Katy Perry Perplexingly Honored By Trevor Project For LGBTQ Visibility, I Hope Her Boyfriend Don’t Mind It

but i’m not

The Trevor Project has given an award to Katy Perry. Yes, you read that correctly. The Trevor Project, the organization whose aim is to prevent LGBTQ youth suicide, is giving an award to Katy Perry to honor her for “inspiring LGBTQ youth to find their spark through her video ‘Firework’” and “increasing visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community.”

I wonder which acts of visibility and understanding they’re referring to exactly. Was it the time she made heaps of money for celebrating the stereotype that girls kissing girls is an act done for attention? You know, the song Kathleen Hanna called “straight-up offensive,” P!nk said “trivializes lesbianism” and Beth Ditto noted was indicative of Perry “just riding on the backs of our culture, without having to pay any of the dues and not being actually lesbian or anything at all”?

Or was it the time she peppered a song with effeminate gay male stereotypes so she could insult an ex-boyfriend, equating queerness with negativity and encouraging bullying against gay people? Did the fact that she opened that song with the lines “I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf /While jacking off listening to Mozart” really seal the deal for a LGBTQ youth suicide prevention group?

Maybe it was the time she talked about looking like a “tranny” in Rolling Stone? Or when she mocked trans* people on twitter, inspiring a condemnation from GLAAD? Those don’t seem like moments when queer visibility was improved, nor were they stellar examples of helping other to “understand” our community any better. Those seem like moments when some homophobia slipped through the cracks, and no one listened when queers called it out. After all, Perry herself has declared that “certain parts of the world — especially in the U.S. — are just dying to be offended” and that it “won’t change how I express myself as an artist.”

Being pissed off at Katy Perry isn’t anything new for the queer community, which is why it seems strange for us to be giving her some kind of award, although it’s certainly not the first time we’ve been baffled by Perry’s inclusion and celebration in a queer space. In 2008, Perry made the cover of the OUT 100, earning the coveted honor of “Musician of the Year,” inspiring lesbian entertainment blogger Dorothy Snarker to ask OUT, “What the fuck? Katy Perry? Katy fucking Perry? This is a joke, right? What you meant to do was pick an actual lesbian to pose amid the gay men, right? Right?”

thanks but also no thanks

I think we’re all more than a little familiar with celebrities, especially the straight ones, being showered with praise for minor efforts while queer advocates and activists are left without acknowledgment or necessary funding. Actors, musicians, and others who live in the spotlight may be “important” for influencing the mainstream, but the fact that they’re in the spotlight means that it’s much, much easier for them to take nominal stances on things. It is much less difficult for a famous person with lots of privilege to say that they are okay with various sexualities than it is for most of us, and that’s something to remember when we throw dinner parties for the next Katy Perry. Katy Perry and her kind don’t need any more awards because they have made a semi-decent statement. Those are not the people that the The Trevor Project should be honoring, in my humble opinion.

This is the question I keep coming back to: Why does the queer community have to compromise when it comes to advocacy? I get incredibly tired of a dialogue in which we have to overlook certain negative attributes in our heroes and advocates because, at the very least, they have a positive view on some aspect of queerness. I am sick of a world in which we have to “take what we can get” when it comes to advocates, and shower praise on those who have shown the barest amount of human decency as if any other problematic behavior has been made null by virtue of their stance on gay marriage. Take Dan Savage, who uses “shemale” and “tranny” to refer to trans* individuals, and was elected grand marshall at NYC Pride 2011. Take Ryan Murphy, whose tokenism is baffling in its racist, sexist, and even homophobic roots, but is the current gay ambassador for mainstream media. Lady Gaga has made all kinds of groups uncomfortable, and yet many parts of the community celebrate her unilaterally as a gay icon. I don’t want to celebrate these people any more than I want to celebrate a straight cis person being nice to me because I happen to be queer. Congratulations on being a decent human, but I refuse to throw a dinner honoring the fact that you think I should get married someday (which isn’t something I even want to fight for, frankly, and many other queers are with me on that).

No individual is flawless and no saint is without a past. I’m not asking that our heroes be impossibly good human beings who have spent a lifetime adhering to only the highest of morals. On the contrary, I want people in charge who have period stains on their briefs and a love of guilty pleasure television. Someone who knows what it’s like to be an outcast, or the worst at math, or has spent a lifetime facing oppressions that have raised them up into an outstandingly experienced human being. Cracks let the light in. Give me queers who have been around the block. Give those queers a raise, and throw them dinner parties. See if they want a dinner party, or if they want you to give that money to charities, to shelters, to causes that directly affect the queer community. Let us be a community that honors our own and uplifts our own and directly cares for our own, rather than a community that thinks being prostrate to a hetero mainstream will get us anywhere besides, I guess, feeling like a plastic bag.

