Kevin Hart and the Oscars Conundrum

If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media in the past month, you’ve probably heard about the Kevin-Hart-Oscars-Situation. Essentially, after it was announced that Kevin Hart would be hosting the 2019 Oscars, some journalists noticed he deleted homophobic tweets he made back in 2009-2010. Tweets were not the only documentation of Hart’s homophobic past, he also included homophobic “jokes” about not wanting his son to be gay in one of his stand-up sets.

When all of this began to blow up in his face, the Oscars asked Hart to apologize, and if he didn’t they were going to replace him as host. Kevin Hart then refused to apologize, stating he already had and would not do it again, and then stepped down from hosting the Oscars. Before I unpack this whole mess, let me just say that I believe people can change. I want to see people change, and I think even those with the hardest of hearts can be different if they chose to be. I also think we should forgive people, if and when they make a sincere apology and show changed behavior. I do not believe this is the case with Kevin Hart.

Many journalists have looked for this elusive apology Hart claims to have made, but it has yet to be found. The fact that he was not willing to simply apologize and move on in the first place is very telling to me. The incredibly dismissive and defensive nature of Kevin Harts interviews since the backlash shows me, that not only is his half-assed apology, that only came after stepping down from the Oscars and continuing to receive backlash afterwards, is insincere but Hart also does not see the serious repercussions that the LGBTQIA+ community faces when people like him promote homophobia.

Ellen DeGenerous had Kevin Hart on her show for him to tell his story. On the show he did technically apologize, but not without excuses and continuing to bring up that he had already apologized. She then forgave him and said she believed he should still host the Oscars. Ellen does not speak for the whole community, she doesn’t even speak on behalf of all white lesbians, because I definitely disagree with her. On her show, he said he just wanted it all to go away and to stop being talked about. That only continues to show his lack of remorse. He also painted himself as victim, with a sob story to follow, feeling very much like he thinks the blow back from the LGBTQA+ community took the Oscars from him. When you are the perpetrator you don’t get to decide when the conversation is over.

CNN reporter Don Lemon did an amazing segment on this situation that I think everyone should watch, if you haven’t already. In a follow up, Lemon talks about how Kevin Hart has behaved in other “apology” interviews he has done. To be honest it blows my mind that Hart can’t give a genuine apology. Every single apology is followed with, “…but I didn’t say these things to ACTUAL gay people,” “… but the times were different,” “… but I already apologized,” “… anyone who refuses to accept my apology is a hater and that’s their problem.” He also said that “It’s not his life dream to be an LGBTQA+ ally” in response to Don Lemon suggesting he uses his platform to help end homophobia in the black community. Guess what Kevin? It’s not my life dream to constantly be bombarded with homophobia but here we are.

So, what’s the answer to this situation? I don’t need Kevin Hart to apologize again nor to I need him to be a champion for LGBTQA+ rights. We clearly aren’t going to get a better apology, and I can accept that. I hope we can see his apology through changed behavior instead. I also hope this sets a precedent to show that homophobia is not okay, and our community will hold you accountable for it. Honestly, at the end of the day this could have been a simple situation. One genuine apology would have changed everything. Homophobia comes in all different shades, every homophobic person is not holding a “I hate fags” sign, sometimes it comes out in jokes and comments. While this whole situation may seem silly to some, the reality of living as a minority teaches you even the most palatable bigotry and hate is deadly.

 

Advertisements

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Homophobic Bakery

The Supreme Court ruling in the Masterpiece Bakery vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case is deeply upsetting to me both as a gay person and as a Christian. Seeing our government side with homophobia and hate is disgusting, and a huge step backwards. It makes we wonder what else might happen to the LGBTQIA+ community under the Trump administration. This is not the first attack on queer rights during his Presidency – trans rights have been attacked multiple times before, and clear messages from his administration, like refusing to acknowledge Pride Month speak volumes.

The bakery won the case off of the claim that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was hostile towards religion. I’m so tired of seeing people constantly try to use their religion as a justification of their bigotry, the fact that they won this case is mind-boggling. Christians are very rarely the victims, no matter how big their victim complex is. As a Christian, one of the most saddening things about this case is that it continues to perpetuate the lies that God hates gay people, and that God would condone ostracizing someone for any reason. This are not the messages the Bible teaches, no matter how many hateful white people tell you otherwise.

In the United States, you have the right to believe and say what you want to. However, you do not have the right to discriminate against other people. We also are supposed to have a separation of Church and State. You cannot impose your religious beliefs onto other people or make laws based on religious ideologies. Religion is never an excuse for bigotry and discrimination, and there is not place for religion in our government. The actions of people like the owners of the Masterpiece bakery are the reason so many LGBTQIA+ people feel unwelcome in Churches.

