If Perez Hilton Wants to Save Gay Teens from Gay Bullies, He Should Quit Being a Misogynistic Gay Bully

Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project has warmed our hearts (and thoroughly exercised our tear ducts) with an outpouring of support for gay youths that’s come via homemade youtube videos solicited from famousfolk and commonfolk alike telling kids that, although things may seem pretty awful right now, a future of homosexual joy awaits you (especially in San Francisco!).  In light of this month’s virtual gay suicide epidemic, we need this project now more than ever.

Perez Hilton, whom we dislike and therefore refuse to link to (even in a post about Perez Hilton), and do not read (I actually had to visit his site today in order to write this post and it put me in a very foul mood), has been encouraging celebrities to participate in It Gets Better and subsequently updating his website with notable It Gets Better videos. In fact Perez Hilton, of all people, was DIRECTLY GIVEN the Open Letter to LGBT Youth from rock-star Dave Navarro, in which Navarro addressed the very important point that while significant attention is required to combat anti-gay bullying, we also need to focus on the other side, which is that suicide is not the only answer!

We’re thrilled, of course, that such a popular website is bringing these positive messages to the masses. Perez Hilton is doing a good thing by getting this message out there and being such an active activist. But we’re also troubled that once again, one of our loudest voices is an actively hypocritical one!

Tyler Clementi killed himself when his sexual encounter was made public online, a little trick that Hilton has essentially built his career on. And seriously Perez Hilton, for crying out fucking loud, you cannot continue to be such a misogynistic bully and still claim that you truly want to stop gay bullying. (Homophobia is rooted in gender discrimination, of course.) You ARE a bully! YOU ARE A BULLY TRYING TO STOP BULLYING BUT STILL BEING A BULLY! ?!!?!!?

Listen: if Perez Hilton really truly wants to change life for gay teens, he could stand to take a good long look at the man in the mirror and ask himself to make a change.

I have made a collage to illustrate the type of behavior I think Perez Hilton could stop doing, in an effort to make this change:

This might sound insane, but I actually think this matters.

See, these are what we know as ‘desperate times.’ The anti-bullying initiatives, support groups and awareness-raising campaigns are vital and necessary to keep us above ground, but we need something even more. We think it’s just about time for the entire world to change. This might sound crazy, and granted, we write most of this website drunk or while engaging in any number of destructive coping mechanisms, but as we touched upon last week when John McCain ruined our DADT Repeal Party, America really needs to step it up with respect to “practicing what you preach” and “being honest” and “having integrity.”

Perez Hilton, you have a very popular website and you are broadcasting a message loud & clear that bullies can be against bullying. Most kids these days cannot even tell you the capital of Pennsylvania let alone wrap their heads around this kind of Paradox:

Sidenote? The thing about Perez Hilton’s gay jokes, as eloquently explained by Julie & Brandy in their special In Your Box Office PSA, is that they’re not funny. I don’t think anyone LOLs when they read “saMANtha Ronson.” Omg get it because she’s a lesbian and lesbians date girls and she has short hair omg she’s totally totally like a man and her name is Samantha omg I gotta change my fucking pants!

No.

When you’re the one calling out 50 Cent for being homophobic, maybe you should hold back on calling HIM a “cocksucker.” Maybe when you’re standing up for our marriage rights, you should refrain from calling Carrie Prejean a bitch.

Why do I think this matters? When you are asking people to change, it’s very important that you show them HOW to change. Set an example. Change is very inspirational and it makes people cry and feel feelings, like in Prayers for Bobby or when Justin’s Mom joined PFLAG on Queer as Folk. Activists like you and me will always be there to lead the way, but there’s nothing like a good old fashioned “people can change” narrative to really make an emotional impact.

All Hilton’s advocacy on behalf of gay rights is great, but think about how much MORE impact it could have if he also vowed to change his own behavior!

It’s really time that homophobia stop being so fucking conditional. Being a friend to gay people doesn’t mean loving your gay sister but voting against her equal rights. It doesn’t mean being “cool” with your gay roommate having a special friend over but broadcasting his sex life via webcam just for kicks. It doesn’t mean holding political anti-gay-marriage rallies which encourage supporters to condemn gays to various levels of hell while claiming that “this is not an anti-gay rally, this is not a bigotry rally” because denying equal rights is simply a “religious freedom issue… [because marriage] was instituted by God, between a man and a woman.”

It means that if you say you believe in equal rights, you let gay people join the fucking army!

Because we aren’t trying to change what people say, really. We’re trying to change how people THINK. Because have you ever hung out with a really stubborn teenager? Ever BEEN a really stubborn teenager?  I mean, they can be really terrific assholes, as most non-asshole teenagers can readily attest — particularly the non-asshole teenagers who are actively working every day to fix this problem in their own schools or simply promote positivity and kindness in their everyday lives. It takes a village to change a teenager.

