2014 Grammys Liveblog and Open Thread: Mary Lambert Fanclub Edition

Welcome to the 56th Annual Grammy Awards! Lizz can’t be here because of “med school” and “being a doctor,” so tonight’s liveblog is brought to you by Lauren and Maddie. Lauren will be here, offering her on-point commentary on the year in music, while Maddie finds pictures and also gchats her commentary at Lauren, which will mostly consist of adoring Mary Lambert, having no patience for Macklemore or Robin Thicke, and general obliviousness about everything else that happened in music in 2013 that wasn’t related to Tegan and Sara or Lucius.

A beginning feeling:
I still just want the best for Mary.

8:03pm EST

Lauren: BEYONCE! Ok I actually have difficulty reconciling Jay-Z’s verse in this song, you know what I mean? BUT BEYONCE IS THERE AND SHE LOOKS LIKE BEYONCE.


8:07pm EST

Lauren: Maddie is having technical difficulty! Now seems as good a time as any to tell you that once upon a time I went by the screen name “lakoolj,” a play on my initials and an homage to our host of the Grammy’s this year, LL Cool J. It was my first email address. My mom came up with it. How kool.

8:11pm EST

Lauren: Maddie is still having a struggle, but she found out that Tegan and Sara are livetweeting right now which is such a valuable contribution. Maddie is a trooper.

8:14pm EST:

Lauren:Welp. I’m already going to jail. Thanks Macklemore.

Maddie: My housemate from who was once mistaken for Macklemore on Halloween grits his teeth.

8:17pm EST:


Maddie: Roxane Gay speaks the truth:

Lauren: She’s good at that

8:35pm EST

Lauren: Daft Punk won a thing! Maddie was down for it. Katy Perry is off to a much less culturally appropriative start than that one time!

56th GRAMMY Awards - Show
8:41pm EST

Maddie (who unfortunately, has given up on trying to watch): Ugh. I am thrilled to not be able to see Robin Thicke. I was at a wedding recently and they accidentally put on Blurred Lines instead of the wedding song.

8:47pm EST

Lauren: I hate these Blurred Lines. I wish I could switch with Maddie right now.

8:51pm EST:

Maddie: On my technical difficulties: so it turns out that grammy.com/live doesn’t actually stream the broadcast of the Grammys, as I assumed it would. Instead, it streams inane commentary with “DJ Skee” and “Quddus,” and only occasional cuts to performances. So I am piecing together what’s happening via grammy.com, twitter, tumblr, and the snide remarks of my housemates who are listening in.

Lauren: Which is sad but also really funny because she reacts to things like, “SHE ENTERED IN A POD?? THATS WHY A TWEET REFERENCED SPINAL TAP.”

Maddie: Turn it up to 11!

Maddie: Turn it up to 11!

8:57pm EST

Lauren: THE TEGAN AND SARA OREO COMMERCIAL JUST PLAYED. I have complicated feelings about it, but whatever. Sell me them Oreos if you want, you two. I like Oreos. I like you. It will be fine. Everything is Awesome. We’ll all survive this. With our complicated feelings.

Also Pauley Perrette from NCIS was there! I like her. She’s from Alabama. I’m from Alabama. Everything is Alabama. Ryan Lewis is wearing Houndstooth. I’m just trying to get all my Alabama feelings in at once now. Ok I’m done.

9:00pm EST

Maddie: OH THEY’RE LETTING ME WATCH JOHN LEGEND. These people are commenting on John Legend being a babymaker. Like, if you put his music on, you will make babies.

9:12pm EST:

Lauren: I genuinely just enjoyed Taylor Swift’s performance right now and I usually don’t, so I don’t know what that says about me. What did you guys think? My friend just said that I should write that “Taylor Swift is God’s gift to the world.” So I am writing that my friend said that. But I did not say that.

Maddie: These Grammy.com commentators are skeptical of TSwift’s winning prospects, but there she goes, winning her first Grammy “In awe of all the people I was nominated against.” aka “TSwift is not here to make friends.”

9:19pm EST

Lauren: Pink is flying as she is wont to do!



So strong. Maddie named this photo "pinkrobat" - ALSO HER HAIR

So strong. Maddie named this photo “pinkrobat” – ALSO HER HAIR

9:25pm EST:

Lauren: Lorde has just won Best Pop Performance. I feel like more women are winning awards. Is that a thing or am I just making it a thing in my head? Annie Clark also has Lorde=Fiona Apple thoughts:


9:36pm EST

Lauren: Jamie Foxx just paused really awkwardly in the middle of announcing the nominees for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (so glad this is a category) to talk about how hot Beyoncé is. But like, he apologized to Jay-Z for thinking she’s hot, meanwhile she’s nominated in the category about to potentially win A GRAMMY, so that was very weird and not very classy. Ugh, and then she just lost. No justice.

9:45pm EST:

Lauren: Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons are now performing “m.A.A.d. city” and “Radioactive” AT THE SAME TIME! A live mashup! How delightful. Lorde’s dancing. Taylor’s dancing. Queen Latifah is dancing too. I remember what Queen Latifah is gonna do in the upcoming Macklemore performance and I’m nervous again. But Kendrick is KILLING IT. HOW DID MACKLEMORE BEAT HIM?! I reiterate that I’m going to probably fight someone over this.

Maddie: I wish that these Grammy Live commentators had a better critique of Macklemore as a straight white boy with a hip hop song about gay marriage.

9:51pm EST:

Lauren: I genuinely know nothing about country artist Kacey Musgraves but maybe I want to after hearing her sing these lyrics to “Follow Your Arrow”?!

Make lots of noise
Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that’s something you’re into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up a joint, or don’t
Just follow your arrow
Wherever it points, yeah
Follow your arrow
Wherever it points

Why didn’t anyone tell me?! I need a long time to process and analyze this.

