Curb your entitlement

Queerly Political

kaitlyn-hodge_online

Who the hell orders a mint julep on a Saturday night at a drag show?

Apart from my previous singular experience with friends at a gay bar in West Hollywood, this was the first time I was alone in a queer space. In Orange County, where I grew up, queer spaces are few and far between. I didn’t want to awkwardly be the introverted and quiet queer that I am in social settings.

While taking in the show, I befriended a gay man, and we bonded over the fact that we both happened to order mint juleps on Saturday night at a drag show — because, honestly, who does? He seemed quirky and funny to say the least.

We watched the show and made idle chit chat to pass the time. I was starting to come out of my shell and embrace the community of queerness around me until I heard him utter, “I wish there were more white queens here.”

There was that moment of pause like when you hear something egregious and you’re so taken aback by what you’ve heard. The distance of that suspension seems even greater when heard in a queer space by a queer person. And with eyes wide open I asked what he meant, considering that there were, at the very least, four white queens who tackled the runway. He responded with, “I’m just not into black drag.”

A similar event happened in 2017, when a racist tweet surfaced from famous gay makeup vlogger and CoverGirl spokesperson James Charles. The tweet included a line that said, “I can’t believe we’re going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola?” Immediately after that, Charles removed other racist tweets that were discovered on his account. Despite backlash from concerned consumers, CoverGirl’s response was cringeworthy: The company didn’t fire him to hold him accountable for his racism.

These instances of overt racism and microaggressions contribute to a culture that normalizes racism and violence. Language shapes our views and perceptions of the world around us.

Microaggressions and racist language within our community reinforces systems of oppression.

LGBTQ folks experience oppression at the intersection of our differing identities, but we can also be enforcers of oppression.

In 2016, I attended a vigil in honor of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The shooting marked the deadliest instance of violence against the LGBTQ community in U.S. history. Everyone stood together holding candles, distraught as they listened to the organizers speak about the act of terrorism. It wasn’t until one of the speakers talked about the intersection of race and sexuality and gender identity that I heard someone utter the words, “This is divisive — we need to talk about the LGBTQ community and not about race.”

But how can we not talk about race? According to the Human Rights Campaign, of the 102 reported trans individuals killed from 2013-17, 87 were people of color, with 75 of them identifying as Black. At least 88 were trans women. Transgender women are also four times more likely to be victims of a homicide than the general population of all women.

Intersectionality of identity provides the lens of how systems of oppression such as racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism work together. This notion was coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw to recognize power dynamics and privilege in society. Understanding our role in maintaining systems of oppression is essential for our liberation.

As a white femme, I walk through the world with privilege and experience queerness differently because of my whiteness. I am by no means trying to speak on behalf of or for people of color. Nor I am trying to homogenize a singular experience of queerness as dogmatic. My goal is to simply bring light to an issue that is so often left out of conversations within the LGBTQ community.

Fellow white members of the LGBTQ community, we need to do better. It’s not enough for us to not be racist — we need to be actively calling out racism within our own community and ourselves.

Queer and trans people of color have led the movement for equality and are the reason the LGBTQ community has made the social progress it has today. So where is your goddamn respect?

Kaitlyn Hodge writes the Thursday blog on queer issues. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @kaitlynhodge.

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  • California Defender

    I know this is just an opinion article and such submissions tend to be petty temper tantrums to begin with.

    But this one is insufferably asinine. This puerile prattle of overused buzzwords, irrelevant data, and narcissistic virtue signalling is too much even for the Daily Californian.

    Clear and irrefutable evidence that the decline of Berkeley accelerates.

    And, worse still, mint juleps have been ruined.

  • Lauren Frost

    Great article Kaitlyn! Controversial for some of these not-so-cultivated folk, but I loved the topics you brought up!

    • California Defender

      Oh, how your posts make me chuckle, Miss Frost. Nothing, not even a sliver of this article that is simply a pixelated version of bullhorn bawling, is remotely controversial.

      It is exactly what one expects from the dark and cold echo-chamber of Berkeley. Controversy is but a distant memory buried in the depths of the greyest heads at UCB. For you, and your purple-haired pal, you see yourselves charging in shining armor with sword held high at your mortal enemy du jour.

      In reality, you’re wrapped in tinfoil with ear plugs and blinders firmly affixed while wildly swinging a cocktail sword at your own shadow.

      Relax and drink some tea or a few mint juleps.

  • 1776

    Not really sure how someone not being into black drag is racist.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      You have a lot to learn. I suspect future columns will explain how not wanting to sleep with a girl who has a tadger is transphobic.