So Perez, I challenge you: You say it gets better? Get better. Set an example.


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Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1781 articles for us.

62 Comments

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      I think it’s because Lady Gaga is a character created for and by fame, not unlike Perez Hilton (although obviously completely different).

      After our Revolution, everyone will understand that it’s not just okay to be gay, it’s AWESOME.
      ..I wish we could take the world apart and put it together again differently.

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      Yeah, this totally throws me off!

      Sometimes I wonder if this was just a clever alliance on her part at the time, like talking about how humble Kanye was (pre-TSwizz debacle?), but I mean she’s so sincere and real all the other times that I just end up being really confused.

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      Because he was one of her early champions, really pushing her name out there. I think she feels she owes him something by being friends with him.

      Btw, Tori Amos is friends with him too. I think Pink is a bit too because he’s become a huge fan of hers.

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    I would pay good money* to see Riese say this to Perez Hilton’s face**.

    *restrictions apply, by money we really mean anything that can be substituted for currency like hugs.

    **conditions and terms state that said individual’s face requires a 3″ wide piece of duct tape applied over the mouth region. Or whichever orifice does the talking (including, but not limited to, his ass).

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    I strongly dislike the very common “I hate your hate”-rhetoric.
    somebody points out how something is oh so wrong and misbehaves at the same time, that’s not going to get us anywhere.

    Perez should really read this, but then again I think we might just be ugly bitches for him.

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    as the bastard child of AS who always says the wrong thing always, I think I’m saying the right thing when I say I love this.

    Perez has his own internalized homophobia too. Remember when he called will.i.am a “faggot” multiple times because “it was the worst thing [he] could think to call that thug”? (Bonus racism in that one too!) The best part about that was is when he tried to donate his settlement money from that whole clusterfuck to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Judy Shepard personally wrote that they were rejecting the money because Perez had made his career on bullying, and that his use of “faggot” contributed to the culture that killed her son.

    Anyway, Perez remains a terrible human, and when I saw he latched onto the It Gets Better Project, it made me sick. I’m glad there are folks like AS calling him on his self-important bullshit.

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      OH and when he leaked the photos of dustin lance black having sex, and making it sound like he was barebacking/engaging in risky sex because there wasn’t a condom? because the possibility of two men being in a sexually exclusive monogamous fluid-bound relationship isn’t actually possible?

      whatever perez.

      also apologies for the late-night commenting and any grammar or logic fails within.

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        Much as I really, really want to agree with your comment, in this case, it’s not accurate. I’m fairly certain DLB’s partner in said pictures was a gay pornstar. He is also a safe sex advocate and speaks frequently on the importance of it in the gay community, hence the reason those pics were published and he was called out.

        And yes, it’s absolutely possible for gay men to be in a monogamous fluid bonded relationship – I think (I’m not a gay man and therefore can’t say for sure).

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    This is such a needed article, Riese. I think you just articulated how every gay person feels about those straight friends who don’t do much more than just SAY they are for equal rights, but never DO anything about it.
    As for Perez Hilton-he is so corny. I agree that the only person laughing at his dumb jokes is him. It’s just too bad that he’s been validated in his behavior by making millions of dollars from it.
    Similarly, the cast of the Jersey Shore made bank by acting like prehistoric fools. And just think that there are noncelebrity people who put in an honest day’s work and will never even come close to making millions.

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    YES. I have been having ALL of these feelings ever since he first tweeted about It Gets Better. SERIOUSLY YES. He needs to stop being a symptom of the problem, and start contributing to the cure.

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    I am absolutely sick and tired of Perez Hilton being this self-appointed gay crusader. His desperate need for recognition has unfortunately allowed Americans to associate him as a pinnacle representative of the LGBT youth community. Yes, he is a gay male, but he is by no means a positive role-model. There are so many amazing and influential openly gay public individuals that gay youths could emulate. These influences help shape their view of themselves and how they will function in society and Perez is just breeding terrible social etiquette and hate towards people who have NEVER DONE ANYTHING TO YOU!! ( that means you Perez!)There is an enormous possibility brewing for something profound and monumental to occur and resonate for these teens which will be forever captured in our history as it has already for the many who have been persecuted and I am hoping that this potential will be a TRUE and GENUINE crusade in the name of equality and social justice for ALL!

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    thank you for this article. i’ve always found Perez Hilton disgusting. how cool would it be if he said “wow, i’ve been a real jerk. i’m going to stop being part of the problem” instead of just giving the solution lip service. it could happen…

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    Thanks for this. The whole world needs to start acting out of love instead of anger. Instead we love to make fun of people and say hateful things because sometimes it makes people laugh. I don’t know. I’m guilty of it myself. But you’re right, we have to be the change. Thanks again. :)

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    I avoid Perez Hilton’s blog because it is so filled with hate. He posts the most nasty and derogatory pictures and stories with the apparent intention of getting as many negative comments as possible. Most blogs have moderators or filters to combat the hate but his seems to encourage it. The other places the seem to thrive on homophobic and hateful comments are Yahoo based.

