An ally is someone who is able to not only empathize with the oppression and plight of a group of people but also actively seeks out solutions to bring about advocacy for equal rights. Allies are instrumental in helping a group or community eliminate discrimination. And if/when said person(s) has said or done something that is insensitive or harmful against said community, they reach out to understand the error in their ways to prevent any other insult. They openly challenge those that condemn us and are a bridge to a solution, not the cause of our problems.
What allies don’t do is belittle and compare us to stereotypes that are based in hate. They do not call us toxic little queens and threaten to sodomize us with foreign objects and then fetishize how much we would enjoy the pain. And they certainly wouldn’t tell us that we use our coming out stories as a way to have credibility and popularity within the gay community.
See that is what Alec Baldwin should have done when he was confronted about his latest twitter rant by journalist Anderson Cooper. Baldwin felt it was necessary to tell a photo jornalist earlier this summer to stop being a toxic little queen this summer after his wife was reportedly tweeting during a funeral. During Baldwin’s tirade to try to defend his wife while publicly shaming the photog was weak for being gay and tried his best to demean the man by his sexuality, and not by any unethical practices. Soon after Cooper spoke out against Baldwin and his insensitive statements that were homophobic in nature.
But Baldwin had to respond to Cooper’s comments by making even more insensitive, homophobic statements on the Howard Stern radio show:
“What I realize about [Cooper] is, everybody in media, they have a job to do. Anderson Cooper has a job to do. And that job is to try to reinforce his credibility in the gay community after the fact that you couldn’t get him out of the closet for 10 years with a canister of tear gas. Now he’s the sheriff. Now he’s running around writing everybody a ticket!”
Sounds less about addressing the nature of the business and more about an actor that has an inflated appraisal of his talents going on to again attack the ibe thing he feels he has dominance and power over Cooper, his sexuality. Never mind that the process of coming out is different for all of us and takes years, sometimes decades to reconcile the constant unending judgement that you cannot (and should never be taught to) get rid of. There are still men and women that take their entire lifetimes to gain clarity in accepting something society constantly shames you for.
Why is it whenever someone confronts people like Baldwin, they have a tendency to claim the person opposing their view is some politically correct zealot that is just trying to win points with a group thereby warranting them to invalidate the truth? Was the fact that Baldwin felt he had to talk about a gay man as feminine and someone who’s prone to drama as he did in his latest twitter rant? Or how we talked about this man that accused his wife of tweeting at a funeral as someone that needs to be kicked in his rectum but would like that, because he apparently believes that we gay men love to sexualize violence.
The entire time Baldwin and his statements were about comparing homosexuality to femininity because they were implying that feminine is weak, which is the typical rhetoric of a bigot. And it is misogynist because it places not just femininity in gay men as a weakness, but all women as well. Claiming that you’ve had a long running history with helping numerous unnamed LGBT organizations does not exclude you from having a prejudice mindset or enacting in dialogue that is problematic, hypocritical and downright harmful to this community.
There is no timetable for it because we each have to accept it in our own time. But Baldwin, a straight man that never has to deal with anything other than being a mediocre sitcom actor, feels like he can postulate on the complexities of one’s coming out process. Snide remark aside, let’s go along with this assertion made by Baldwin of Cooper coming out merely to gain favor with the gay community. In a time when there are still LGBT youth that are still openly attacked, bullied, dismembered, driven to a point where they want to end their lives, then any visibility that eliminates the stigma and negative stereotypes that Baldwin promotes, then I still welcome it. Even if it is to gain some sort of status it is a whole lot more than anything Baldwin has ever done for this community.
So please tell me, how someone who can so easily trivialize the process of coming out could ever be an ally. Save the speeches and blanket apologies for someone that truly believes you give a damn, Alec Baldwin. You are no better than the bigots that openly try to oppress us. But at least they’re honest about it. We are now in a time when instead of a person admitting the error in their prejudiced ways they would rather double down on their idiocy while claiming they know the real complexities of a struggle they themselves are lucky enough to never have to experience. So they make even more insufferable, uneducated comments to try to cover up their ignorance their privilege of being a member of the majority has given them. And they look like insensitive, uncaring, completely unaware fools while doing so.
I for one am exhausted from so called allies that deem themselves as a good guy that had a rough day who was simply using their offensive manner in a different context that we are just too simple to understand. Sorry but you aren’t that good an actor. Claiming that they can so easily discern the reasoning behind someone coming out is laughable and to refer to the process of coming out as a bargaining tool for popularity is not only insulting, it’s disgusting. It’s paramount that so called allies like Baldwin be called out so when they make their mea culpas that are supposed to make us forget their numerous transgressions.
You see the best quality about an ally is that they are willing to listen, because they know no matter how much they are made aware of the oppression and discrimination a group or community face, that they still will never know exactly what the experience feels like. So they must always be willing to accept that there will be times that they see nothing wrong with their behavior when it in fact is very problematic. And since Baldwin seems too keen on ignoring that aspect. we can not call him an ally.