Kasey Musgraves is fighting slut shaming, body shaming, and heteronormativity in this quaint country setting

Kasey Musgraves is fighting slut shaming, body shaming, and heteronormativity in this quaint country setting

Maddie: WOAH. Kasey Musgraves is a country feminist! Follow Your Arrow, You Do You. Admittedly, the first thing I thought of when you said the title of the song was the caption on the pic of Candace’s project management triangle.

10:12pm EST:

Lauren: Daft Punk is coming!

Maddie: is the macklemore debacle happening yet?

Lauren: We really are just sitting here anxiously waiting for this mess to go down.

10:19pm EST

Lauren: I legitimately love Steven Tyler’s hair right now. That’s all I care about in the middle of this performance.

10:24pm EST
Maddie: YDY [Kacey Musgraves] wins a grammy. sorry, TSwift. TSwift is looking across the room at her, thinking, “I KNEW you were trouble.”

10:26pm EST

Lauren: Stevie Wonder is singing “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk, Pharrell, and Nile Rodgers and people are losing their minds as they rightfully should. I want a shiny suit so badly.

10:30pm EST

Lauren: I always forget just how many performances there are during the Grammys. That should have been the drinking game. Drink any time anyone sings anything. Good one.

10:37pm EST:

Lauren: HEY CYNDI LAUPER. I see your true colors. As in, I’m choosing right now to believe that that is your true hair color. Aww, cool.


10:40pm EST

Lauren: Sara Bareilles and Carole King just performed a pretty Bareillesbionic looking dueling pianos version of “Brave,” if I do say so myself.

56th GRAMMY Awards - Show

I take issue with this song in the same way that I take issue with “Same Love.” It irks me. It’s so hard to explain to people sometimes how annoying these well-meaning  ally songs can be. Heather did a pretty great job of it in the comments. I’ma just put it up here too:

10:55pm EST

Lauren: My main feelings re:Metallica have to with that time they were like “Napster, stop, please?” and that one time I found this actually really decent mashup of “Enter Sandman” and Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” It was called… “Enter Telephone.”

10:57pm EST:

Lauren: Steven Tyler just sang “You Really Got a Hold on Me” right next to Smoky Robinson and I am so here for it. This is what award shows are for! Confusing unscripted things! Smokey needed a minute to laugh. See what I’m saying about Steven Tyler’s hair though?

Maddie: backstage pals are interviewing Cyndi. They can hear Steven Tyler backstage, and she’s startled.

Daft Punk wins Record of the Year!

Robots rejoice!

Robots rejoice!

11:02pm EST

Lauren: Janelle Monáe’s Target commercial is making me feel better about the fact that they just announced that this “historic” Macklemore performance is coming. Oh man.

11:06pm EST

Lauren: Oh, here’s Queen Latifah. Oh I’m scared. Someone hold me.

11:08pm EST

Lauren: My finger’s reaction to hearing those opening chords is to try to change the radio station as an instant reflex.

11:08pm EST


56th GRAMMY Awards - Show

11:09pm EST

Lauren: Should they have censored the F word? The slur one? Should they have?

we're trying so hard

we’re trying so hard



Okay, you know what though, I don’t want to shit on these people’s wedding day. Congratulations to them! Sincerely!
It’s just that that was a lot.


11:27pm EST

Lauren: Hearing Miranda Lambert genuinely just makes me think that someone meant to say Mary Lambert now.

11:36pm EST

Lauren: Daft Punk just took home Album of the Year. I think I’m going to calm down and not fight anyone.

11:40pm EST

Lauren: Unless Nine Inch Nails, Dave Grohl, & Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac get me all riled up and wanting to fight someone.

11:50pm EST

Lauren: Well, that’s that! The show is over. My local news anchor just made some joke like “Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons: the collaboration of the year? What about [insert Alabama football player here] and [other Alabama football player here]?!”


What did you all think? Favorite moments? And how should we talk honestly and thoughtfully about Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, Queen Latifah, Madonna and the 33 couples who got married live at the Grammys?

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Lauren is proud Alabamian aspiring filmmaker who is learning to stop saying “aspiring” and just say “filmmaker.” A recent graduate with a degrees in film, Tegan and Sara, and t-shirt collecting, she spent all of her college time organizing the queers down at the University of Alabama and turning every class assignment into a chance to talk about southern queer black woman identity. She likes football more now that she’s graduated.

Lauren has written 9 articles for us.


    • oh. my. goodness. bahahahaha. i wonder.
      so i went to the university of Alabama. which i know i talk about all the time. but so houndstooth was one of our things and our queer circle had many a giggle about everyone flagging it all the time.

  1. Macklemore is so freaking mediocre. Let me direct y’all to his ad for ACLU where he peddled the card by saying “It’s the only card that lets my gay friends marry the hell out of each other”. I mean, if that doesn’t scream “profiting off gay people”, I don’t know what does
    He also can’t rap for shit. I hate the grammys so much for basically giving him all the Hip-hop awards.

  2. i love taylor for playing a fan favorite instead one of her popular singles. :3 all too well is such a powerful song.

  3. This is maybe kind of off topic but I really hate Sara Bareilles’ song Brave. It’s just fucking condescending.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s catchy and everything, but she’s basically urging gay people out of the closet…again a good thing in theory…but her word choices just kill me. “Everybody’s been there”? I don’t think so straight girl. And “Why don’t you tell them the truth”? I don’t know…maybe because there are consequences to speaking your truth, and everyone has to be ready for that in their own time.
    Something about straight people preaching at gay people just grates on my nerves.
    It’s like she’s saying, Oh, how hard can it be? I am like, a total ally and people will applaud you!
    Not everyone grows up in that world. And although I appreciate the general spirit of the song, I can’t help but feel that an actual gay person would have written a more nuanced and better version. I guess I am just tired of appropriation. There are better ways to be an ally…like, I don’t know…not telling gay people how and when to come out and to just be brave…
    It’s easy to tell someone to be brave when you will never have to deal with the repercussions of being out.