      • Jorge Carolinos

        Its been done.

        • Nunya Beeswax

          Truly, nihil sub sole novum.

        • Nunya Beeswax

          Also, the abject retardedness of that video gave me cancer.

  • That Guy

    Send to “The Onion”

  • lspanker

    According to the Human Rights Campaign, of the 102 reported trans individuals killed from 2013-17, 87 were people of color, with 75 of them identifying as Black. At least 88 were trans women. Transgender women are also four times more likely to be victims of a homicide than the general population of all women.

    Provide some facts about the racial makeup of their murderers, and then we can have some meaningful discussion. Otherwise, it’s just an irrelevant piece of data offered up so the usual serial virtue-signalers can have their huff-and-puff session for the day…

  • LordGreyFalcon

    “Entitlement” is fast becoming a dog-whistle.

    • lspanker

      These children are like parrots – they learn some phrase, and squawk it over and over again, thinking they are engaged in some type of meaningful communication.

      • Lauren Frost

        That’s not fair. You are entitled to you’re opinion and she’s is entitled to hers. I loved her points and thought she did a wonderful job opening people up to conversations we aren’t having.

        • lspanker

          That’s not fair. You are entitled to you’re opinion and she’s is entitled to hers.

          And my opinion is she’s regurgitating nonsense. Y que?

          • Lauren Frost

            and my opinion is that you’re perpetuating homophobia and racism because it’s easier to point fingers and villainize a thinker than it is to be one. y que?

          • lspanker

            and my opinion is that you’re perpetuating homophobia and racism

            Because I dare call you on your babbling nonsense? You chose to put your stock in a bunch of babbling nonsense, I prefer to think for yourself. Screaming “racism” every time you can’t win an argument only makes you look like a fool.

          • Lauren Frost

            it’s only racism when someone is attacking another person for fighting for equality. seems about right in this context.

          • lspanker

            it’s only racism when someone is attacking another person for fighting for equality.

            Spewing semi-coherent accusatory nonsense isn’t “fighting for equality”. Really, child, where did you learn this nonsense?

          • Lauren Frost

            it’s only semi-coherent if you don’t have the intelligence to comprehend it.

          • lspanker

            What’s there to comprehend, other than some foaming loony accusing others of “racism” based on something that person can’t even articulate clearly?

          • Lauren Frost

            It’s as obvious as anyone could make it, the fact that you can’t comprehend it after my massive diminution for your sake says quite a bit.

          • lspanker

            You insist on calling me a “racist”. Care to produce any sources and cites to back your position? And no, merely disagreeing with your friend’s disjointed screed doesn’t make on a “racist”…

          • Jorge Carolinos

            Racism now means anything and nothing, it’s now so decontextualized that it means the same as “have a nice day” or saying “thank you” to the bus driver.

  • Grady

    Very strange article, very strange……

    • Nunya Beeswax

      It must be exhausting to spend so much of one’s time carefully ticking all the right boxes.

      • Lauren Frost

        It’s not ticking the right boxes, it’s taking the time to understand what’s right and wrong and talking about it.

        • lspanker

          Except this child has NO clue what’s “right” or “wrong”, merely another naive and gullible dumb bunny with no life experience whose mind has been stunted with PC brainwashing…

          • Lauren Frost

            and you’re what? a racist, homophobic bigot with nothing better to do than tear down someone who’s actually trying to make a difference in this world? kaitlyn is fighting for a world of equality and you’re fighting to remain ignorant, uncultivated, and uninformed. as she’d say, check your privilege ;)

          • lspanker

            and you’re what? a racist, homophobic bigot

            Really? PROVE IT. It’ merely the type of accusatory BS that children like you pull when you can’t win an argument.

            kaitlyn is fighting for a world of equality

            Oh, BS, your little hero is merely fighting for a world where people can utter complete nonsense and not be called on it. You probably have NO idea what the word “racist” really means – it’s just been something you have been taught to regurgitate on cue when you’re losing an argument and can’t convince the others of the superiority of your views based on facts or logic.

          • Lauren Frost

            alright child, let me help you a little bit.  first and foremost the fact that you’re on here tearing down an actually educated and actually intelligent person who’s expressing very important and progressive views on society’s beliefs on racism and homophobia IS inherently both racist and homophobic. no question there. second, the manner in which you attack her also suggests both entitlement and enthocentrism, neither a thing to be proud of. last, coming down on such a progressive, forward-thinking woman (no matter your political views) affirms how antiquated and outdated your state of mind is. all things aside, even if you do believe she is “regurgitating” something, her words (recycled or not) do make a very valid point. your argument is irrelevant.

