Let’s end this semester on a funny note. I’ve been compulsively rewatching Kathy Griffin’s TV specials for the last few days, and I read Margaret Cho got in a fight with Bristol Palin last week, with TMZ even asking whether Bristol got homophobic on Margaret. I want to make sure my love for Margaret and Kathy is widely known. Of course, both women are outspoken proponents of the gay community, with Cho even saying: “I refer to myself as gay, but I am married to a man” in this NY Times article.
Both of them, especially Kathy, are mainstream enough that their supportive talk about gay people is heard by a lot of people who aren’t gay or might not even be allies. When someone like Kathy Griffin, with a successful TV show and appears on talk shows like The View and Larry King Live, says things like: “I’ve got a few questions for those who supported Proposition 8. My question is a very profound one. What the fuck is it to you?” that means something to me. I also love that she’s campaigned against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Here’s why: even though great magazines like The Advocate or TV channels like Logo exist, can any of us honestly say most straight people with no connections to gay culture would read or watch them? (I’ve only met a few who can hold their own during debates on who should have won Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.) This is why it’s so important for straight allies and mainstream celebrities to be publicly supportive.
Of course, on the other hand, I’ve heard some argue that Kathy calling us “the gays” is demeaning. Personally, I think it’s just peachy for someone as famous as Kathy to make such an inclusive effort. Besides, when it comes to terms for gays, I would much rather be referred to collectively as “the gays” by an ally than such gems like “the homosexuals” or “sexual perverts” I’ve heard from homophobes. What are your thoughts on Kathy’s nickname? An insulting putdown – or just a funny from an ally?
Either way, it’s good to have celebs on our side, even if they are on the D-List.