anatomy because Kerry Washington is a very attractive black woman she’s presenting a more feminine image of a black woman. Washington’s character on Scandal Olivia Pope is intelligent, sexy, and she gets to wear fancy clothes. However, beneath the surface, there are some subliminal messages that I find unsettling.
Scandal presents another stereotype of the black woman, the oversexed black whore. There seems to be no in between for black female characters on television they are either maids, a mammy, or a whore.
First, the relationship between Olivia Pope and President Grant is based on lust and sex that’s it. The You Tube critique is correct, Olivia Pope is the white man’s whore because she isn’t getting what she wants which is a loving relationship where is treated like an equal. One argument is, Scandal is a television show so why can’t black characters be flawed just like white characters? There is some veracity to this argument that black characters do not need to be noble saints.
However, given the fact there are very negative stereotypes about black women in pop culture in relation to sexuality Scandal simply engenders and reinforces these representations of black women.
Second, Olivia Pope sleeps with the President but she’s not his wife she’s his side chick, she’s the mistress, the jump off but she’s not his wife. Olivia Pope is never going to be more than the president’s whore that’s all she is. President Grant gets to have sex with Olivia and go back to his wife Mellie and have sex with her too. President Grant is getting what he wants a lot of sex without the commitment from Olivia Pope.
I don’t think Olivia Pope is like Sally Hemmings, but I do believe there is a strong power imbalance in the relationship.
Shonda Rhimes the executive producer of Scandal is also a black woman but she doesn’t have a problem making Olivia Pope so weak, fragile, and vulnerable.
Third, Scandal isn’t a positive image of a black woman because it depicts the black woman as being licentious and all about sex. The interracial relationship is hidden from the public’s view it is treated as though it is a secret not something that people should respect. Yes, certain characters are aware of the interracial affair but the general public do not. The fact that the interracial relationship is a secret simply magnifies the fact it is considered negative and bad.
I believe the interracial element to Scandal is indeed it is still taboo for a black woman to have an affair with a powerful white man. The Scandal is indeed the interracial relationship it is considered dirty, dangerous, and could be disastrous.
Where is Olivia Pope’s dignity? Doesn’t Olivia have enough self respect to break off a relationship with a man who clearly doesn’t love her?
I am aware that Olivia Pope did have a black male love interest in the second season but the black senator was an old man. The black male love interest wasn’t someone who could have become a serious threat to President Grant.
Hopefully, as Scandal progresses Shonda Rhimes will allow Olivia Pope to become more independent from President Grant but I doubt it. The audience seems to like Olivia Pope being the white man’s whore which is sad. Scandal isn’t progressive the program depicts black women as loose sluts willing to drop their panties for powerful white men.
Race + Hip-Hop + LGBT Equality: On Macklemore’s White Straight Privilege
On March 6, 2013 ·
By Guest Contributor Hel Gebreamlak
Macklemore (left) and Ryan Lewis in video for “Thrift Shop.”
Much of the nation was introduced to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis this past weekend, thanks to their appearance on Saturday Night Live, a major accomplishment and promotional tool for any musical artist. Considering the indie-rap duo’s already growing popularity with their chart-topper and multi-platinum seller, “Thrift Shop,” it is important to examine the impact of their success.
Macklemore has already been touted by several media outlets as the progressive voice on gay rights in hip-hop since the release of “Same Love,” his second single to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song, which peaked at No. 89 last week, tries to tackle the topic of gay marriage and homophobia in media and US culture, focusing specifically on hip-hop with lyrics such as, “if I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me.”
Though Macklemore is not gay, “Same Love” has gotten many accolades from fellow straight supporters, as well as members of the gay community. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed it on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where DeGeneres introduced them by saying, “Here’s why you need to care about our next guest. No other artists in hip-hop history have ever taken a stand defending marriage equality the way they have.”
But, how can this be the case when there is already an entire genre, Homo Hop, comprised solely of queer hip-hop artists? Whether it is intentional or not, Macklemore has become the voice of a community to which he doesn’t belong in a genre that already has a queer presence waiting to be heard by mainstream audiences.
Mary Lambert performs “Same Love” on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
We should also examine the song’s hook, performed by lesbian singer-songwriter Mary Lambert. Lambert first gained notoriety as a spoken-word artist, and it is important to remember that spoken word, like hip-hop, is rooted in Black culture. They are both a response to white supremacy.
