My name is Matthew and I am on the internet a lot.
I just started to respond on someone’s Facebook wall to “Bye Sierra,” the really poorly copyedited Huffington Post response to the “Hey White Gays” editorial that’s had the internet a-flutter for seven whole days now, and then I realized that Facebook commenting on a Huffington Post article is probably the single worst use of anyone’s time, so instead hi Tumblr, here is a list of thoughts that I have had over the last few days.
1. When I saw Sierra Mannie’s original editorial and didn’t read the caption, I assumed that the photo of Beyonce was a photo of a white man in Beyonce drag. This is maybe not an important point, aside from the fact that I’m overdue for an eye exam, but I found that to be the most surprising element of this editorial. Everything else, I think, I’ve seen pretty regularly for a long time now.
2.The first two references I saw to the editorial were both from gay friends on social media (one white, one who I’m assuming doesn’t identiy as white although I don’t really know him that well and you know how Facebook friendships are.) Both of these gay men referenced their own experiences dealing with friends who got really offended when asked what the deal was with gay men fetishizing black female pop culture. Here, I’ll quote one: “I have asked so many gay white dudes I know why they think gay men fetishize black women, but most of the time, the people I’ve asked have been super offended by the very question… And while this article doesn’t hazard any guesses as to why, it does make the basic point that it ain’t fun, it ain’t cute, and it needs to stop. Agreed.”
3. I’ve wanted to ask certain people that same question, although my morbid fear of anything resembling confrontation has prevented me from ever doing so.
4. The friends I have who are the biggest Beyonce fans are both gay men from the deep south, which leads me to another point that I think people aren’t acknowledging: Sierra Mannie’s experience as a young woman of color in Mississippi—who originally framed this article for readers of University of Mississippi’s student newspaper and not for you—is maybe not something that you can relate to and/or make assumptions about, Mr. Snarky New Yorker.
5. She’s a senior in college, calling her a kid is demeaning.
6. Three artlcles I will probably never read:
"Dear Black People: Cut White Gays Some Slack" (Vice)
"Dear White Gays: Don’t Listen To Time Magazine" (Thought Catalog)
"A Response To Sierra Mannie, From A White Gay" (BuzzFeed)
7. Black women that I get really excited about these days in a way that might seem like a little much: Lizzo, Katey Red, Mariah Carey.
8. Seriously, have you heard Me. I Am Mariah. The Elusive Chanteuse? IT IS SO GOOD. And, as my fortysomething boyfriend described it the other day, “age appropriate.” But I digress.
9. The people that I’ve seen reacting the hardest against this article (again, I’m referring to internet commenters because I have had exactly one conversation about this article in real life and it was with someone who hadn’t read it) all strike me as being super insecure. I don’t think that ranking minorities by order of discrimination is a particularly useful exercise, but we all live in our bubbles, self-inflicted or otherwise, and the northern white gay urban bubble is actually pretty good right now. So listen to the angry minority person who lives in the state that you’ll probably never go to.
10. Sierra Mannie is more articulate than any of her detractors, or at least the couple that I’ve bothered to read. Which might just mean that Time has more thorough editors than the Huffington Post. (I mean they must.) But seriously. Here is something Mannie says:
Black people can’t have anything. Any of these things include, but aren’t limited to: a general sense of physical safety, comfort with law enforcement, adequate funding and appreciation for black spaces like schools and neighborhoods, appropriate venues for our voices to be heard about criticism of issues without our race going on trial because of it, and solid voting rights.
Here is something that Anthony Michael D’Agostino, “PhD. Candidate,” says in the Huffington Post:
And when you brew us some “truth tea” oblivious to the fact that “t,” as used in gay male social circles, in fact, stands for “truth,” which we “spill” as a double entendre of “tea, ” thus making your condescending brew of “truth tea” read like an amateurish cup of awkward “truth-truth,” it sounds like someone watched Paris is Burning a whole half time before she thought she could talk down to gay men in their own lingo.
I can’t wait to read his dissertation about how incorrect it is when people call them ATM machines. Also stay away from the gay T.
“ Dr. Hazel Bennett is a former heard of the Department of Library Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. She has written the definitive history of libraries in Jamaica entitled A History of Libraries in Jamaica, 1697-1987 (unpublished). ”
— i’m currently reading a book about Jamaican history. I’m not a fan of the writing style at all so I’m pretending I’m reading it for a class and doing a chapter every couple of days. I’m still at the beginning, but the most fascinating part thusfar has been the author bio on the back cover.
Page 1 of 413