So as you already know, I’m currently on vacation in Australia and have been trying to take a little break from blogging but today I decided to write a post to discuss something that has really been bothering me since the Grammys aired last night. As we all know, last night Macklemore, Madonna, Queen Latifah & Mary Lambert all stepped out into the spotlight to perform the song “Same Love” along side 30 gay, straight, biracial couples who were married right there on stage! This did not only make for one of the most memorable Grammy Awards moments in history but also made a very profound statement to the world! Of course a controversial issue such as same-sex marriage is going to ignite a lot of different kinds of opinions and some negativity but what has really taken me aback is just how much of that negativity was being hurled at the performance from my very own GLBT community!! Since last night, my Facebook feed has been a non-stop bitch-fest of people picking the performance and the people involved apart.
“What business does Queen Latifah have being on stage when she hasn’t personally come out yet?”
“Madonna is old and shriveled. She needs to hang it up and stop trying to use the gay community to stay relevant.”
“Macklemore sure does feel the need to professes he’s straight an awful lot for a song that’s suppose to be ‘pro-gay’!”
Seriously?! Is my community really that cynical, shallow & ungrateful? Of course not everyone in the GLBT community had only negative things to say about the performance. Many also took to social media to express their joy and gratitude… I’m sure you’ve already gathered that I was one of them! It was just very alarming and disheartening for me to see so many took the time and energy to try to tear down a group of people that stood on stage in front of the world to make such a statement for acceptance and marriage equality! So what Queen Latifah has not publicly come out of the closet to the media?! As long as she is using her voice & platform to progress equality for her community, what difference does it make whether she has an official “coming out party” on the cover of People Magazine?! I know we live in a”reality TV” driven culture but I most certainly don’t believe that just because you are a celebrity, you are not entitled to any kind of privacy or normalcy in your private lives! This is her personal journey and who is anyone to judge how she chooses to navigate through it? “U.N.I.T.Y”
Madonna is 53 years old… She’s twice the age of most of her fellow pop peers so she’s an easy target for a lot of cynical remarks about her appearance or relevance! Did she a little look older than some of her more recent public appearances last night? Yes she did. Did she seem a little “stiff” on stage? Definitely! A lot of people don’t realize that she rolled her food a few weeks ago and was on crutches until just a few days ago – Hence her carrying a cane. But all that superficial stuff is really besides the point and really didn’t bother me as much as the people accusing her of using the gay community to “stay relevant”. Anyone that really thinks she has a hard time staying relevant need only to look at the numbers she pulled at the Super Bowl 2 years ago making her halftime show the most watched television event in history or Forbes’ list of highest earning celebrity in 2013 which she topped. This woman doesn’t need to “use the gay community” for anything. This is the woman that championed for the GLBT community in the 80′s and 90′s back when it was not “cool” or “trendy” to do so! Back when people didn’t only have “morality” issues with the gay community but at a time when the AIDS epidemic was more commonly associated to exclusively gay men and they were feared as a health risk to society. Voicing support to the gay community at that uncertain time was more “risky” to ones career than it is today. If anything, Madonna was a trail blazer for equality in pop culture and MADE IT “trendy” for the likes of Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, MTV, BRAVO, ect… to use their platform to say “it’s OK to be gay”! Who knows where our society would be today had one of the most famous people of her time NOT taken that risk and used her celebrity and power to stand up for her GLBT friends! We should all be grateful to the fact that she still remains ‘relevant’ and that she still fights the good fight for US three decades later. “Open Your Heart”
As for the people that just aren’t happy enough with Macklemore and the success of “Same Love“. The people that think he’s professing his “straight” status a little too much giving the song a “no homo” undertone. I don’t have much to say to you other than this… Take that chip off of your shoulder and those ear plugs out your ear to get past the first verse and take in the true message of the song as a whole. Here are the 2nd and 3rd verses for you reading pleasure to help clear up that clouded, misguided, cynical judgment of yours… ”Same Love”
“If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me Have you read the YouTube comments lately? “Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily We become so numb to what we’re saying A culture founded from oppression Yet we don’t have acceptance for ‘em Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it Gay is synonymous with the lesser It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference! Live on and be yourself When I was at church they taught me something else If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen I might not be the same, but that’s not important No freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it
We press play, don’t press pause Progress, march on With the veil over our eyes We turn our back on the cause Till the day that my uncles can be united by law When kids are walking ’round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are And a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all But it’s a damn good place to start No law is gonna change us We have to change us Whatever God you believe in We come from the same one Strip away the fear Underneath it’s all the same love About time that we raised up… sex”
Why am I taking all of this time and effort to try to change your perspective? Because it’s really important! Because in order for the world to change, we need people like Macklemore, Madonna, Mary Lambert & Queen Latifah on our side. And we need songs like “Same Love” playing on pop and hip hop radio! And more importantly, we need to keep the bigger picture in perspective and to ALL UNITE together instead of picking each other apart… Because at the end of the day it’s really going to take ALL OF US to fight off ignorance & the true enemies of equality like these people….