However, Lambert, like Macklemore and Lewis, is a white artist. This begs the question: what does it mean to have three white people–two of whom are straight–be the beacon of gay rights in hip-hop?
In “Same Love,” Macklemore does not address these concerns. Instead, he raps about hip-hop as if it were his. The song lyrics even take it a step further by conflating Black civil rights and gay rights, which are both about identities he does not possess and oppressions he does not experience:
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don’t have acceptance for ‘em
Call each other f*ggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference
Nov. 2, 2008 protest against Prop. 8 in California. Image by John Hyun via Flickr Creative Commons.
Macklemore speaks of hip-hop as if his whiteness is irrelevant when criticizing the genre as a whole for being homophobic. These lyrics are very reminiscent of much of the shaming of people of color that occurred in 2008 after the passing of Prop 8 in California, where Black people and Latin@s were accused of being responsible for the anti-gay legislation passing while seemingly ignoring the millions of dollars raised by white Christians to ban marriage equality. Though Macklemore may not be blaming Black people for homophobia, by focusing on homophobia in Black community spaces as opposed to the pervasiveness of homophobia everywhere, white people get to remove themselves from the problem.
On top of this, the same argument that suggests that Black people should be more understanding of homophobia because of their own oppression is used both in the lyrics of “Same Love” and in many racist pro-marriage equality campaigns. This line of argument suggests that homophobia perpetrated by people of color is somehow worse because they should have known better as people who are also oppressed. Furthermore, when white people are homophobic, it is less condemnable because they don’t know what it is like.
Along with not acknowledging his white privilege in “Same Love,” Macklemore uses the homophobic slur “f*ggot” in the second verse seemingly without any consideration of his straight privilege. Though he is condemning the use of the slur, there are ways he could have held this conversation without inciting the word itself, since many folks within the queer community feel hurt by straight people using that word in any context. And in the third verse he raps, “and a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all, but it’s a damn good place to start.” For many queer people of color who have not seen themselves represented in the marriage equality campaign, it can be very hurtful to have a straight person–let alone a white one in a musical genre that was created to address white supremacy–tell them where the best place to start is.
In a November 2012 interview with Chris Talbott of The Associated Press, Macklemore expresses his fear over touring in states like Idaho, Montana, and Texas as a pro-gay artist. Macklemore was afraid that there would be backlash from the heartland, however, was pleasantly surprised when the rap duo was met with open arms. “Those were three places where people probably sang the loudest,” Macklemore said.
Macklemore’s fear of traveling these states demeans the reality that there are queer people there to begin with, who are already living in communities that are theirs. He also fails to acknowledge that he is straight and, therefore, experiences the privilege of not being gay-bashed.
This line of thinking appears to have informed the song “Same Love” from the start. The single supports the idea or, at least, implies that people of color–particularly Black folks who created hip hop–are more homophobic than white people and that there are no queer people who feel supported in these communities. This is very dismissive of queer people of color who consider communities of color their primary communities, who have experienced racism by queer communities, and for queer hip-hop artists of color who have found a home in the undervalued sub-genre of homo hop.
However, Macklemore distances himself from his privileges. Continuing to focus on hip-hop, he talked about misogyny and homophobia in hip-hop culture with Kurt Andersen of Studio 360:
Those are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip hop culture, Its 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we’re evolving and I think that hip hop has always been a representation of what’s going on in the world right now.
By making statements such as these, Macklemore not only gets to remove himself from straight and male privilege–both of which he benefits–but he also gets to be the white savior of hip-hop. Macklemore pleads for hip-hop to be more accepting of non-queer women and queer people, but he does not promote the work of non-queer women and queer hip-hop artists of color. In fact, he does not even include a queer person of color in the song “Same Love,” but instead chose Lambert, a white person whose success was also found in a Black art form.
Macklemore acknowledged the complications of being a white artist in hip-hop earlier in his career, in the song “White Privilege”:
[W]hite rappers albums really get the most spins
The face of hip hop has changed a lot since Eminem
And if he’s taking away black artists’ profits I look just like him
Claimed a culture that wasn’t mine, the way of the American
Hip Hop is gentrified and where will all the people live
Despite knowing that white artists get more recognition due to racism, Macklemore has not taken any steps to minimize this reality. He has not been accountable to homo-hop artists of color, who not only are impacted by homophobia in society as a whole, but also go unsupported because of homophobia and racism that favors white straight men like Macklemore. Macklemore has not corrected the misinformation that he is the most pro-gay voice in hip hop, when what could be more pro-gay than a gay artist within the genre? And none of the artists featured on “Same Love” have been openly accountable to the fact that they are profiting in a genre that does not belong to them at the expense of queer artists of color.