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Hard-lovin' butch made of tears, sweat, and spit, in that order. Professional lonesome polecat. Kate is living proof that you can take the hillperson out of the mountains, but she's still probably going to run back to the mountains anyway. Kate prefers the trashy to the classy, and the tender to everything else. Full-time writer, part-time lover. Heart got so big and soggy that she had to cut off all her sleeves.

Kate has written 124 articles for us.

78 Comments

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      katy is such a perplexing phenom for me because i find her maddeningly attractive and “i kissed a girl” is still sort of my jam, but i am so very aware of how awful her words can sometimes be. there’s something about ill-informed super hot straight girls that gets me going and makes me want to expand their horizons in all the best possible ways. so yes, she’s an ignorant silly little thing, but oh my stars, how i would love to sit her down and give her a class in queerness and then make out with her face.

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        I never really cared for her because I’m fussy and don’t listen to the radio if I can help it, but she’s definitely in this category of celebrities that (appear to) want to do good and be visible supporters of the LGBTQ community and just are terrible at it. I just have incredibly limited patience for people like her and cannot deal, mentally, with all of it.

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        Calm down. I understand the concerns, but the elitist tone in which this article is written simply pushes more people away from the LGBTQ community. Today’s seggergation and hate are, in part, the byproduct of straight people reading haughty articles like these, straight people who happen to like KP, and leave with a sour taste in their mouth.

        Has KP contributed to suicides? Has she done anything explicitly opposed to what the Trevor Project stands for, beyond singing some lyrics that she didn’t pen (or at least, not exclusively)? TP needs a face like KP to get media buzz and raise awareness, just as they went on to shamelessly thank their sponsor Audi, a company keep TP afloat.

  1. Thumb up 16

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    Maybe the Trevor Project is going the positive reinforcement route. Like when you’re tired of your puppy pooping in your shoes, you make sure to give it a treat the one time it actually does use the bathroom outside.

    Seriously though, I agree. It is utterly frustrating being expected to hold back criticism in the name of positivity, and it’s ultimately even more isolating. Existing in a culture that is constantly negative re: you and yours makes it difficult to not have a negative attitude right back. Katy Perry doesn’t have a lick of self awareness, and I personally don’t care to have her or her ilk as inspirational fodder. Most of the time, though, I feel pressure to put on a brave face and just be happy that someone even bothers to acknowledge that I exist, no matter the problematic nature of whatever it is they’re doing (and it usually IS problematic) because I don’t want to be seen as hating everything all the time.

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    I feel this way about the “friends” who are still OK with me after coming out and transitioning. Most are fine on the surface but when it comes down to it they will out right say that I am a weird person because of what I’ve done and its not someones fault if they can’t accept being around me. They basically think that because they know me and don’t actively hate me they are somehow great people, even if they don’t care about how I got here or how I feel about what they say about me.
    One person went so far as to relate how after I came out they started to tell their families, friends, and coworkers how they knew a transexual and how great it was they were so understanding of my problem!
    Needless to say straight people baffle me a lot of the time, and apparently so do gay groups. Giving this award to Katy Perry is like giving a first place ribbon for 2nd to last place in mediocrity.

  3. Thumb up 11

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    I think I might throw up. Of course I feel this way when I’m out dancing (at the gay bar amidst the multiple hetero bachelorette parties) and everyone loses their shit and starts dancing when they play a KP song and I remind them that I hate KP because she hates/exploits us. I think the beer is why the message never seems to sink in (because getting poltical at the club is a waste of time) but now I don’t think my friends will ever get it. I mean first OUT magazine and now the TP? what is the world? *steps off soapbox* *pumps fist at heavens*

      • Thumb up 4

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        i 100% agree that it’s a “safe” zone, but i think sometimes it’s a voyeuristic thing, too. like, raise your hand if you’ve seen a straight bachelorette party at a gay bar. that irritates me to no end. it comes from the idea that gays are “entertainers” who exist to entertain straightness and provide a show, when in fact no, we want a safe space, too. we want to be able to meet people and drink and have a good time without feeling like someone is hunting us down to be their gay best friend, or be sassy, or make out with them for one night because they want that “experience.”

        blergh.

