27 September 2011

follow-up to yesterday's post

addendum to squicky moment #3: how many straight youth killed themselves this week?

and then this. at a homecoming dance his sister attended, peers cheered Jamey Rodemeyer's death.

disgusting. kids need to learn that their actions have consequences. and these kids should all be tried, convicted, and sentenced to work in a morgue.

26 September 2011

on post-hoc activism

i love Lady Gaga as much as the next relatively mainstream queer. that's not the point of this post, and that's why i'm not going to elaborate on my reasons.

i have some mixed feelings about her tribute performance at the iHeartRadio festival.

in case you're behind on gay news, a 14-year-old kid named Jamey Rodemeyer killed himself after enduring years of bullying by his peers. in case that's not fucked up enough, this same kid had made a video for the It Gets Better project, touting Lady Gaga's positive influence in his life. (i have not watched it yet, but there's the link if you want to.)

so Lady Gaga gets all up in arms and insists on meeting with the President to talk about bullying and making it a hate crime and sings this version of "Hair" as a tribute and says "bullying is for losers." this isn't really anything new; Lady Gaga has been a long-time anti-bullying advocate and the right of people to live as they are is the point of the entire Born This Way album. i think it's great when anyone with some degree of fame pays attention to this problem. but i feel funny about this.

squicky moment #1: i hate "Hair." it is without question my least favorite track on the album, mostly because i think the lyrics are stupid. it's not my song and i can't know what she was thinking/feeling when she wrote it. i just can't get into lyrics like "if i'm a hotshot mom will cut my hair at night" and "i just wanna be free, i just wanna be me, and i want lots of friends that invite me to their parties." really? really? "i am my hair"? that's the core of your identity? even more, that's what you're going to promote as a strong source of identity? i hope i'm missing something.

squicky moment #2: we have to rely on pop icons to spread messages of tolerance & acceptance because our political leaders, pastors, and principals aren't doing it.

squicky moment #3: how many other LGBTQ youth killed themselves this week? how many LGBTQ adults killed themselves this week? how many LGBTQ people were killed by others this week? how many of them will we never hear about? how many elders did we lose to AIDS this week? every life is precious, and every loss is a tragedy.

squicky moment #4: how many middle- and high-school kids who bully others for being/seeming queer are gonna give a shit whether Lady Gaga thinks they're a loser? furthermore, bullies bully because they feel like losers, so they need to find somebody else to put down and feel bigger than. so even if they do take it to heart, it's probably only going to make the problem worse.

i'd really like to sing the Lady's praises unconditionally and say "oh man this is great that she's calling attention to this and that kid would be so happy to know she dedicated a song to him at such a major event!" but in reality, Jamey Rodemeyer is dead. he killed himself because humans can't treat each other like humans, and even though he wanted to tell other kids playing the same shit hand he was dealt that it would be ok, he couldn't find a way to make it so. he's never going to hear this song or watch this video. he's never going to graduate from high school. he's never going to prove to the kids who bullied him, to the politicians and regular citizens who vote him down at every turn, to the preachers who told him and will tell us that he's already in hell, and most importantly to himself that he was worth a human life.