I’m not going to give the haters any of my time because their response — “I can’t believe she said she’s not a lesbian! I’ll never think of her the same way again! Appropriating a subculture that’s not her own! When she takes off the t-shirt she’ll still be straight! How dare she stand up for me when she doesn’t even like boobs!” — is so myopic and nonsensical that it hurts my brain just thinking about it.
But I am going to contextualize Agron’s declaration. Let’s call it “The Tale of Two Weekends.”
On the first weekend, a well-known celebrity from a much-lauded network TV show stood up on stage and said if his son ever came out as gay, he would “pull out a knife and stab” him. He said gay people need to “quit being pussies” and “whining about something as insignificant as bullying.” He said kids aren’t born gay; it’s something they learn from “media and programming.”
On the second weekend, a well-known celebrity from a much-lauded network TV show stood up on stage wearing a “Likes Girls” t-shirt and sang, “There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are ‘cause he made you perfect, babe. So hold your head up, girl, and you’ll go far … baby, you were born this way.” She took to her blog to say, “Kindness moves mountains. Acceptance opens doors … spread the love.”
Tracy Morgan used his celebrity platform to spread a message of hate and violence. Dianna Agron used her celebrity platform to spread a message of hope and acceptance.
Dianna Agron likes girls. And you know what? I like Dianna Agron. She doesn’t care that I’m gay, and I don’t care that she’s straight. In the wise words of Scout Finch: There’s only one kind of folks. Folks. And Dianna Agron is one of the good ones.
via Straight actor Dianna Agron wears “Likes Girls” T-shirt on stage, world loses its mind | TV Show Recaps, Celebrity Interviews & News About & For Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Women | AfterEllen.com.
I thought this was good, and, mostly I agree. And because this week has brought a new appreciation for what it means for someone to appropriate a subculture. Because Amina, Paula Brooks, OMG.
The best thing, for me, about DA’s gesture was that the explanation from her didn’t come out until the next day. She didn’t care if people wondered if she was queer for a little bit. Allies always have privilege, and it’s mostly impossible to give up that privilege. She was willing to try for a bit in order to get people to listen, and I think it did indeed make people listen. It was, I think, one hell of a gesture.
To be very honest, my first thought was she was looking for attention. But having read her tumblr explanation, I’m willing to abandon that assumption. I can understand why people were upset — these things can stir up homophobia, which is inevitable, I guess, when someone genuinely comes out, but it’s hard to see it going on when it’s unnecessary and not related to someone telling their own truth. But, in the end, she was telling her truth too, which happens to be a really great and thoughtful ally position.