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        My straight friends went to gay bars with me because I was comfortable there. And, at least in Atlantic Canada, the music is waaaay better in “Gay Bars” then it is in “Non-Gay Bars” or so I’m told.

        Also Creepy Dudes, although my fiancée and I have been hit on by creepy dudes in gay bars (At Pride no Less!)

  4. Thumb up 3

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    Kade you write all the best things

    Are we really that desperate for advocacy that we are willing to ignore her extensive list of harmful statements and songs and actions because of a two-second shot of two boys kissing?

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong – does GLAAD have a bit of a history of sweeping negative comments about trans* people under the rug? I remember them condemning Glee for the use of the word “tranny” in an episode, but consistent use of the words “he-she” and “she-male” when talking about an actual character were not brought up, I think?

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      Yes, GLAAD has a very sorry history of NOT challenging gay people like Ryan Murphy, Dan Savage or Tyra (all of whom have been previously honored by GLAAD) when they make offensive statements about trans people yet being more than happy to “represent” the trans community (and again, they have a single, very recently added trans board member and, to my knowledge, still no trans staff members)

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          Heh, no, of course you’re right, she isn’t, my fingers where going faster than my leaky brain… I meant to write that she’s a gay icon.

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        That. Really. Stinks.

        At best, trans* is occasionally used as a “buzzword” in GLAAD Media Award speeches – Naya Rivera said “we need more lesbians on TV, and more transgender people” in both of her speeches – but I guess that’s as far as it goes.

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          Truth. I just wanna be like, if you are only talking about LGB (or more likely, just LG), don’t just tack on the T so you sound “enlightened” or as if that makes you a trans* ally. And I’m talking about straight people as well as a lot of cisgender queer people.

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    A few of my friends are involved in the Trevor Project, and when we were talking about it one night they basically said that other people (including Rachel Maddow) had either turned them down or had already been given the award recently, so they had to go with their 4th or 5th or 6th choice. I got the impression that a lot of the people involved don’t think Katy Perry should have won, either.

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      wait can someone elaborate on this please? what does it mean that people turned them down? i didn’t know that was a thing that could happen.

      also bummed that katy perry is even the 6th choice, tbh. can she be like the 600th choice?

      • Thumb up 6

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        “Turning them down” just means they were either too busy or not interested in attending Trevor’s big fundraising extravaganza. Some people find the Gay Inc banquet circuit offensive, might not be getting good vibes from the organization which wants to use them for PR or that it’s not conducive to their public image (Maddow keeps pretty distrant from queer orgs).

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    I agree with the premise that she doesn’t deserve any awards for being an ally. I find the notion of having to award someone because they’re open minded and normal and respect people’s basic rights kind of silly on the first place, to be honest. However I don’t share the animosity against her in particular. Yes her first singles were stupid. Yes, that tweet was offensive, but ultimately I don’t think she is actively trying to be disrespectful. She could be cleverer and word things differently, but I don’t think her intention is to harm and/or offend the community. I don’t find her inspirational, I don’t look up to her, as far as pop stars go, I think she’s pretty alright.

    Personally I find Nicki Minaj’s prolonged faux bisexuality or Lady Gaga’s continuous exploiting of LGBT themes for her own benefit far more offensive.

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      I find Lady Gaga’s less offensive because she is actually LGBT herself, though. That doesn’t mean she can’t be problematic, but I don’t think she’s “exploiting” the themes in a way that someone like Katy Perry or Nicki Minaj are in pretending at being bisexual to earn sexy points.

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        i find lady gaga an interesting specimen in bisexual celebrity, tho, because thus far any public relationships she has had (and she’s pretty private about her rlships/says she is more focused on work) have all been with cis men, so she still exhibits hetero-presenting privilege. it’s been rare to have a celebrity identify as bisexual and also have public queer relationships. obviously that’s a whole different bag of chips because fame and the public spotlight have a huge influence on these things, and i definitely don’t think this rule applies to non-famous bisexuals at all, but it’s interesting to consider since a celebrity identifying in a queer way is a statement no matter what, and it’s important to consider what it means to have queer-identifying people in the spotlight who have not conducted public queer relationships.

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          I´m not going to defend Gaga, because she is willing to ride every bandwagon for attention, fame and money. Like to fake-start a “body revolution” just to sell her bottled water (wich – of cause, of cause – helped her to be back to size 0 in no time) *side eye* So it´s entirely possible that she is pulling the fake-bisexual card just to sell whatever. Like Nicki Minaj once did.