Lambert’s website calls the song “revolutionary.” But, is it really revolutionary to take up space in a genre that exists in response to a system of oppression you benefit from? Is it revolutionary for Macklemore, as a white straight man, to assume that gay people–including gay people of color who may find strength in hip hop in the face of racism–must feel that the genre hates them as is stated in the first line of the second verse in “Same Love”?
And, is it revolutionary for white people to get mainstream recognition for talking about homophobia in hip-hop, when queer hip-hop artists of color are routinely ignored? The fact of the matter is the success of “Same Love” is largely due at least in part to white audiences being more receptive to white straight men talking about oppression than oppressed people, as well as the comfort of being able to remove themselves from misogyny and homophobia because the oppression at hand is the fault of Black people in hip-hop. What could be more revolutionary than that? How about listening to queer people of color?
Hel Gebreamlak is the co-founder of Writing Resistance and author of the blog Black, Broken & Bent.
On March 15th 2013, Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz won his second professional boxing match since coming out as a gay man. Cruz defeated Aalan Martinez with a knockout in the sixth round. Cruz is currently the only professional male athlete out of the closet in North America. Now think about it, no gay male athlete is out in the NBA, NFL, MLB, or NHL, they are all in the closet. No professional golfer or male tennis pro is out! So why are the vast majority of gay male athletes in pro sports not coming out?
There are numerous theories for the reasons gay male athletes in professional sports choose to remain closeted. The obvious one is money, some gay male athletes probably fear coming out means they might lose sponsorship deals. Another reason is, gay male athletes worry the media scrutiny might be intense and they lose their privacy. Some people believe sexuality is a private matter.
In professional sports, it is obvious heterosexuality is not only present it is engendered in the media. The media obsess over the heterosexual pro athletes love lives in the press. However, homosexuality is still treated as though it should be private and not public. Gay people should not feel ashamed about being gay and that’s why Orlando Cruz is a hero! Orlando Cruz is illustrating through competing active in boxing he’s a proud gay man and that takes a lot of guts.
The general public and the media are cognizant that there are gay men in pro sports yet these men are reticent to reveal their sexuality.
Last month, Robbie Rogers a professional American soccer player did come out of the closet but he also quit at the tender age of twenty five. Rogers wrote an eloquent essay on his blog about the struggles he had to deal with in his life. Rogers has stepped away from professional soccer.
However, Orlando Cruz is out and a proud gay man he’s competing in boxing yet he’s not getting the press coverage he deserves.
One argument is, it is easier for Orlando Cruz to come out because boxing is an individual sport but it wasn’t easy for him at all. Cruz came out after getting the support of his mother, his trainers, and he did it for himself to live his life on his own terms. Cruz has a tremendous amount of courage and mental strength to come out and compete professionally in boxing.
So, why isn’t Orlando Cruz on the cover of the gay magazines or mainstream publications? Is it an issue of race? Is it because Cruz isn’t white? Is it because Cruz is a boxer and not competing in a professional team sport?
The image of the gay man in mainstream North America is a very myopic one. Usually, the stereotypical image is of a young, white, middle to upper class college educated white homosexual man. Television shows like Glee and Modern Family engender this white gay male image.
Orlando Cruz isn’t the first gay man to come out in professional sports but he’s one of the few to come out while his career is still active. It is important to point out, gay male athletes usually come out after their career ends because they have nothing to lose.
Cruz deserves so much credit because he as a Latino gay man he is challenging the homophobia within his own community and the boxing community.
It is disappointing though, that Cruz despite his success isn’t getting the media coverage he deserves due to his race and cultural background.
Cruz is a real hero because he knows there are homophobes in the boxing community who resent the fact he’s openly gay yet he isn’t hiding in the closet.
Boxing is a very macho sport, Orlando Cruz is a hero to the Puerto Rican community he is smashing the stereotypes that a gay man cannot be masculine, strong, and be a good athlete. Cruz is also a very successful boxer. However, Orlando Cruz isn’t white he’s Latino. The mainstream and gay press seem to want the gay Jackie Robinson to be a white gay man not a gay man of colour.