    Side note, I am completely out…I just can’t help but feel that little seventeen year old me is being smacked around a bit by this song. That is all.

    • So true! I was really hooked when I first heard it, but the more I listen to it, the more irritated I get. Because really, it’s not her place to be telling someone else when or how to come out. Honestly, I liked it a lot better before I heard that it was explicitly ABOUT coming out. It’s a lot easier to get on board with something that says “hey, be honest, speak your truth” when it’s not anchored to something that is so intensely personal and potentially dangerous.

    • I felt exactly the same way when I first heard it. And I know that those feelings are very warranted, but the song doesn’t upset me anymore. Why not? I think because of two reasons.
      1. It was only upon its initial release that the gay angle was explained and used, since then I haven’t heard so much about. Which has let me to use it as a purely empowering, instead of condescending, song.
      2. As soon as Roar was released I started enjoying Brave as a song with a good beat AND of substance. So I guess I fell for the patriarchy and pitted two women against each other.

    • Totally legit response to it, but I have to say I really like this song. The fact that I see her and Jack Antonoff as actual straight allies makes me feel okay with the message – I guess I trust their intentions and don’t feel like she’s trading on the gay card or whatever so, even if the message could be somewhat imperfect, it comes from the right place. Also the fact it is written from personal experience means that while it isn’t the perfect message for every closeted person, it was the right words for that situation. Also, I think that while it is based on coming out she isn’t flogging that interpretation either and was really happy when that video of the staff and patients in a children’s hospital came out and so I think that while her friend’s coming out story inspired it, it is supposed to also be a broader message for strength whatever the challenge.

    • I literally had no idea this song was about telling people to come out until I read this. I’ve loved this song for a while cause I thought it was just about standing up for yourself/speaking up and being a strong person and whatnot. I thought it was just about empowering people in general. Sometimes I’m kind of dense.

  4. the grammy’s should ship alcohol to all of the world just so we can get through this shit. also, autostraddle forever.

  5. I’m gonna state the unpopular opinion and say I kinda like Brave (and I think it’s relevant to more than queerness) and also when I hear Same Love in my shitty little town in Indiana on the radio, it is nice and a Good Thing.

    I think sometimes the queer community has a tendency to be like WELL FUCK YOU GUYS to the wrong people–the ones who are actually caring and trying. I see this a lot and it makes me sad, and worried that allies will stop caring when met with so much vitriol for…caring about other people GOD THAT’S THE WORST AM I RIGHT

    • I agree with you…kind of.

      I don’t want to be like, hey, you suck for trying.

      But I don’t think that trying makes allies immune to criticism.

      Side note…I am totally crying at all the weddings…because even if it’s contrived it’s fucking awesome.

      • I mean I don’t think they’re completely immune. I’d just rather spend way more time criticizing the people who are either deliberately and obviously shitty or just sit on their asses, you know?

        I have a lot of feelings about priorities and energies and stuff–and everyone is shortsighted in their own way (SELF INCLUDED). I’m just attempting to be better. I also have a lot of feelings about this because my sister is straight and the staunchest damn ally you’ll ever meet, and I’m proud that she’ll go to queer events with me or send me queer zines or put a shitton of queer stickers on her car or donate to orgs for lgbt youth because she loves me and it’s the right thing to do.

        And if she had a national stage you best believe she’d be obnoxiously queer friendly up there.

        • Also if my word feelings are all jumbled I’m typing on phone and also had to take a muscle relaxer for my back so I might be high.

        • I think the deal with Same Love is that it’s a song by straight people, for straight people, about how straight people feel about gay people. So it’s sort of about us, but not actually about us, and definitely cuts us out of the conversation (Mary Lambert’s not crying on Sunday’s aside.). All of this results in deep and complex feelings.

        • I don’t know. I had mixed feelings posting my comments about Brave. Also, when I told my girlfriend about it, she responded pretty much exactly the way that you did…saying pretty much “Why are you upset about this?”

          But they’re my feelings…and even though I know that Sara Bareilles and Macklemore and lots of other straight allies have their hearts in the right place…I still feel frustrated and sad about the way they present their support sometimes.

          And it just bothers me. It bothers me when people try to speak for me about an experience they really don’t understand.

          Because I’m not talking about all the gay community right now. I’m thinking of myself. And if eight years ago, when I was scared to come out, I had a friend that had told me the stuff that Sara Bareilles sings in that song, I probably would have told them, “You don’t get it. Please stop talking to me about it.”

          It’s the kind of “help” and “support” where your house has burned down, and someone brings you a cupcake and says to cheer up and walks away. That’s not what you need, you know? (Except cupcakes…everyone always needs cupcakes.)

          I get what you’re saying. That there are real problems out there that we can focus on. That’s true. There are. There are real villains to fight in the world. But I don’t want shitty friends…and I feel like Sara Bareilles is being a shitty friend. So I just wanted to express that a bit.

          But for the most part, yes, I would rather do something. Which is why I volunteer, and why I work on educating my family bit by bit, and why I generally just try to be a good person who sometimes complains on the internet.

    • THANK YOU. when i hear same love it is a nice thing and i think that some gays say fuck you to these people who show they care and are all im here for you..

    • I think we can recognize the good that songs like this do without falling into the trap of revering someone for being a decent human or excusing their faults? Like I think it’s really important for queer kids to be able to grow up hearing songs like Same Love on the radio but I still wish they didn’t have to hear them sung primarily by someone overshadowing queer voices and upholding stereotypes and not acknowledging their own racism. We can be critical but that doesn’t mean we have to pretend literally nothing good comes of it. There’s also a difference between liking something for what it is in and of itself and liking the cultural discourse around something. I like Brave as a song and find it personally inspiring/energizing at times but I don’t like how it’s treated as an anthem for bullied kids, maybe especially because I know how hearing that song as that kind of anthem when I was being bullied would have felt. The thing that takes people to the point of just saying fuck off is how frequently people who aren’t queer are treated as queer saviors by mainstream media and how often actual queer voices are drowned out.