          Also my knowledge about celebrities is pretty limited, so I can´t name a lot of polysexual people. I basicaly only know that Angelina Jolie and Madonna both had a fling with the very hot Jenny Shimizu.

          But other than that I only noticed that even if the celebs are vocal about their sexual orientation the media dismiss the relationships by pulling them under wrong labels:

          - Alan Cumming for example is bisexual and married to a man but he and his relationship often get discribed as “gay”.

          - And I don´t know what the thing with Cynthia Nixon is. She somehow pulled this weird “I-chose-to-be-a-lesbian” speach but than came out as bisexual shortly after and stated that she didn´t want to do this before because “everyone-hates-bisexuals”.

          - What is with Franc Ocean btw.? Gay? Polysexual?

          - Amber Heard & Lindsey Lohan, who are often “back to man” according to the media. An expression I find very offensive btw.

          - Also the same with the actress who was with Ellen DeGeneres: Anne Heche = “back to straight”. But I´m not sure if it was the media or her who chose the label.

          I don´t think that I can come up with more celebs. I only know *dead people* because they are more relevant to my music interests: Janis Joplin was with both – man and women. And so was Freddie Mercury. Also 3/5 (of whom only 1 is dead) of The Runaways fucked each other as well as other girls and guys. But the media still likes to paint everyone in the easy breezy monosexual color.

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        I’m on the same page as you are, Rose. Though I admit I quite like the attention grabbing antics of Lady Gaga sometimes, particularly when she’s extra weird, and mostly because I am pretty weird myself.
        What I find problematic, is how easy we find it to dismiss someone else’s characterization of their own sexuality as a “stunt” or non-legitimate simply because we’ve never SEEN them in a relationship with someone of the same sex. Or someone else’s characterization of their own body struggles as a ploy for selling a product. Sure, she has a degree of privilege attributed to her because she’s white, cis, thin, and currently dating a man. But who am I to judge her for who she is? Who are we to take away her status as a member of the community? Who gets to decide if she’s bi enough for the big B? What matters to me is that she’s taking those privileges, accepting that they are there, and at least trying to make the world a better, more accepting place for people who do not fit the norm in one way or another. I also admit, that there have been some missteps along the way, and that I pretty much never want to hear “Born This Way” ever again (But could listen to Bad Romance on repeat for HOURS)

        As far as KP is concerned, she has a lot of work, and public apologizing to do before she deserves any award from any group that represents (or says it does) the Queer community. UR SO GAY, followed by I Kissed a Girl (With the exception of some gay bar remixes that take out all of the words except “I Kissed a girl and I like it”) is an inexcusable attack on the Queer community that cannot be remedied by showing two dudes making out at the end of a music video.

        I understand the anger here, but I take serious issue with anyone invalidating the identities of others simply because there isn’t any proof that they’re one way or the other. It’s unfair, unkind, and hurtful, and that is just not the sort of person I aspire to be.

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          “What I find problematic, is how easy we find it to dismiss someone else’s characterization of their own sexuality as a “stunt” or non-legitimate simply because we’ve never SEEN them in a relationship with someone of the same sex. Or someone else’s characterization of their own body struggles as a ploy for selling a product. ”

          Just to clarify: I don´t say that Gaga isn´t bisexual, I just say that it might be possibile judging by the BS that she constantly pulls. I think even if she would make out with a woman in front of everybody and their mothers I still wouldn´t exclude the possibility of a stunt, because everything she does and says seems so pretentious and fake to me.

          Like the newest comment on her “body revolution”: “Adele is bigger than me, how come nobody says anything about it?”
          Hello body shaming 101, thank you for participating!
          Just point at somebody who you think deserves more to be a victim of vicious media attacs and you will be fine, right? Because why not? At least Adele really is fat and therefore deserves the hate, right?

          And then on women: “I think women are just, for no reason, wretched to each other all the time [...] We should all make an effort to be nice to one another all the time.”
          Yeah. Not that it would directly contradict with what you said about a woman named Adele or something.

          I just don´t like her. I don´t.

          Anna Paquin on the other hand I don´t doubt a bit although I never saw her with somebody but her husband. She supports some LGBT related projects, is vocal about her sexuality but doesn´t make a big deal out of it (because it isn´t). She doesn´t use it to push the ratings of her show, so it doesn´t feel like exploitation.

