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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Lil B's "I'm Gay" Album. Am I supposed to be happy about this?

Ok, we have a complicated one here.

Rapper Lil B has released an album entitled "I'm Gay" to show his support for the GBLT community

Hmmm

Look, ok I love positive messages. I love any and all attempts to combat homophobia. I love that he's happy to go out there stand up and fight this. I love that he's willing to be on our side and work to be an ally

But a straight guy deciding to release an album entitled "I'm Gay"? Really man?

He wants to push for less seperation - yeah, but appropriating our labels? No, really not a good method. Less seperation would be great push for equality, not giving the idea you're one of us when you're not.

And you know what? Saying those words "I'm Gay" for us is called "coming out." It is often the most terrifying, most powerful, most momentous moments of our lives - and the most risky. It's often a life-changing moment for us - both good and bad. It's something that takes incredible courage and something that can risk losing employment, friendship, home, family bodily integrity and even life and limb. And you're using it to market your album? You're using it as a cover title?

You do not - cannot - understand that experience or what that means. You do not get to play with it or use it so.

Call out homophobia, write songs and have performances praising and showcasing acceptance and diversity - but don't decide to announce "I'm Gay" as a way to show how much you love us, because I'm side-eyeing this something fierce. You don't announce your allydom by claiming the label of the marginalised people you're allying with.


I love the sentiment, but I am all kinds of not happy with the implementation. Straight men are not gay, do not know what it's like to be gay, do not get to claim the label of gay and do not get to market their product as gay without it being appropriative and causing my head to throb. Lil B, I appreciate your desire to be an ally and to stand with us - but you're not gay and your use of the phrase "I'm Gay" is problematic



And on the death threats - yes that's all kinds of shit. But at the same time - the horrors of straight people facing life where people think they're gay? Hmmmmm, you get to turn round, change the name of your album or name the next one "how much I only shag women" and you're clear.