For some reason it seems our culture frowns against becoming a fan of someone (ie. an actor/actress or singer, or celebrity of any form) simply for their LGBT+ identity, their race, their nationality, their views, or their activism. Weird huh?
I guess by now you are probably expecting me to say something about Meryl Streep‘s speech at the
Golden Globes? Well you were right, though that’s only a portion of what this is about. But to get it out the way, GO ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF MERYL! Her speech put me in tears. I’ve never once watched the Golden Globes to be honest. I didn’t even watch it last night (1/8/17). But my Twitter feed was filled with tweets about it, so when I found a video of her speech, I couldn’t help but watch in awe.
I’ll be honest again, I have seen a lot of works she was in. It’s Complicated immediately comes to mind, as well as Sophie’s Choice. But I was never a huge fan. She’s talented don’t get me wrong. I have loved her in everything I have seen her in. However, she’s never been one of those people I just had to go to the movie theaters to see despite whether or not I had genuine interest in the movie.
Even now, I am not her biggest fan and won’t pretend to be. But my respect for her and her work has grown as I have watched her be a voice. Her abortion activism being one of the things I have admired her for.
But, and back to the real reason for writing this today, I have noticed a trend.
People seem genuinely butt hurt when a celebrity gains fans due to their activism, race, nationality, or identity as an LGBTQIA person.
It absolutely blows my mind that people are shocked that being an activist or LGBT could be a reason for someone to gain fans. It’s as if supporting an actress, actor, singer, ect. for speaking out on a cause we support or being brave enough to be out as LGBTQIA in some way, means that we don’t value them as a person. So let’s start with activism.
If an artist is an activist for something I believe in, they have my attention.
Honestly, it is so much easier for me to support someone as an artist if I can support their views. I am 10x more likely to watch their movie, their music video, or whatever it is they do. There are times when I watch a movie and point out to my partner, “Hey that’s soandso they are an activist for soandso” or “That’s the actor that stood up to soandso.” For example, we were watching The Percy Jackson movies the other night and I mentioned the author of the books, Rick Riordan, had “turned down an invite to be honored by TX state legislature as a Texas author” because of transphobic nonsense.
Why do I care?
Because, as for anyone, it is so much easier for me to get behind someone who is like minded.
I feel guilty watching, listening, or some how supporting someone who spews hate and ignorance. For instance, Jennifer Lawrence lost so much of my respect for her with her rubbing her butt on sacred rocks story.
As for someone being LGBTQIA or any marginalized group, we have our reasons.
Seeing someone being out in today’s world earns my respect a lot. Even more so when it is someone who is famous. Why? The backlash they put up with to be happy. The fight.
But most importantly, seeing famous LGBTQIA people gives us hope.
Any marginalized group is going to be happy to see people like them represented in the media.
I find it ridiculous to see people criticizing others for being a fan of someone because they are gay or bi, or trans. Why does it even matter why we are a fan? That’s like me saying you are only a fan of a certain sports team because you went to that school? Why does it matter?!
For instance, I have always loved Holland Taylor. But I had no ever clue who Sarah Paulson was (sorry AHS fans). And as I talked to some friends last night and earlier today, they gushed over how cute her girlfriend (Holland) was because she always talks so sweetly about Sarah on Twitter. As the conversation continued they admitted they were only a fan of Holland because she was dating a girl.
It got me to thinking about the number of people I am a fan of for similar reasons. Some of my favorite YouTubers are gay, and I only knew of their existence because of a relationship with another Youtuber.
That being said, I am very proud of the fact that I support LGBTQ+ artists. Why shouldn’t I?
Especially artists who wear their intersectionality with pride, because it’s inspiring to so many people.
Oh that’s right, because it is biased. At least according to people who think being of a marginalized identity or group is bullshit. “It’s not fair you only like ___ because they are gay.” And you only like ____ because they are pretty? What is your point please?
Artists who are marginalized and activist? Hell yeah they get even more of my support. You inspire me and so many others on a day to day basis. Wanda Sykes was a huge part of the reason I ever came out as bi. Her “that’s so gay” commercials gave me hope that world is changing and people like me will be safe one day.
In conclusion, fuck what people say. If you want to support someone because of their activism or because they are of a marginalized group, do it! We have to support each other.