          Source (Gaga quotes): http://www.stylist.co.uk/beauty/the-passion-of-lady-gaga#image-rotator-1

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          I think you might be taking Gaga’s words/actions a little out of context. I remember reading this same interview, and it’s important to know that she was citing Adele as an example of media bias towards more conservatively dressed women. Gaga’s barely even significant weight gain FLOODED the media, with hundreds of news sites reporting sometimes even photoshopped pictures of her in concert. And this is what is considered to have sparked her body image movement. Adele doesn’t quite get this level of stigma, and when she does (in the case of Karl Lagerfeld) there is always huge backlash resulting from it. The media tells us that it’s ok to be either “fat” or a “slut” but do not dare try to be both! And I agree that it was a really poor choice of words of her to use but I think I understand where she’s coming from.

          As for her “bisexuality”, that is really questionable. I remember she was openly admitting it at the start of her career, but then sort of changed her position later on, saying if it was really “fair” to call herself bisexual since she’s never been in love with a woman (Gautier interview, I think it was).

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    i think what blows my mind about this is that there are heaps of straight cis celebrities out there promoting equal rights for gay people, and only one of them wrote and performed the song U R SO GAY, and that’s the one who gets the award?

  8. Thumb up 8

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    Yes, this needed to be called out! Moreover, the Trevor Project doesn’t have a single trans employee nor board member. Nada. Considering how trans youth have the worse problem with suicide that just isn’t acceptable. Trevor is a classic ‘Gay Inc.’ organization… more about the slick fundraiser dinners, glossy events and celeb endorsements than really reaching out to the communities which need help. Nor have i ever really heard them speak out against some screwed-up priorities among large gay orgs which put same sex marriage ahead of supporting gender variant and trans youth. It’s all kept very vague… help prevent LGBT suicide. The ACLU has done more for advocating for queer/trans youth than Trevor does.

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      Thank you. The weight of suicide and potential suicide is heavy on my shoulders every day, on the shoulders of the community. The impression I get from my trans groups is that we all know we are in danger, all the time. When someone complains about their bigoted parents we all go in to crisis mode, trying to protect them, because we know that parents have murdered their children for being trans. Their educational and financial support has been taken away, their homes closed to them, their friends have abandoned them, they have nowhere to go and are often trapped in places that have no public transportation or laws to protect them.

      Whenever someone says LGBT rights, I now assume they actually mean gay men. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for gay victories, since gay and trans often overlap, and just because queer victories generally make me happy. But I am sick of being ignored and I am sick of my community being ignored. Now that we’re getting it together on gay marriage, please let us step on stage next. We need help and recognition so our children, our friends, our siblings don’t keep dying. Every trans death is felt by the whole community and it erodes us and makes us lesser.

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    I’m really bad at looking who the authors of pieces are until after I’m done reading, but every single time I’m reading an article and feeling like someone has been pulling words out of my mind and arranging them artfully on a page, it’s Kate. You’re the best, and also my age, which makes me pretty sad when I think about how much I like writing and how many toilets that correlates to me scrubbing for a living. Never stop saying things!

  10. Thumb up 2

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    Thank you thank you thank you! This is an excellent article. There are tons of people out there fighting for our rights…like, REALLY fighting for them, rather than using their self-congratulatory gay inclusiveness to shore up a fan base.

    I agree with you on every single point except for one. For me, bringing up Dan Savage as an example of someone who is activist-lite is not 100 percent fair and accurate. I think the continued demonizing of Savage is unfortunate and misplaced. He actually apologized and, I think, is very much pro-trans. He was glitterbombed (Oh my god, can we PLEASE stop the mofo-ing glitterbombing, btw?), he acknowledged his ignorance, and, from what I have read of his – which is a lot – he actively eschews offensive terms and makes efforts to be very trans-inclusive. I don’t disagree that he ignorantly used offensive language in the past, but what is the point of drawing attention to people’s transgressions if we refuse to forgive them when they atone?

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    I am so happy this article exists. I know a lot of gay men at my school who basically worship KP (and Lady Gaga, for that matter) and it just makes me so frustrated when someone assumes I just loooove them both because I’m queer.

    This is also why I often find it hard to talk to cis male white gay men about queer politics, because they often assume their agenda is sufficient for all queer people ever.