      • Ok guys how many other white rappers have songs about their white privilege entitled ‘White Privilege’?

        Just think about this for a second. As far as I can tell the answer is none. I don’t know how better to be like ‘yep this suck’ than that, or a song like ‘Wings.’ For real and that’s only what I can think of offhand. Just lending credence to my point that our damn priorities are still skewed. It’s easier for people to reblog ‘man fuck this guy’ on tumblr than to go after the actual baddies.

        Lazy ‘activism’ is gonna kill us.

        • Okay, so he has a song where he said he has white privilege. Fine. But he also, stole from a black gay rapper (the beat on thrift shop sounds an awful lot like the beat on “wut” by Leif. And Macklemore failed to respond when he was called out on this). He also reinforced the stereotype that ALL hip-hop is homophobic (“if I was gay, I would think hip hop hates me”), when there are A LOT of queer black rappers out there. He could have used his position of privilege to promote a rapper that is actually gay, but he didn’t. His song was hailed by OUT magazine as “hip hop’s first gay anthem”. That claim is false, but he didn’t refute it. So basically, dear Macklemore, talk is cheap.

        • Macklemore is the manifestation cis/straight/white guilt, he’s from Seattle ffs which I heard white guilt originated from. He is the appeasement of letting Eminem aka Slim Shady being a thing, who was so homophobic and unaware of his white privilege because he grew up poor in Detroit with his black friends aka D-12. Because a *whoooite* rapper has to have a song calling it “White privilege” to let people know, yes he is in fact aware of his *whoooite privilege* because fuck nuance people need to be hit over the head with these things, no homo.

          It only makes sense that Macklemore as mediocre as he is gets all this praise. Fuck yeah Macklemore!


          On a serious note, most of my criticism of Macklemore is not so much about him but his projection and comparison to other rappers and the genre of hip-hop itself. Being called the beacon of “intelligent rap/hip-hop, progressive,” really? So he gets a side-eye from me.

          Macklemore is the “new” Elvis, a replacement of Eminem who was a replacement of Vanilla Ice who was the replacement of Canada’s reggae/rapper, Snow, it goes hilariously goes on when it comes to mainstream white rappers.

          My thing is I would like a balance when it comes to how people are propped up as “intelligent rappers, progressives” in hip-hop. Most of Macklemore success is not just because he’s Macklemore the greatest rapper alive™ it’s because white people love his white ass, just like they did with Eminem, just as the did with Elvis who are doing music that comes from black American urban culture.

          NOTICE THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN REVERSE!!! I’m struggling to think of a time in music where a person of color was praised doing music or something “uniquely” white Americana. I’m drawing blanks and Jazz was a group effort in America.

        • ” I’m struggling to think of a time in music where a person of color was praised doing music or something “uniquely” white Americana.”

          Well, this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_Anderson

          Macklemore’s song doesn’t bother me. I think that is primarily because I’m ten to fifteen years older than most Autostraddle readers and I remember most celebrities being too scared to be allies. I hear that song, and think of how much has changed since I was young. I was 20 when Ellen came out (and lost her show because of it). So for me, it’s about perspective.

        • Tbh y’all can do whatever you want to do. I get annoyed when other people are overtly racist or homophobic and we don’t put our focus there. You do you I guess. I don’t necessarily think the man deserves cookies, but neither do I think he deserves the shit slinging. And there’s a lot.

          (Bra your comment about Seattle made me laugh so much. My sister lives there and yep).

          I just think priorities are really skewed and it’s not a cool thing at all. This reminds me of when I was pushing typhoon relief in the Philippines super hard and nobody (except a friend who has family there) gave two shits because they had their heads up their asses about other stuff. Thousands dead and millions displaced and nobody cares, you know? Because tumblr is so focused on this Macklemore song or whoever the asshole of the week is without thinking critically about who imminently needs help most to stay alive.

          It’s easy to criticize, it’s harder to do something…so maybe if you hate Macklemore, buy Leif’s album or throw some dough at Angel Haze if you want to make a difference.

          Sidenote I also find that the queer community can be incredibly isolating to the point of cruelty on issues like this which seems stupid to me.

          Anyway put your priorities wherever you want to. I would rather try to effect change in other, more tangible ways.

        • honestly I think Musgraves including “kiss lots of girls” in her song is more progressive than anything Macklemore did tonight, though I do salute him for bringing Mary Lambert into everybody’s lives, you guys we did an Almost Famous on her and NOW SHE IS FAMOUS. no but i get that there is def a value to this song in the mainstream, but i mean, why couldn’t he have made it a little bit better? why couldn’t he let mary lambert speak at the mtv awards? i know he’s doing something, but he’s also neglecting dozens of major areas where he could so easily do something better. i feel like there is a huge distance between the man who sings this song and what it feels like to be an lgbt person in this world right now. probs this song has a tangible and important impact on a lot of straight people, and that’s great and we’ll benefit from that, i guess. but that doesn’t mean the people he’s singing about have to be on board with it.

          and yeah there are at least one million ways i could better the world right now besides talking about this song, but i’m just sitting on my couch right now on my laptop watching TV and this topic came up so here we are talking about it, which doesn’t seem less constructive than like, playing QuizUp on my couch which might also be a thing I could do with this time on the couch. i don’t think any of us are going to boycott a macklemore concert. we haven’t even dedicated an article to the topic even though all the rest of the liberal gay-friendly press did, because this kind of stuff really isn’t where we put our energies. but the grammys happened and now we’re talking about shit on the internet in our sweatpants. or i guess for the sweatpants i’m just speaking for me.