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    I have really tried to keep an open mind toward Perez, and I have occasionally seen glimpses of a person who’s not quite as douchey as he appears. But the preponderance of evidence is that he’s just a bully. Misogynistic, yes, but he’s all too willing to bully everybody.

    He’s a prime example of the unthinking cruelty that contributes to tragedies like Tyler’s.

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      ^This.

      As much as I hate Perez and think he is disgusting, I too need to look at myself for hiding and not saying enough. Silence is acceptance of hate.

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    I, too, hate how he sees himself as some sort of crusader for the LGBT community while also being a misogynistic pig calling women ‘bitches, SaMANtha, LezLo, gayface’ the list goes on. I’m sick of him and other gay male bloggers like him (nothing against gay men just a lot of gossip bloggers are gay men). They’re so freaking invested in outing Jodie and Chace and Ed and others, but a blockbuster actor who allegedly raped his boyfriend so brutally he had to get stitches gets to have the protection of the closet by his identity being confined to a blind item? Hypocrisy.

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    Has anybody sent him this on twitter or something? I’d think if enough people send it to him he might read it, and he seems like a narcassist so he’ll probably read anything that has both him as the subject and published on a website with a moderately high following.

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      I have. Everyone should RT to @PerezHilton w/ a link to this article. And I think some people have.

      BTW, Perez tweeted this a bit ago: “And to all the people telling me what I should or shouldn’t do…” with a link to the Cee Lo Green video for “Fuck You”. Not sure if its specifically in response to people pointing out his hypocrisy.

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            well YANNOW this really might surprise you but it did not go all that well tbh. i genuinely want what i said i want in this post and so I think I am weighing those possibilities against the ‘motivations’ I might have to share the email(s). Also maybe confusion is a feeling I feel about how to communicate with people and perhaps a slight feeling of “letdown” when this communication doesn’t go how I think it will, and maybe that is why he is a person that people pay attention to?

            I genuinely honestly from the bottom of my heart think that it would be a big statement and a very influential act for perez to abandon bullying in solidarity with his genuine fight against bullying, you know what i mean?

            basically he didn’t really address my point. in his strongly worded email he told me about how what he thinks is loathsome is that so many gay celebs had been silent at that point and weren’t working as hard as he was to get the cause out there, and that he was doing a good thing by getting his readers to pay attention to these issues. so basically he didn’t say anything that addressed my point, he just wanted to remind me of all the good he had done in the past 24-48 hrs for ‘the community.’

            those are all things that i completely agree with and i never said otherwise. i wrote back and said as much and added that i think it would be really special if in addition to doing all the things that he has been doing, which are fantastic things, and if he cares as much as he says he does, which i think/hope/pray he does, that maybe he could consider not saying anything on his site that he wouldn’t want someone to say to a gay person in the hallway and then he said “I have reconciled the dichotomies which come with what I do for a living and who I am as a person. That is not an issue I struggle with, but thank you for your “loathsome” concern.” and I told him I am not concerned about him as a person, whatever, I just want to solve the problems in the world that we both care about, just like he does, and I think this is a thing he could do to help solve those problems. And that was the end of it I guess.

            Maybe we are the same in that we are both relentlessly honest, but we just have different truths. I was sad in a way but also felt like maybe he didn’t read what I said. I think if I saw him in person I might try to hug him and he would say something mean to me, but maybe I feel that way about a lot of people. idk.

            The thing is that ultimately these misogynistic jokes and the scandals and the outing and the will.i.am are things that I think are hurting him (but I could be wrong). There is such a thing as bad publicity. I know a lot of women who don’t read PH anymore who used to. I never did, but I think ppl look to him for the fastest most recent/insidery gossip or whatnot, and I think that if he keeps doing that but gets rid of the bitchiness (in a way gawker did this at one time — they laid off the Mean Mean Meaniness and actually their readership grew) then I think his business would keep thriving regardless. And bonus he could make a statement.

            idk.

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            riese you’re a saint. i honestly believe that man is more of a hindrance to our community no matter what he tells his readers. no one likes a genuine bully. and if people affiliate MEAN-NESS with GAY perez hilton then WTF? so basically if i had a chance to actually tell him these feelings, i would be frothing at the mouth. i wouldn’t hug him, i’m just not that evolved yet. but whatevs. hopefully he’ll have an epiphany, but encouraging what i think has become such a hateful society where civilized discourse is usually put aside and people would rather make fun of each other (see the youtube community) is something that i currently see as unforgivable.