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      that is not at all what i’m saying, and i’m sorry for the confusion. i wrote that sentence to mean a few things, lemme break it down so it’s more clear and it isn’t read as triggering:

      1. having stained clothing/period stained underwear is a trait we often read as messy/lazy/any number of things, an indicator of being imperfect, and i am interested in a leader who is not “perfect,” who has at least a few stains in their wardrobe

      2. as a non-cis queer person, i wear mens’ briefs and boxer briefs and take a wee bit of pride that i’m mussing traditional “male” clothing with my period blood (which is not a marker of femaleness by any stretch of the imagination, because it certainly does not mark me as female) and i would like a candidate who understands similar ways of not fitting into cis narratives, which could go either way, absolutely!

      i hope that clears it up a bit more? we can totally talk this out, i’m completely down with that.

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        I hate that being trans makes everything constantly triggering… I don’t view it as me being free to express my gender, I view it as my body betraying me, which is totally nonconsentual. Anything that makes feel biologically different than cis women makes me feel half-dead and want to throw up… But I really don’t give a shit about gender conformity… Actually, I feel like my nonconformity is on an FTM spectrum, and people conflating my gender and totally nonconsentual sex traits makes my gender feel erased…

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          i 100% understand that kind of dysphoria, the 24/7 triggering everything all the time everywhere, and trust me when i say that the half-dead throwing up thing is a very charged part of my existence, something i struggle with and commiserate with and hope to god that we both no longer have to see our way through. i hope some time soon we are both free of that, impossible as that hope may be. i hate it more than anything, i really do, and i hate knowing other people are feeling the same shitty things.

          i tend to bristle at just about anything that makes it sound like my gender identity (which is just a weird nebulous queer thing that is masculine but not male but certainly not female) is invalid or not as good as someone else’s, which happens so fucking often because we live in a world of heteronormative cis-narratives that erase everything else, or at the very least make everything else feel inferior or easily erasable. the thing that helps me most of the time is to be very self-aware of the way i react and what the source of those reactions is, specifically when the source is the outside and uncontrollable forces of the world – which is often the case, and rarely with my consent. somehow being aware of all this helps me to realize it is not my goddamned fault, it is society’s fault, help. to realize that i am in hypersensitive mode bc my gender is such a precious and sticky little thing that needs to be kept close to my body to stay warm, and when i feel that there is even the slightest threat of danger to it i tend to tuck it away and put all my shields up. i get very sick of that, though, and i understand that non-con feeling of your body not belonging to yourself, and thus feeling like even your gender is a removed element. what helps me the most is to remember that my gender is special and i am a unique individual, but i’m also not alone. you are very much not alone in all those shitty feelings, trust moi, and i honestly believe that at some point we will move away from those shitty feelings and into better places.

          we are struggling with an immense amount of ugly shit that the world has thrown at us, and as a result of all the ugly tossing around, we will come out the shiniest pearls of the bunch.

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    I think you’re being way too hard on Katy Perry. She comes from a fundamentalist background and it takes time to get over prejudices you’re raised with. But she is trying. One of the reasons she’s throwing free concerts to get President Obama re-elected is to ensure that women’s and gay rights aren’t set backwards by a Republican takeover. I hate it when people who have common causes pick on and alienate each other.

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    THANK YOU! This really needed to be said because it seems that if you are in the queer community you are suppose to like Queer Ally’s more so than you like Queer activist. Especially ones who call out how the Queer movement seems to only accept cis white middle class ideals. I’m not going to give you a Ally cookie just for being a decent human being. I’ll give you a cookie if I like you and I have some extras left over.

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    Right… Time for me to unleash a little bit of the crazy.
    Posts like this really make me angry, like really fucking angry.