        • uh i don’t know how to respond directly to riese’s comment at this point in the thread but i feel like we need an (unrelated) paean to sweatpants

        • I’m talking about shit in the internet on Xanax bc I’ve mostly been stuck in bed since Wednesday with bizarre untraceable full body pain. I don’t even CARE about the Grammys. I could also be doing way better things with my time except it’s 115 am and the polar vortex is back so nobody’s going anywhere and I am high.

          But on other days I try to do other things. You gays get to watch my thought process detiorate in real time. I spelled that wrong.

        • I don’t know how to reply to Riese but… Could it have been better? Yes, but then it would be different and maybe it wouldn’t have been such a big hit and reached so many people.. Love it for what it is, not for what it’s not.

      • I’m so glad this conversation is happening!

        I have a lot of feelings about Same Love. While it gave me butterflies the first few times I’ve heard it, I’ve grown to resent the fact that Macklemore gets all this amazing attention for Same Love while so many other queer artists are out there talking about queer politics. I appreciate the fact that he has acknowledged the role his privilege plays in the platform he’s given, but he doesn’t actually do anything to resist that and really – really – promote an openness to queers that don’t fall within the palatable mainstream image he presents. For instance, many queers are not interested in “same love” that involves a bunch of pairs of people marrying. I don’t see space for that in the Macklemore platform.

      • tbh i am just not in to this macklemore thing and how he is handling himself on important issues for feelings i’ve yet to successfully articulate

        but more importantly, i like the things @whatifiguredout and @bra said

        i also like how kaylyn said “I think we can recognize the good that songs like this do without falling into the trap of revering someone for being a decent human or excusing their faults”

        • I find privileged people’s access to culture especially those who are marginalized, being able to profit from it in some form, Yet, the reverse is seen as assimilation or they have to be ten times better than their contemporaries to be praised.

    • Last year I probably would have been with you a little bit, but this year I vowed that I would stop giving average straight white boys accolades for meeting the bare minimum for being decent human beings. I honestly don’t feel like queer community has the bar set very high because I mean shit, look at who we have as the faces of our movement: Dan Savage, HRC. People swear up and down that marriage equality is what’s really important in the community, like Macklemore does, and frankly, it’s fucking superficial.

      Seriously, I don’t care if you like Macklemore or if anyone does,and if you find hope in his message, more power to you, but please don’t tell me who I should and should not accept at face value when it comes to activism and social justice in our community.

      Just, gah, take me out of the oven because I am overdone.

    • this is something maddie and i were talking about a lot as we were watching and i wondered how to balance talking about it in comments vs the post because i knew the really good conversation was gonna happen here when we could pause and be more reflective and respond to things directly.

      i have a tendency to be pretty hard on macklemore and i realize that that makes it look like i don’t see all the good the song is capable of. I see it! I totally see it and I want to acknowledge that I know that song means a lot to a lot of people.

      it does a lot to hear a song that seeks to embrace our relationships on the radio while driving through small towns in Alabama. it counts for something. it counts for a lot knowing that there are queers in these towns excited to hear their stations playing it.

      However, “Same Love” for me is another one of those balancing acts where I feel forced to negotiate feelings I wish I was never put into a position to negotiate.

      I want to be able to talk about Macklemore taking up too much space, but I don’t want to take anything away from the person who feels safer every time they hear it on the radio.

      I want to critique Macklemore’s lyric “when i was in the third grade i thought that i was gay” and “If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me” for being silly…but I don’t want to make the kid who hears “Live on and be yourself” and gets the courage to do so feel like I hate one of his heros.

      I don’t hate the guy. But I need to be able to talk about how things could be so much better at the same time.

      It’s difficult, but I think it’s ok that it’s difficult.

      • “However, “Same Love” for me is another one of those balancing acts where I feel forced to negotiate feelings I wish I was never put into a position to negotiate.”

        It’s like you are in my mind!


        • oh my goodness you are in my mind. your comment which began “Macklemore is the manifestation cis/straight/white guilt,” good.ness. i read, i laughed, i cried.

          queerception! more like….dare i say it….same love.

    • I agree. Save your energy for the Anita Bryants, Maggie Gallaghers and Brian Browns of the world. Fight the real enemy

    • Same Love gives me mixed feelings- it gave us all Mary Lambert. She’s amazing, and probably wouldn’t have had all these opportunities if not for Same Love. I agree with all the major criticisms of Mackelmore, but more so- I think there’s a larger discussion of the role of allies in all communities. If someone was doing this kind of thing for the African American community? Can you imagine the insane fallout? This is am issue I have with so many allies- sometimes they arrive on the scene and are amazed that you are not so grateful for their “alliness”. Not being an asshole to gay people doesn’t grant you a cookie. When I hear Mackelmore, it’s like: you have all this fame and a chance to collaborate with all kinds of different artists who make be LGBT or POC- boost them up. But you can’t possibly invite Elton John, Ellen DeGenerous and her wife, Tegan and Sara, Chely Wright or even Even Rachel Wood to come sing with you about how they can’t change. You know, people who actually did have to struggle with that and people who are actually brave and happy in spite of that struggle. Also- no offense, but if I’m gonna marry a girl- I will marry the fucking hell out of her, I will not sell our marriage off as some stunt for a cis-white-straight-man’s Grammy nomination. Yes, I am happy that it’s in vogue for straight people to like us and want us to get married. But they don’t get accolades for “being brave” enough to accept us in spaces where we should have been accepted anyway. Allies have a huge part in any community, but it’s not their movement, and they do not get to speak for any of us. That’s what pisses me off about Mackelmore, and ultimately why I can’t stand Same Love or any of his music.

      • I agree with your general point about allies, but

        1. “I think there’s a larger discussion of the role of allies in all communities. If someone was doing this kind of thing for the African American community? Can you imagine the insane fallout?”