The LGBTQIA+ community is resilient and has continuously fought back against discrimination and inequality, this isn’t a new fight. We should be able to live in a world where you don’t have to question whether or not someone will deny you service based on your sexuality or gender, but unfortunately we aren’t there yet.

The Incompleteness of Being Single

In January, I read Rupi Kaur’s poetry book, milk and honey and one poem in particular really stuck out to me.

” you are in the habit

of co-depending

on people to

make up for what

you think you lack

who tricked you

into believing

another person

was meant to complete you

when the most they can do is complement”

When people are in relationships they often introduce their significant other as their “better half.” Before this poem I had never really contemplated how much society tells us we are lacking something by simply being individuals. We are not whole until we’re in a relationship, and a relationship is something we should always desire.

No one can complete something that is already complete. I like the idea of complementing each other. Your significant other should bring out the best in you; they are not the best thing about you. I feel like younger generations are becoming less interested in being in long term relationships and getting married. Independence has become valued over commitment. From a certain standpoint, I understand that. Co-dependence can be toxic, and it’s important to learn how to exist as an individual.

The line, “co-depending on people to make up for what you think you lack” is so profound to me. We should not look to others to “make-up” for anything, but should instead focus on how we can better ourselves. This definitely goes both ways.  I believe people shouldn’t enter into relationships with the mindset that they are going to change their partner. You should accept your partner for who they are, and respect who they are out side of the “us” that you’ve created. You are not the reason they are great. If they were great before you, then they will be great after you.

If you aren’t interested in being in a relationship for any reason, that’s perfectly fine! I find it so odd that the general consensus seems to be that if people aren’t married or at the very least in a long-term relationship by a certain age, then something must be wrong with that person. Having different goals in life is perfectly fine. It’s also fine if you want to be in a relationship, but just haven’t found the right person yet.  “Co-depending” on people to try and compensate for the things you hate about yourself is not healthy, nor will it harvest a healthy relationship. In my eyes, it’s much better to be single, then it to settle in an unhappy relationship, hoping the things you don’t like about them will change, and believing you lack something without them.

Have you read any of Rupi Kaur’s work? What do you think of this poem?

 

Contemplating Societies Response to Murder Victims

David Sherrard, a Texas police officer, was killed last week after responding to a disturbance call, where he was shot. Later that week his funeral was held, and I just so happened to be driving on the highway that his funeral brigade was being led down. At first I didn’t realize what was going on. There were tons of people sitting on the grass next to the highway, and at least 75 cars pulled over on the shoulder. Finally, when I saw all of the first responder vehicles and tow trucks holding massive American flags, I understood what was happening.

It was tragic and beautiful at the same time. So many people came out to pay their respects to him. I may not be a fan of the way our justice system is run, and I 100% condemn the actions of the racist police officers who continue to target and kill people of color. However, in this situation an innocent man was murdered when trying to respond to a disturbance call and protect the neighborhood. He left behind a wife, two daughters, and countless other friends and family members. The response to his murder brought tears to my eyes and sent chills rushing down my body.

I in no way mean to down-play the severity of this situation or the massive loss his friends and family members are going through, but it made me think about how we respond to other murder victims. When police officers are the victims, hundreds of people gather and make donations. We hear news stories for weeks, and hold huge candle-lit services. However, when the victim is an unarmed black man, who was murdered by the police during a traffic stop, the majority of our society is silent. The victims community steps up, and black people continuously call out the injustice, but the world does not respond in nearly the same way. Where are the hundreds of people waiting to pay their respects to them? Why do we value some lives more than others?

I’m not saying that the response to Sherrard’s death is wrong or unwarranted, I just believe we should have a conversation about why we don’t respond to other victims the same way. We should be even more outraged when the victim is a civilian, let alone a civilian killed by police. It is a tragedy when anyone is murdered, and we should respond in the same way. First responders lives are not more valuable than civilians lives. Every human life has value, and the loss of anyone, especially when they’ve been murdered, should evoke a strong feeling in all of us to pay them respect, and make sure we can do everything in our power so it doesn’t happen again. I want to see hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to victims of police brutality. Yes, some cases do make it in the news, especially in the last few years, but so many others go unknown. These people deserve the same response and respect that police officers get, and above all they deserve to be treated like their life had the same value.

Shit My Ableist Family Members Say: Chronically Misunderstood

After spending Thanksgiving with my extended family, I realized about 95% of my conversations with them included a lot of ableism and me gritting my teeth. There’s some of things they’ve said to me recently:

  1. “I’m so glad you’re better!!!”

My Grandmother told me how happy she was that I was all better at Thanksgiving, when I literally had an endoscopy the day before. About 80% of the time I was at her house I felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach, but my face told another story. Just because I’m good at pretending to be “fine” for your sake, doesn’t mean I’m not screaming in pain.