          • lspanker

            alright child, let me help you a little bit. first and foremost the fact that you’re on here tearing down an actually educated and actually intelligent person

            Intelligent and educated individuals express cogent, coherent thought on specific issues, and back their statements with facts and logic. Merely accusing others of “racism” or “homophobia” without facts to back up one’s position doesn’t win people over to your side, and only makes you look like an abject fool.

            progressive views on society’s beliefs on racism and homophobia

            So-called “progressive views” are often a regurgitation of tired buzz-words and baseless accusations, similar to your last two posts.

            the manner in which you attack her also suggests both entitlement and enthocentrism

            Specifics to back up your claim, or is that merely what you were taught to regurgitate in your Victim’s Studies program, which I submit is devoid of both academic rigor and useful career skills.

            affirms how antiquated and outdated your state of mind

            Thinking for one’s self never goes out of style, regardless of what PC nonsense has been shoved down your gullet as of late.

          • Lauren Frost

            just because you don’t understand either of us (or being a decent human being in general) does not make us the dumb ones, that kind of falls back on you. by directly expressing distaste for the pro-lgbtq and pro-poc community, you are also directly displaying both racism and homophobia– i don’t know how else to say it, but perhaps the reason you can’t seem understand anything is the same reason you still maintain your abhorrent, antiquated views? (likely the same ones your racist grandfather shoved down your throat and you keep seeming to regurgitate- sounds a bit hypocritical to me) I mean- wouldn’t it make more sense that you’re the middle-american sheep regurgitating the same old, revolting values than Kaitlyn who’s bringing in NEW and PROGRESSIVE ones?

            well aren’t you disgusting? now you’re being demeaning and heinous towards people who devote their lives to helping victims? you’re just furthering my point that you remain an atrocious bigot not worth Kaitlyn’s or my time. I can’t even begin to dissect that one.

            Also- you talk about having no facts, but where are yours ?? You claim she’s regurgitating “key words” so PLEASE show me the facts ??

            You keep avoiding her actual topics because you, likely, are completely uninformed and wouldn’t be able to hold up two minutes of a conversation about what she’s really talking about. But yes, much easier to blindly attack from behind a computer screen about something as insignificant as “recycled phrases.”

          • lspanker

            just because you don’t understand either of us (or being a decent human being in general) does not make us the dumb ones

            You’re clearly incapable of making your point without making bogus accusations, so who’s the dumb one again?

            by directly expressing distaste for the pro-lgbtq and pro-poc community

            WTF does that mean? How about dealing with specifics instead of incoherent, disjointed accusations?

            perhaps the reason you can’t seem understand anything is the same reason you still maintain your abhorrent, antiquated views?

            Insisting on fact-based, logical and coherent arguments isn’t being “abhorrent” or “antiquated”. Who fills your empty skull with such nonsense again?

            ikely the same ones your racist grandfather shoved down your throat

            I had two grandfathers. One was a prominent federal judge in NYC who was praised by civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and CORE for his rulings overturning discrimination in federal hiring practices. The other one was a trained architect and landscaper from San Diego who was at one time in his life fluent in Spanish, hired Mexican laborers to work with him, and brought me down to Tijuana BC Mexico for the first time when I was 7 years old to eat tacos and listen to mariachi music when he drove a couple of his laborers home one Saturday afternoon. So please tell me what makes either of those fine, dear departed men (neither of which are deserving of your filthy slander) “racists” again?

            The rest of your pathetic rant is merely hysterical tripe, and not worthy of wasting time on a response…

          • Lauren Frost

            My issue is- your main attack is that she’s regurgitating already spoken information and you’re trying to discredit her entire value system based on the fact that she collected valuable beliefs and thoroughly educated herself on the work done before her?? I’m sure there are people before you who have spoken your exact beliefs before you a million times. Does that make you a gullible, regurgitating sheep, too?

          • lspanker

            The writer of this article seems more interested in virtue-signaling and weaving bits of disjointed events into some proof of systematic racism, which is ludicrous.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            1984 isn’t a text book, it is a dystopian cautionary tale. Decontextualizing words to the point they have no meaning isn’t educated, indoctrination into the mysteries of post modern jabberings isn’t educated.

            The vast majority of the world get up, go to work, have a beer after work, read book etc… Remaking the world one buzz phrase about privilege at a time isn’t progress, its spinning the wheels of studies money wasted.

        • Nunya Beeswax

          It’s a careful and curated performance of “wokeness,” rooted more in the individual’s incessant self-regard than in concern for others.

    • lspanker

      Consider the source…