        Actually, Tim Wise (a white dude) is a self proclaimed “anti-racist” activist who actually makes a living off giving talks in which he basically tells other white people not to be racist. I’ve yet to see the insane fallout.

        2. “But you can’t possibly invite Elton John, Ellen DeGenerous and her wife, Tegan and Sara, Chely Wright or even Even Rachel Wood to come sing with you about how they can’t change”

        Macklemore (to his credit) has actually performed “Same love” with Tegan & Sara, and Mary Lambert, but it’s funny how all the LGBT people you suggested he perform with are white (even though hip hop is a genre that is full of black artists.) And although the mainstream gay rights movement may lead you to believe otherwise, black gay people do exist.

    • I’ve never listened to it as a song urging people to come out. I’ve always heard ‘Brave’ as a general call to action for anyone to be brave about whatever it is they need to say.

      Especially when some of her previous songs, like “Love Song” aren’t actually love/relationship woes, but directed towards her label, and her struggling w/herself to speak up and for herself/her music.

      • It’s not overtly about telling people to come out…However, there are several articles out there about how she wrote it for her gay friend who was afraid to come out. That’s pretty much what I was reacting to earlier.

    • I like “Brave” too, and I never thought it was about coming out. Did she say that in an interview or something? I think it just sounds like a generic, feel-good, inspirational song.

    • Marika, your Xanax addled post has captured exactly my stone cold sober, four in the afternoon, feelings on this. This is both validating and deeply disconcerting…

  6. LAUREN. I literally sent you like 12 Facebook messages over the summer about how great Kacey Musgraves is and how her lyrics are perfect including that very song. So I told you. It’s not my fault you chose to forget.

    • I’M SORRY. i sort of remember now?! also i had a weird feeling that if i said “why did no one tell me,” you were gonna pop up like, “actually….i did.” so thank you for fulfilling that prophecy.

      but did you tell me specifically about those lyrics? show me the receipts!

  7. thoughts/feelings, in no order:

    – i’m not bothered by macklemore particularly for the “yay gay” parts of “same love”; i mean if he wants to be an ally, cool. i do get bothered that he’s calling out the hip-hop community for homophobia like a) it’s not a proxy for him calling out the black community as a white man, which obvs way not ok, and b) other genres don’t have this same problem?? dude. back off.
    – but that doesn’t mean i didn’t shed a tear when queen latifah married all those people
    – and then my gf was totally like “are you crying?!?” and i was like “NO”
    – also my gf who is very wise and also can’t stand macklemore was like, “he doesn’t even sound like a hip hop artist, he sounds like a spoken word artist,” and actually he makes a lot more sense to me that way
    – but also mary lambert was so sweet and beautiful up on stage and even madonna recognized

    • oh wait also also also KACEY MUSGRAVES.

      1: i want the lampshade dress
      2: i want the boots
      3: “if that’s what you’re into” WELL IT JUST SO HAPPENS

    • To be honest I think he called out the hip hop community because he’s part of it and there does happen to be a lot of homophobia there (except I always think of Eminem there first). It wouldn’t make sense for him to be like YO COUNTRY IS HOMOPHOBIC because he’s not a country artist.

      And occasional queer or queer friendly artists don’t mean that more mainstream artists aren’t alienating to queer kids who like hip hop.

      (I like him better as a spoken word artist too though).

      • yeah, i get that as a member of the hip hop community he gets to call out his own community. but i think as a white man he has to be careful about that, right? b/c hip hop is largely of and by black people, and they get to claim that.

        oh wow and yes eminem. i have so many feelings about him. i’m such a fan of his amazing verbal dexterity and so *not* a fan of so many of the things he does with it. they could *both* stand to do more listening, him and macklemore, even acknowledging that they’re not at all starting from the same place.

        that said, i appreciate it whenever anyone calls out homophobia, b/c obvs i could stand to have the world be a little more sympathetic to li’l ol’ me ;) i just believe that there are different kinds of accountability that have to be accorded to the different people doing the calling out. i think i have to believe that, else none of us could do anti-racist/sexist/cissexist/etc work, could we? ugh, it’s a problem for sure.

        • *In the voice of Paul Mooney playing Nergodamus*[Dave Chapplle Show]

          “White people love Macklemore because he makes Eminem look like Fred Phelps.”

          *drops mic*

      • i feel like (correct me if i’m wrong) poc have said overwhelmingly, including on this very thread, that they do feel like macklemore is problematic w/r/t race, so i’m gonna go with that

    • Back when I initially had a lot of excellent feelings about Macklemore (regarded to his music having messages I felt I related to/which I appreciated for their honesty), I was reading interviews and he was definitely influenced heavily by spoken word poetry and used to perform as such.

      • (My feelings now aren’t as fancy/are more tired, for many of the reasons described above. However I think I can still enjoy some of his tunes- 10,000 Hours, Starting Over. Not so much Same Love).

      • oh, that’s really cool to know!

        secret confession time: i know everyone is over “thrift shop” for a LOT of really excellent reasons but i still find it catchy as all hell despite my best efforts

        but also i picture seth green performing it so that could be influencing my objectivity in the matter

    • Well the songs came out in crazy close proximity as singles so Thrift Shop was almost def already recorded (these things take time) and they don’t even sound that similar…plus, Same Love was originally released in WA before Macklemore blew up and the proceeds went to a marriage equality org in WA state. Soooo…that answers most of those questions.

      • I was talking more about the whole White-Dude-Cashing-In-On-Pink-Dollaz thing. Oh, and the Not-All-Gay-People-Care-About-Gay-Marriage thing. But okay.

  8. “Follow Your Arrow” gives me LIFE. Queer Texans don’t get a lot of anthems, y’all. So much yes to that song. Her winning makes me feel personal pride in a way I can’t really explain.

