Thursday, November 3, 2011

If you're a bigot when you're angry, you're a bigot all the time


I've got little love for anyone who spends time cackling with Joan Rivers at other women's looks, but Kelly Osbourne's recent comments are putrid and nasty even for a Rivers acolyte. From The Daily Mail [HT Celebitchy]:
Kelly Osbourne has had perhaps the most embarrassing celebrity break-up of all time. After gushing to the world how in love she was with ex-fiancé Luke Worrall it all went wrong when she found out he had allegedly cheated on her with a transsexual who is awaiting gender reassignment surgery.
Kelly claims that she was absolutely humiliated when she had to tell her parents Ozzy and Sharon that the love of her life had reportedly cheated with Elle Schneider. The 27-year-old told Glamour Magazine: ‘Having to tell them my fiance had cheated on me with a tranny who sold his/her story to the press [was the most uncomfortable moment]. It was so humiliating.’
Osbourne explained how she found it difficult to understand why male model Luke would cheat on her with a man after being together for around a year and a half.
She added to the magazine: ‘Everyone kept telling me that Luke was cheating on me, but I never believed them. It’s hard enough to get your head around someone cheating on you, but when someone is a chick with a d**k? Up until then, I’d always thought that the worst way to get cheated on would be with an ugly girl. Don’t you think?’
The singer has come under fire from Transadvocate.com for her choice of words to describe transgender model Elle Schneider.
Transadvocate.com, which was created by Marti Abernathey, recently posted an article titled Kelly Osbourne’s Transphobic Rant: Humiliated by Chicks With Dicks and Trannys.
The author of the article called Osbourne’s words ‘hate filled’ and Transadvocate.com also took to Twitter and said: ‘@MissKellyO People die because people talk like you did of us. You should learn what being an ally is. Seriously.’
Kelly replied: ‘@transadvocate I APOLOGIZED words can be misinterpreted please stop this it brakes my heart to think i have ever offended any1 that is lgbt (sic).’
After several more exchanges on the social website Kelly realized that Transadvocate.com had called her a ‘bigot’ and pleaded to be left alone.
She said: ‘@transadvocate all u r doing is spreading more hate this needs to stop! i apologized you accepted now please move on and stop this ugliness (sic).’ Read more...
Osbourne's transphobic, hate-filled comments are appalling. Equally appalling are the lengths some people will go to justify bigoted behavior. Take, for instance, some comments about the issue on the Celebitchy gossip site:
This is a tough call…..are the terms pleasant? Nope. Should they be used conversationally? Nope. Would I have called her out for it since she was describing humiliation and heartbreak? Nope, wouldn’t have used THIS precise opportunity to call her a bigot. Girl was heartbroken — she was speaking emotionally……..just, very….PUBLICLY. So, poor choices all around, but none of this feels HATEFUL, at its core.
well while i agree that the phrase may be hurtful to the transexual community as a whole, as far as caring how the words might have hurt Elle, I think Kelly is right to care less. Elle slept with her fiance and then sold the story for $$.
She got cheated on. Of course what she has to say about the situation is not going to be complimentary.
No. This is not how equality works. Unfortunately, this sort of thinking is not uncommon. I've heard similar justifications for outbursts of bigotry, including racism, sexism and homophobia, that happens in the heat of passion.


When you believe that a group of people intrinsically have value equal to your own, you believe it all the time and deep in your heart. This belief is not contingent on your being in a good mood. The belief doesn't go away when a marginalized person makes you angry or annoys you. If you have it in you to use epithets when hurt, then you have it in you all the time.



Someone who believes black people have value as human beings and that African ancestry is not a mark of dishonor would never call a black person nigger. Ever. Because if you are not racist, you will be not racist even when a black person is, say, rude to you in a department store. If you believe that women are equal to men, then a woman who cuts you off in traffic doesn't become a whore and a bitch. Equality of gender, race and sexuality are not situational things.

Kelly Osbourne did not simply call out another woman for helping her boyfriend cheat. That would have been defensible, though hopefully she would reserve most of her ire for the person who broke his commitment to her. Osbourne attacked her rival's gender with denigrating comments that illustrate her belief that trans women are inferior to cis women. If Osbourne doesn't believe this, why is it particularly embarrassing to her that her ex stepped out with a woman who is allegedly awaiting gender reassignment surgery? Comments like these cannot be erased with an OMG...sorry. And it takes tremendous gall to accuse an advocacy group with "spreading hate" for calling you out on your "isms." A better response would be a sincere apology followed by a commitment to education about trans issues. And, if I may be so bold, since Osbourne claims to be an ally to the GLBT community, I'd like to suggest a little something I wrote last year: When Allies Fail.

I would also suggest adopting a new mantra. Osbourne is likely not familiar with the call and response of the black church. If you are, repeat after me:

Bigotry is wrong...all the time. All the time...bigotry is wrong.


Photo Credit: MiakoSamuio



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