April 1, 2008

My Gayest Look

I first read about this on Geggie's blog So... What Else, What Else, What Else?

Two years ago, Gay activist Jeff Whitey wrote an open letter to Jay Leno outlining why he found it offensive when Jay poked fun at gay people. Jeff argued that violence and hate against gay people is, "perpetuated by people like [Jay Leno], who seek to minimize us and make fun of us and who I suspect really, fundamentally wish we would just go away."

He's now written another letter in response to the show on Thursday, March 20, 2008, when Jay Leno asked Ryan Phillipe to give the camera his gayest look because Ryan, in his first "real" acting gig, played a gay teen on the soap opera One Life to Live. In this new letter, Jeff links to various articles showing the effects of hate crimes against homosexuals. He asks, of these faces, some bruised and battered, some of people who have passed away as the result of the violence and hate against gays, which looks the gayest?

There are those who think that Jeff is overreacting. Jay is in the business of funny, after all. Why single him out? He's not perpetrating hate crimes, he's just cracking jokes. But the jokes may reinforce the view that gay people are different from "normal" people". The more a group is viewed as "other" or less-than-human, the easier it is to justify prejudice, hate and violence against them. But here's the thing. Gay people are just that - people. Why don't we all just relax and leave them alone? Why all the hate? Why does it matter whether people are attracted to the same or to the opposite gender? Or even to both genders? What are people afraid of exactly?

I just don't get it. And so, in support of the anti-hate, pro gay rights movement, I'm jumping on the bandwagon. People are banding together, fingers held high, in support of Jeff and gay rights to show Jay their gayest look. Here's mine:


You can submit your gay look to the website, My Gayest Look for Jay Leno. Go and check out all the great gay looks. Gay - it's the perfect look for Spring!

Edit: This post is a Just Post.

To see more Just Posts, visit Under the Mad Hat

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7 comments :

SaraLynn said...

You know, until I saw your post, I had heard nothing about this. None of it. Am I on the same planet? Iwent to the links you had set up and I was just appalled! I had no idea Jay Leno was a jerk! (I am not up that late, so I miss the night crowd on tv) I read Jeff's letters, I watched the Leno clip, I read Geggie's post, I even read up on the Lawrence King tragedy.
unbelievable...this is sad.

"Why don't we all just relax and leave them alone? Why all the hate? Why does it matter whether people are attracted to the same or to the opposite gender? Or even to both genders? What are people afraid of exactly?"

I agree with you in these sentiments.

I don't get it either!

Sass E-mum said...

Love your new look.

There's a lot of playground humour in the UK making jokes at the expense of gay people. Teachers say they notice it all the time. It's not limited to schools though.

Stonewall, the gay rights charity, is in the paper today saying, 'It's on the agenda more and that's a good thing'. I think he's talking about you, honey;)

Reluctant Housewife said...

Yeah, there's a lot of that here too. "Gay" is often used as a derogatory term for anything and everything annoying or stupid. "That's so gay!" They say it about anything that I would have said, "That's so lame!" about. It makes me crazy. And by crazy I mean seriously annoyed.

Mad said...

Like, uh, this would be a Just Post. I'll add it to the list.

Geggie said...

Yay! I'm so glad you posted! I love your gayest look!

Sahara said...

Good post.

Erin M. said...

Like SaraLynn, I had no idea about all of this, either....but I give your Just Post a huge thumbs up, and not just because my dad is gay. You are right--why all the fuss? We're all just people. Get a grip!