  9. I’m late, on West Coast time,but HOLY CRAP, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar? AMAZING
    And this Kacey Musgrave girl? Love her.

  10. OMG Kacey Musgraves!! This is a real song? This is a song that teenage girls listen to? This is so wonderful!

    • RIght?!! I needed a minute. I love how this just happened with no warning. Everyone kept pumping Macklemore’s performance up, even when they would go to commercial the announcers would be like “coming up is this inspirational and historic performance!”

      while Kasey Musgraves just swooped in and causally put down some real shit.

      that was amazing.

    • All I could think when watching this was about Chely Wright and how it seems like progress is being made?

  11. *In the voice of Paul Mooney playing Nergodamus*[Dave Chapplle Show]

    “White people love Macklemore because he makes Eminem look like Fred Phelps.”

    *drops mic*

  12. I really hope a post about the problem with Same Love and Queen Latifah is going to show up somewhere. If not here, somewhere so I can post it to FB in order to explain why that moment filled me with rage. I don’t have a problem with allies, I have a problem with the voices and truth queer artists have been speaking for years being ignored for those years. Then suddenly a cisgendered straight white male says just one part of that and suddenly he is the hero of LGBT people. By the way, at what point did he mention trans* anything? I have no problem with him or his message, I have a problem with the reaction to it and that he has not used this moment to make space for the very queer artists his voice is privileged over.

    Then Queen Latifah, you don’t have to come out, but don’t stand behind that glass door on your closet and try to profit off gay marriage.

    If someone says those things coherently, I’ll be very pleased. Thanks for letting me rant. My straight roommate just doesn’t get it. Not even a little bit.

      • I don’t know that saying that the crowd at pride “are her peeps” is the same as coming out. I’ve heard many a straight girl tell her “gay boys” they are her peeps, or something similar.

        Has any other acknowledgement happened? She has a talk show now. Seems like an appropriate place to talk about one’s self and life. Has she made any mentions? Not that this has to happen, but a you’re my peeps doesn’t seem like coming out to me.

        • Yeah I agree. This could be interpreted in many ways. I don’t understand how someone can have their own talk show and deny who they are, base the whole thing on a fake personality. I saw a clip on a promo where she said “I wish I had a cowboy!” Cringe. It’s one thing if you’re an actor or actress with a private life, but to have a talk show kinda requires you to be genuine.

  13. Ok so I’m in England and thus slept through it all. I woke up to the same love wedding ceremony sitch all over twitter and yeah I shed a tear because I always cry at weddings…even though I have no intention of getting married. And then I came here because I knew there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth over it all. I have complicated feelings towards it for so many reasons already mentioned by others, as it seems do many folks. But mostly I’m just glad something like this was able to happen. I honestly look back to October 1998, to my 15 year old coming out self and that little scared baby dyke could not have imagined that gay folks and straight folks and folks of all colours would have simultaneously got married on tv at a major event. So I’m calling it a win.

  14. We’re really excited about Lorde winning things in New Zealand. My Facebook is like a watered down version of the 2003 Oscars (aka LOTR: Return of the King Night).

    • I feel like some Australians I know love her and others were pleased that she didn’t get #1 on the Triple J Top 100 (even whilst I think her song was infinitely more lyrically and melodically interesting/non-Triple-J-canon than Vance Joy’s #1 tune).

      Anyhow. I love her. And I am also amused by this picture (please Lorde may the HTML work):

      • (Also I feel like the Aussies that were pleased she didn’t get #1 were mostly those who

        a) had heard the song too much before the Top 100 happened

        b) dislike intelligent, confident teenage girls that other teenage girls can look up to and appreciate for being ‘real’ (erk, why should I like someone that TEENAGE GIRLS like?!)

        c) dislike tunes with anti-consumption/anti-materialist themes that become popular, because it hurts their hipster hearts

        d) all of the above.

        So reign on Lorde. The haters are twerps. You do you).

  15. This is probably going to piss off a lot of you, but I am 55 years old and cannot wrap my head around all you 20-somethings being pissed off that that women marrying women and men marrying men on television in prime time in America wasn’t done “right” and that these queer-positive songs are being sung by the “wrong people”. HAVE YOU NO IDEA OF THE POSITION OF PRIVILEGE YOU YOURSELVES ARE SPEAKING FROM? REALLY? Do you have any idea of what it was like when I was growing up? We were scared, all the time, about what would happen to us if anyone, even in our own families, found out. Teenagers ended up getting committed and forced to get shock treatment–no kidding–for even talking about feelings they hadn’t yet acted on. The idea that people could sing on the radio about gayness in any form would not have even been comprehensible to us. If anyone had told us that we’d be marrying each other on TV we’d never, ever have believed them.

    It is the surest signs of privilege that one has no idea that one IS privileged. I’m glad the world has moved onto where you guys get to be annoyed and angry about such things, but please! A little perspective! Remember, once in awhile, that you are complaining about things that were absolutely impossible for us to even imagine, even 10 years ago. I cannot even calculate the progress that has occurred–that is how huge it is.

    • Hello Rebecca’s Niece,
      I am sure we’re all quite aware of the poor treatment queers have historically (and even now) been subject to; and although I appreciate your comment and agree that we should be dissatisfied with much worse, this is a conversation that needs to be had. We can’t be fooling ourselves into satisfaction everytime someone throws us a bone – it’s like saying black people shouldn’t be getting riled up about cultural appropriation because back in the day they were drinking from different water fountains (not implying our experiences are the same, but the analogy works). Calling “Perspective!” doesn’t make the critique any less valid and hinders progress on other levels.