2. “You’ve learned some great life lessons though”

Yes, I became sick as a child so I could learn a few lessons. One of them is how absolutely insensitive that comment is. Another, is how to restrain myself form decking you in the face.

3. “Do you have a real life now?” or “Are you truly living now?”

Apparently my life wasn’t worth living when I laid in bed sick for months, but dragging my aching body around to school is a meaningful and “real” life.

4. “Sometimes God just answers prayers slowly”

While I am a Christian and believe in God, the idea that one day God is going to magically cure me is ridiculous. Some problems don’t have resolutions, and that expectation leads to devastation.

5. “People who apply for disability are just lazy”

If I wasn’t a minor I definitely would have been on disability, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Also, wow just wow.

6. “I just don’t know how it’s possible that you’re STILL sick!”

Touche

…but it’s called “chronic” illness for a reason.

 

These are just a few of my favorite gems! There’s many, many more and a part two may have to happen soon.

What is the most ridiculous thing people say to you about your chronic illness(es) / disabilities? I’m sure you all have some great stories!

Why “I’m just not very political” is an Ignorant Statement 

Few phrases get under my skin as much as, “I’m just not very political” does.

First of all, if you don’t care about politics you’re probably incredibly privileged. If it doesn’t matter who’s in power to you, you’re probably not the one getting your rights taken away, or having to fight to have rights in the first place. Even if the majority of politics “aren’t going to effect you” you should still have an ounce of humanity in you to care about other people, and how politics might affect their lives.

Most people don’t get the choice to not be involved in politics. They have to fight for basic human rights and to continue to have the right’s they’ve already been given. Being complacent isn’t an option. Minorities having been fighting the same fight for hundreds of years, and know that they can’t back down even when they’re tired or its inconvenient.

“I’m not just that political” is such a cop-out statement. As if not caring about politics excludes you from having to care and making decisions that effect other people’s lives. For example, I know a lot of people who refused to vote in the last election because they didn’t like Trump or Hillary. Choosing not to vote does not mean that you aren’t responsible for the outcome. Voting is your civic duty, and if you are able to vote and chose not to, then you are part of the problem.

Many people who claim they “aren’t very political” seem to feel a sense of moral high ground, as if caring about politics is wrong or stupid. I think not caring about politics is wrong and stupid. Attempting to exclude yourself from politics, does not make you a better or more mature person. I would actually argue that it’s incredibly immature to not participate in politics. Hard decisions have to be made, rather you like the candidates or not, and is the last election it should not have been a hard decision. No matter what country you are a citizen of, you should always be actively trying to make it a better place. If you are lucky enough to live in a democracy, then you ought to play a part in politics, and put your ballot where your mouth is. Also, if you chose not to vote, you have no right to complain about politics. You had a chance to better our country, and instead you sat idly by being complacent.

Everyone should vote.

Everyone should care about politics.

Everyone should want to move forward and better our country.

Trumps Latest Attack on Trans Rights

I would like to say I was surprised to wake up yesterday morning and find the tweets about banning trans people from the military, but honestly nothing he does shocks me anymore.

This however did seem out of the blue to me. No conversation, only a declaration. While technically nothing is set in stone or law yet, even stating these kinds of hatful things is harmful. This is the slow way to eventually ban trans people from existing. If they can’t go to the bathroom and can’t in the military, where can trans people exist then?

I wouldn’t say that I personally support the military in all of its endeavors, but being pro-military or not isn’t what this is about. Your gender shouldn’t determine what you can and can’t do or what you can and can’t be in life. If your willing to put your life on the line, you should be welcomed with open arms and allowed to live an authentic life.

Trump claims trans people are a “burden” due to their medical costs. The US military has quite the track record of not taking care of their veterans, or active duty member for that matter when it comes to health care of any kind. Not to mention not all trans people medically transition, and you shouldn’t assume they will or want to.

There are also over 15,000 trans people currently serving in our military. What’s going to happen to them? He acts like he’s stopping trans people from joining the armed forces, but no trans people are already serving.  You cannot end sometimes career because of their gender identity. Are you going to discharge them like they did back when “don’t ask don’t tell” was a law? We’re going backwards on the progress we’ve made.

I believe this is just the beginning of an attack on the LGBTQIA+ community. He’s gone after trans people multiple times now, and it isn’t going to stop unless there is enough backlash. Even then it may not end. Gaby Dunn made a video about this, and she believes that Trump is going after trans people first, because they don’t always get the support that other members of the LGBTQIA+ members receive. I completely agree, and since that’s probably true everyone in the community, and everyone who is a decent human being, should show up and support trans people.

The LGBTQIA+ community is resilient and we will not let him get away with this.