    It makes us look pedantic. Whilst I’m all for us sitting here and being the Daria Morgendorffer’s of the internet, let’s try and stop being so negative and look at the positive.
    It DOES raise LGBTQ visibility, it might not do it in the most progressive way but it does bring and normalize the idea of two women to a more niche audience.
    I’m from a small city in England, I went to a rough comp school where I was the only out lesbian at the time and everyone knew who I was because of it.
    Going from being the popular girl who had everything and everyone in the palm of her hand the girl that people whisper about in corridors and laugh at in the dining room, having rocks thrown at my head whilst I walked home from school isn’t an experience I’d like to relive anytime soon.
    When songs like Kissed a Girl and Poker Face came out, I was a fresh out of the closet fourteen year old, all of a sudden the idea of women being looser with their sexuality was an okay thing, my friends would sing along to these songs and for once I didn’t feel like I was the girl in the corridor everyone spoke about, for the first time in a long time I just felt like a normal kid.
    So please, I challenge anyone on this forum to tell me that songs like that, don’t help small town kids like me who are still figuring out who they are whilst all the other kids figure out how they feel about it too.
    Whilst I’ll wear scars for the rest of my life reminding me of the times I was the lonely kid who was just a little ‘too’ different.
    Those songs remind me of what it felt like to be accepted for the first time, to have my friends sing along with me and dance around in our living rooms, daring to ask me the kind of questions they felt to uncomfortable to talk about before, it made it okay for me to talk about kissing girls whilst they were kissing boys and not to get all sentimental or start tearing up, but they really were the best times.
    Although we’ll never know if Katy Perry’s boyfriend did in fact mind it, we do know she got more pussy than us that night
    So lets stop moaning about a bunch of song lyrics and go kiss some girls and like it.

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      I was a small-town kid still figuring out my sexuality when “I Kissed a Girl” came out and it made me want to barf.

      When I found out she also did “Ur So Gay” it made me literally scared and sick inside.

      Both made me feel like expressing my sexuality in even the mildest of ways would get me labeled as a fake or a loser– that my sexuality would never be my own and I’d always forever have to navigate other people’s judgements of my being queer first and foremost before ever being allowed to just be authentically.

      So yeah, I’ll always kind of be angry about these kinds of doofuses being the face of LGBTQ representation.

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      I hear what you’re saying. In some ways I agree. Songs can’t really capture the whole of a person’s meaning. But I believe that artists can do better. We can do better. We don’t have to settle for someone who raises queer visibility but does it in a way that furthers negative stereotypes about us. We don’t have to settle for advocates who might be wonderfully queer positive, but are racist, sexist, or any other -ist. That’s what I took away from the article.

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    Hmmm, I’m with the lady above. Grouping Dan Savage in with everyone else here is wrong. I’m not saying he’s perfect and that he hasn’t said some inaccurate or offensive things before. But, he has succeeded so well in ‘queering’ a mainstream audience? His last podcast had a large section of how beneficial a straight pride parade would be. His pro-marirage stance, is not the be all and end all to his activism. He not only campaigns, but gives a platform to all sorts of groups, off the top of my head women’s reproductive rights and anti-bullying. I sometimes think it’s his popularity with a non queer audience, that makes him a target from section of the queer community. His sassiness probably doesn’t help… but is so endearing.

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      He’s succeeded in exporting the values of cis white homonormative gay dudes to straight people. He’s succeeded at bringing that particular brand of transphobia, misogyny, lookism, ableism and racism to a mainstream audience. He is a bully who campaigns against bullying and doesn’t get the irony.

      Maybe the horrific things he has said haven’t been directed at groups of people you belong to, but a lot of us don’t find his bullshit at all “endearing.”

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      I live in Seattle and Dan Savage is an unapologetic transphobe. (and biphobe, for that matter) It’s not okay to praise him for being a gay rights advocate if he gets those rights by throwing trans people under the bus. (in his advice column he once told a woman that her transgender husband (wife, but at that time she was still identifying publicly as he) was selfish for wanting to “cut his dick.” Charmer. He’s worse than Gaga, who at least bothers to make the word transgender a positive one. He more than deserves to be on a list of people who need a serious call out.

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    Maybe they gave her the award for getting one right. She is a huge role model to young girls no matter what she says. Maybe this is positive reinforcement so in the future she’ll think more about the kind of music she puts out. This honor would definitely get her in touch with people who would steer her in the right direction.

    Katy has come a long way from “I Kissed a Girl” and “Ur So Gay”. Now she’s writing songs about being a “Firework” and not letting people take the “Part of Me” that is most beautiful. She’s grown from her experiences in the lime light and I think those changes are for the better.

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    As a gay man I find thit article a little ridiculous..
    if it is all about being decent human beings and you can’t clearly decide where to draw the line at who gets an award or not, how about we don’t give any awards? I don’t think any true activist really wants an award. They are doing it because it’s right.

    I guess everytime someone gets an award in anything there are going to be bitter people.

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    I will admit that I occasionally enjoy a Katy Perry song, like Firework or Thinking of You, but for the most part, it astounds me that she is considered a role model or LGBT advocate. Especially with those particular two songs which are quite horrendous. I have had to explain to more people than I can count why “I Kissed a Girl” is offensive to me, especially when applied to actual lesbianism, rather than just cheap drunk girls looking for attention. I can’t even get started on “ur so gay” which is just utterly disgusting.