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            “Maybe we are the same in that we are both relentlessly honest, but we just have different truths”

            this is perfect.
            this whole conversation is proof of what I am always trying to tell people: being gay and belonging to a minority doesn’t make us alike and it doesn’t mean that we are better human beings. period.

            now I forgot my other point. hm. well played though. :)

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            Yeah, I didn’t doubt that he would respond with the same immaturity he displays on his website. In fairness, I don’t think lacking the ability to recognize ones own shortcomings is unique to Perez Hilton. Especially when he thinks it will hinder the way he makes his living when it’s the way he’s gained his fame. Of course he’s going to find ways to justify his behavior in his own head. It’s commendable that you tried though.

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            I believe it has affected him and his “business” even if he may not realize it yet. At one point, he was turned to for gossip and really did have a lot of new projects and some clout. But I think he just really pissed off too many celebrities needlessly, and he’s gone from the big bully everyone is trying to appease on their own, to the little shit in the corner that everyone grumbles about and mostly ignores.

            For awhile, he was being fed new musicians to spotlight and I turned to his site to check that out, and I think he was possibly getting his own record imprint. I know they were PR feeds from record companies because someone I know was once one of the spotlighted musicians (and the comments were sooo clearly PR-written). Now? All he has is Lady Gaga’s coattails to ride. He was also viewed as being smart and astute about upcoming music, but the people he keeps backing are failing and HARD (Sliimy, that guy who performed at, er, some award show, and others). He had a TV show on VH1 and I think it lasted one episode? Two? He also used to be reliable for new news and gossip, but now everything on his site is clearly stolen from a ton of other sources, and he barely hides it. All he is is a Paint artist and a bully.

            His day in the sun is definitely on the wane. In a way, shame, because he definitely has a talent for getting attention and he really could have used his voice for good. Now he’s on his way to being washed up and I think he’s stepped on too many of the wrong toes for anyone to want to change that course for him.

            Also, as for his misogyny, he is very jealous of women who get the men he wants, and feels the need to feminize men as well. Zac Efron gets called Zacquisha? What, no outrage there? I think he more or less single-handedly ruined Matt Dallas’ career with his incessant comments about his purported orientation. It’s like he needed his attention and wanted Matt to want him, so he annoyed him and screwed with his career.

            I also find it interesting that the ones he pushes to come out, unless I’m mistaken, are almost always male actors, not female actors. Why? Because he doesn’t care about women (unless they fawn over him back), sexually at least (obviously). I also partially wonder if his comments about Samantha Ronson are over his seeming obsession with Lindsay. Lindsay is everything he’s not – pretty, young, smart, talented, *chosen* by Hollywood. Perhaps someone else wants to jump on that theory, because I feel there’s something there, but I can’t entirely put my finger on it.

            Either way, if he did as you asked Riese and learned from his previous behaviour, I think he might have a chance to redeem himself (it IS Hollywood and Hollywood looooves a good comeback story), but he’s not ever going to. Therefore, his demise is slowly but surely happening.

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    instead of doing something about his behavior, he’s probably gonna write another hate-filled blog telling us to go scissor ourselves or something…
    fuckme if i’m wrong but i guarantee you that in a few days, he’s gonna continue his hypocrisy-if not escalate it, cause that’s just the kind of asshole he is

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    great artical thanks for putting into words what i have a hard time doing. anyone know where we should send this to to get PH to read it? i sux at computers but i can forward things np if i just knew where. love everones posts great job !!!!!!!!

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    Word. Thank you for not linking to that wretched site (too many writers do that). Also, I hope LGBT orgs. don’t take his bait and work with him. I’m tired of gay men condoning misogyny.

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    do you guys remember that don’t do drugs commercial? the one with the guy and he’s like “do as i say don’t do”

    it’s like watching that commercial again, only instead of drugs it’s bullying.

    I call time to stop saying and start doing.

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    why are people here so lovely, smart, and articulate. Ive been on to Perez cr@p since back in the day. I am on the verge of recommending this site to all of my friends, even the straight ones, just coz this site will just really make you think and have feelings about a lot of things

    Riese.AutoStraddle.The Whole AS Universe. I adore you to your core

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    He’s a lowlife. And after all his mealy mouthed apologies and empty promises, he’s got yet another naked picture of a hollywood actress posted against her will. Perez hilton is never going to change, and as long as society continues to overlook his behaviour and that website remains functional, society is never going to change either.
    There’s no ‘nice’ way to gossip about people, he needs to go off the air, period.

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    Yeh. Sometimes people that are fighting against misogyny, racism and homophobia think they won’t ever be the ones hurting other people. I mean, probably Perez might have been bullied for being gay. But unfortunately it doesn’t mean he can’t be a homophobic person as well.

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