It’s always a sad moment when a straight ally, or even someone you just assumed was gay-friendly, is exposed as not quite what they seem. We’re so used to hearing bile from the Ted Cruz’s and Pat Robertson’s that we laugh it off. But whether it’s freedom-advocate Lauryn Hill blaming society’s ills on “girl men” and “drag queens” or bear icon Alec Baldwin calling a pushy photographer a “cocksucking fag”, displays of hate from those we liked and trusted can sting.
I didn’t know much about Amber Rose before her recent Twitter spat with Kanye West. Wikipedia describes her as a “model, fashion designer and actress”. Mostly I knew her as “that woman who guested on an episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race”, which automatically awarded her “straight-ally” status in my book.
So when she tweeted the following, I was disappointed:
Kanye West, of course, felt the need to reply:
As did the rest of the world:
Rose had to know this isn’t the first time West has the subject of homophobic attacks. He’s been called a “faggot” by rapper 50 Cent and has been dogged by rumors of gay relationships. She also had to know the rap world is hyper-masculine and deeply anti-gay.
It didn’t surprise me to see homophobia used as a smear. But it did surprise me to see it being used by a person who for all intents and purposes seemed like our friend.
In fact, it turns out Amber Rose isn’t the most savvy of allies. Last year she stunt kissed another straight woman at the BET awards. That was their idea of celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage: “… we support the gay and lesbian community so much we decided to be each other’s date today”. Her idea of solidarity is to play at being lesbian with a heterosexual friend? That’s like a white person celebrating Black History Month by putting on blackface
Others have said they didn’t think Rose was being homophobic. Except that we gay men are intrinsically linked to sodomy. Legislation banning it has been used to oppress us. As soon as you use sodomy as an insult then you’re pulling us into the fight whether you mean to or not.
Amber Rose may have thought “u mad I’m not around to play in ur asshole anymore” was just throwing shade at an ex. In fact, it was a coded wolf whistle for gay haters to pile into the fight. She wasn’t telling the world Kanye likes anal sex. She was saying that he’s a lesser man because he likes anal sex, that anal sex is dirty and disgusting, that he’s no better than a gay man, as dirty, as inferior.
The ironic part of this is that Rose has painted herself as a victim of name-calling. She recently “wrote” a column – for a TIME magazine no less – about the pain of being slut shamed. “Before you judge someone—especially another woman—put yourself in her shoes and also look at your past. That’s what a lot of women fail to do. They’re so quick to call another girl names, but it’s like: You know what? There may have been a time where you looked back and said, “I probably shouldn’t have done that.””
Hopefully she’s looking back now and thinking that tweet was one of those things she shouldn’t have done. And realizing that she’ll probably never guest on RuPaul’s Drag Race ever again.
In ONE MILLION DOMS Dominic Sheehan comments about political stuff. Yes, the title is a parody of One Million Moms. No, he doesn’t care why Rose tweeted that – whatever her reason she should leave us out of it. Yes, he considered “The Bloom Has Gone Off the (Amber) Rose” as a title.