    Granted, I will admit that recently her songs have become better, but she’s still not very LGBT+ friendly.

    As for the Ryan Murphy comment, PREACH IT. I mention this because I was (and still am) beyond pissed when “I Kissed a Girl” was used by him in Santana’s outing.

    Really, all of this article speaks to everything I’ve been saying for years. Thank you for putting it into the words I have sometimes struggled to find.

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      I can understand the furor over “Ur So Gay”, but “I Kissed A Girl” is silly and harmless at worst. Not saying you can’t be offended, but I highly doubt that song was made to represent lesbianism. People who assume all lesbians are like the song are idiots.

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    What you guys don’t understand is that this was all before she started dating Rihanna. Closeted gays can sometime bash and make fun of their own people, to show just how unlike them they really are. However in actuality, Katy was just jealous that so many gays were out having fun and she had to stay under her and Rihanna’s gay ole closeted UMBRELLA ELLA ELLA GAY GAY GAY!

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    The Trevor Project made me feel sick by giving this award to Katy Perry. The lyrics to “UR So Gay”? Are you kidding me with this? Have you forgotten what your organization is even about? And that’s just part of what is wrong with her.

    And can groups like the Trevor Project and GLAAD stop falling over themselves to honor “allies”? You know who is increasing LGBT visibility? Actual LGBT people! Funny, that. Do you see feminist groups giving awards to men? Do you see the NAACP giving awards to white men? No? Then why do all of the LGBT organizations honor the “allies” more than the people who are actually part of their group? There are so many out celebrities this award could be given to, or, hey, how about you go the non-celebrity route and honor someone with their boots on the ground making a difference?

    Looking at the recent performers at the Trevor Live was like looking at a big ol’ straight brigade with a few token members of the gay community, when it should be the other way around. Come on, people.

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    Honestly, it’s quite sad to see people getting so serious off of petty harmless comments Katy Perry has made. People make it seem like she is the devil when it comes to the LGBT community, when it is no secret she has a gay friend, probably multiple. She’s been to gay clubs many times. Of course some will go to the lengths to say oh, she’s just a confused hypocrite who is actually exploiting the gay community, but she really isn’t.

    I like Katy Perry, but in no means rush to her defense willy nilly, but this article is just straight up ridiculous.

    We have come to an age where we have become overly sensitized beings who take every little harmless comment out of proportion. You make it seem like making jokes is the end of the world. IF you actually did your research on Katy Perry, just by simply watching videos of her, you can see is one huge playful jokester, constantly laughing.

    The problem here is she has a sense of perception and humor that is different from the norm, and because of so we call her out to be evil.

    The other problem here is she is a superstar, and as ordinary people we just have to find faults and problems with them, because we can’t stand to see people successful, who don’t abide to our definitions of how and what a successful person should be.

    I’m black, people call me a nigga…I don’t give one fuck, they’re not racists. I’m a male and I’ve told many guys they only think with their penises…I’ve said many girls stress only because they’re pmsing…Im attracted to all genders, forms of people, and my friends always assume I’m only into dick, and I tease gay people all the time about their sex life, I’m not a sexist, I’m not a homophobe…It’s called joking around. Being serious all the time is only stressing you out…and degrading your life…Come on guys..

    And yes I know my grammar or writing may not be the best, but hopefully I got my point across clear enough to understand..

    <3

    And when has it been appropriate to limit the LGBT community to just LGBT people. Another problem. So many LGBT people or supporters of the LGBT community, and the other various communities like the LGBT, love to close off everyone else and make it seem like only those in their community deserve recognition for the progression of their rights or whatever. Stop with all the narcissism please. A straight person can increase visibility for the LGBT community. Although Lady Gaga may be bi, she is definitely seen as straight, and she has done a nice bit for the LGBT community.

    I'm considered gay in this society, and honestly I may have not have given the award to Katy Perry if I were in control, but I definitely see no problem with it. It really isn't that big of a deal. And if you have a problem with it, then instead of writing this article, which is effective in some way, complain to the Trevor Project, and if you already have, then good for you. Hope everything works out in everyone's favor eventually.

    Again <3.

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    I had actually heard the song although didn’t remember it apart from a couple of tunes from the chorus and always had respect for Kate Perry for being OK but this video is so ridiculously kitschy that I will never watch Sesame Street again.

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