      • I didn’t say no one should be annoyed or even angry at things that go on, and certainly did not say or imply that there should be no discussion. I said I’m glad that things have come far enough that there is so much to be worked up about, as opposed to the nothing that we had. We were entirely invisible in the early 70s and if we figured into the conversation at all, it was usually in the form of gym teacher jokes. The point of my comment is that progress has been made and continues to be made, so much so that what is happening now could not have even been imagined, let alone predicted, and that this is a privilege that should at least be recognized. The content of so many of these comments is a demand for perfection in all things (a state not even possible, as we all have a different idea of “perfection”), and the tone is not just impatient, but petulant. And the complaints are all directed at people who actually care and want the entire society to progress, not just their own particular corner of it, which strikes me as rather foolish.

        I think part of the problem I’m having is the very determined insistence on this us vs. them mentality. The world seems now to have been divided into parts, one of which is a sub-division of the “them” called “allies” and no matter what “they” do it’s too little or too much, and whatever they do, however they do it, they’re doing it wrong and the proper response is to be offended. And to be offended by me now, too, and to respond irritably (or sarcastically) because I suggest that perhaps recognition of the rather stunning events at the Grammys are something to be thankful for, however hokey and imperfectly rendered, if for no other reason than that the folks at Fox News are choking on their breakfast cereal because of them. The “them” to get worked up over are not at the Grammys: they’re in Congress, in state capitols, and state legislatures all over this country.

        • As a person who is critical of the “Same Love” success, I do see what you’re saying. The song has done good things like the wedding ceremony and it has reached people that may have avoided or missed the message otherwise.

          However, there are problems and if we don’t speak up, then how will allies or future allies know? There is a way to say it, yes. I ranted here since it is a space for queer people (yes I know that the comment is there for everyone queer or not to see), and putting it in a way that doesn’t take away from our message is important. Sadly, it has not always been said in the proper way and I may have been guilty of that myself.

          Personally, my issue is not solely with Macklemore. It is the same gripe many minority communities have. When we talk about our struggles, it is ignored or discounted but as soon as a privileged person says the same thing, it is heralded as a win for that minority community. My problem with him is how he has handled this. Often people in positions of power (I have done this myself) feel that they can speak for or give voice to people or groups. That is just silencing with good intentions. Instead the charge for those in positions of power or privilege should be to make space for these groups to speak for themselves. One cannot know the experience or needs of another, so he or she cannot speak for others.

          Sorry to rant more.

    • I agree. I think “Same Love” is a sort of poorly-written, crappy song, but the first time I heard it on the radio in my conservative, suburban Ohio town, I almost shit my pants.

      I’m 25, and if you would have told me 10 years ago when I was a freshman in high school that there would be a song about marriage equality on top 40 radio, I would have called you a liar. Maybe there are a lot of things wrong with it, but it still seems like a bit of progress to me.

    • Okay but things like this are still happening. Teens are being sent to Pray Away the Gay camps, trans women of color are being locked up in prison for defending themselves against murderers,trans women are being murdered left and right, we can’t go to Russia or other homophobic countries let alone live in our own without fear, the homeless LGBTQIA youth population is growing at an alarming rate, and you can still be fired in 38 states for being queer.

      No one is saying that this isn’t progress. What we’re saying is that this isn’t enough. We’re saying that it’s great that things are finally changing and songs like Same Love can exist, but it’s still coming from a cisthet white man with a patriarchal standpoint (just listen to the lyrics, they’re about his life and his struggle, not ours)who has said and done things in the past and recently that have been fucked up.

      He has the exact privilege that you’re claiming we have for analyzing and holding him accountable for. He doesn’t have to face any of the shit that you and I pointed out. That’s why I’m not going to give him a million awards for doing the bare minimum and making shit loads of money from.

      • And the greatest thing, the most wonderful (in all senses of that word) is that this forum exists and we can all talk and argue and look at things in our different ways. That this is so still feels like a miracle to me. I grew up in a small town in CT, then spent 30 years in the Bay Area, and now live in a tiny, pretty isolated town on the Oregon coast where pretty much no one even knows the words “Queer Culture”. To be able to come to this site and see all of you talking about things I didn’t even have words for when I was just a little less than your age is so great. I don’t talk much here, being so much older and feeling more than a little out of the loop, but being able to listen to all of you is such a privilege for me. And I’m absolutely not saying “be grateful now shut up”! I’m just reeling at how different your lives are!

    • I appreciate this comment, as I have appreciated all of the discussion above. Thanks for your input.

  16. Basically my biggest feels are:

    1.) Everything is Kacey Musgraves and nothing hurts. Like seriously, I feel like if her music had been a thing when I was teenager…so many things would have been better.
    2.) Actually really pissed that Kathy Griffin won best comedy album over Tig Notaro. I mean, I’m a huge fan of Tig anyway, but I’m even more pissed than I thought I would be. Like, straight-up irate.

  17. I really don’t understand the problem with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. So, yes he is a straight man, singing about gay people, but I thought the whole equality thing was about treating people as humans? I mean who really cares whether Macklemore is gay or straight? The same thing happened when “Blue is the Warmest Color” came out. Since the director was a straight man, many people in the queer community complained about the movie. I don’t think sexual orientation is a legitimate reason for disliking a song or a movie, and I am a little upset that the queer community continues to use this as a basis for disliking an artist or a movie. If you are really upset about queer people not having a voice for themselves, then write a song about queer love. No one is stopping you.

    • Read the whole convo above. OMG it is full of insight. =) I think you should start at Marika’s comment and see the replies. I was like people were really reacting to this after I went to bed!!

  18. In response to the Macklemore performance, I personally felt empowered that so many people and celebrities cared so much about the LGBT community and are discouraging hate. Especially in lite of all the hate from Russia and within the United States, and in some cases (including mine) hate from family members.

    Honestly, if it weren’t for so many brave gay people like Lambert and outspoken allies like Macklemore, I would probably have remained miserable and alone in the closest forever.

    I am definitely grateful for Macklemore’s outspoken support and the Grammy performance.

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