Opinion

We Have To Do Better, Ladies…

An episode of RHOA signaled a bigger problem which is the correlation between homophobia, transphobia and straight black women.

Last weekend, there was a new episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. This is one of my favorite shows to watch and live tweet (if you aren’t aware of how LIT #RHOA is on Twitter, you need to get into it). This season marks the return of two OGs: Nene Leakes and Kim Zolciak-Biermann (Kim is not a full-time cast member…yet). This episode also had a cameo of another RHOA OG: Lisa Wu. Lisa was always one of my #faves and she looked AMAZING! But the return of the OGs is not the reason I am writing this. There were two things that happened on this episode that I have to make note of:

First…

On this episode, Nene decided to host a party. Totally fine with that and totally loving any reason to see my melanated faves dressed to the nines with their faces beat to the GAWDS. I also think Madame Leakes’ home is FABULOUS! The theme of this party was what gave me pause: Girls and Gays. Um…what? *sighs and rubs her temples*

So when I first heard Nene describe it, I was taken aback. I wondered if anyone would have an issue with it and I am happy to report the RIGHT person voiced the concern.  Derek J. voiced his concern publicly on the show and privately to Nene about the offense of the party. He articulated it in a way that should be easy for everyone to understand.  However, instead of saying “I didn’t think it would offend anyone” and apologizing for the offense, Nene got defensive. To her point, it is her party and her home and she can title it any way she would like. I hope that she was receptive to his comments and his opinions. However, apologies are free. If you offend someone, apologize and move on. That is literally ALL you have to do. Although she said her “intentions were pure”, it doesn’t mean it could be taken the wrong way or offensive. You do not have to be a part of the gay community to see the offense; I am a cis-gendered straight woman and I saw the offense clear as day.

Ladies, we REALLY need to stop treating gay men or…ahem…the “gays” like props, puppies or accessories. They are grown ass men with real lives, jobs and feelings. I get that members of the LGBTQIA community are wonderful and make everything sparkle, pop, shine or whatever adjective you would like to include, but we need to stop acting like they are not, in fact, PEOPLE. If there were gay men having parties like this and telling invitees to bring their favorite black woman, it would be a SHIT STORM AND <clap> YOU <clap> KNOW <clap> IT. (especially IF the people throwing the party were WHITE gay men).

If you do not want someone to treat us like props, puppies, trinkets or anything of that nature, then we honestly need to stop doing THAT to members of the LGBTQIA community.

Second…

I am not sure if you guys are aware, but Kim and Kenya have BAD BLOOD. Kenya has always been one to go below the belt and sometimes go a little too far when she is in a heated argument with someone. Kim can as well. So watching this scene, I was just counting the minutes before something happened. I think it only took about 45 seconds before things started going left. However, with this fight, I am not sure who went too far or escalated it too quickly. Kim came in ready to pounce on Kenya Daly (yup, I am using her married name). Not sure why Kim would care about Kenya’s married life. If I had a house full of kids, a great home and hot guy who loves the ground I walked on, I would pay all of you dust. (lol if I am being honest, I don’t need those things to just sip, eat and fly above all the pettiness). However, she didn’t and she started to pick and poke until Kenya retaliated. Ahem…this is how THAT went:

Now, you can IMAGINE the reaction from Twitter was mixed. I was like “oh lawd we doing this at the ‘girls and gays’ party”? There were people going “she was angry and Kim pushed her buttons”. I will say this, if you can’t have an argument with someone without jumping to transphobia (and YES THAT IS WHAT THAT WAS), then you are not as intelligent as you claim to be. Insulting someone by alluding to them once being born a man is just ridiculous. Transitioning from one gender to another should NOT be an insult. ESPECIALLY coming from someone who says they are an “ally”. Girl, if you can jump to that so quickly when you are ‘mad’, then you are NO ally. I understand anger and saying things we don’t mean but jumping to homophobia and transphobia in the heat of the moment signals a much bigger problem; those are your feelings.

Again; we, as black women, need to STOP THIS. Stop saying you are an “ally” to the gay community just because someone does your hair, does your makeup, helps you get ready for an event, comes to your house to drink wine or laughs with you on Twitter; you are NO ally to the gay community. You just are not. PERIOD.

Kenya’s comments are laughable considering that when Porsha said things to her and snatched her by her wig, she didn’t want to hear ANY excuses for her behavior. She said she should be accountable and that anger was NO excuse. Kenya has not addressed her comments. Wait, yes she did. On Twitter she said that saying her comments were transphobic was “a reach”. That signals another problem; she actually doesn’t think she said anything wrong. She MEANT for her comments to be an insult. But she considers herself an ally right?

MM HMM…ok girl *eye roll*

Intention and result are two different things; while I don’t believe that Nene nor Kenya intended to come off homophobic/transphobic, they should recognize why it could be seen as such.

This episode signaled a bigger problem which is the correlation between homophobia, transphobia and straight black women. This notion that we straight black women “love the gays”…as long as they are helping US be fabulous. We don’t love them when they are asking us to help fight for their rights to marry who they want, go to the bathroom they choose, adopt children and/or work as the gender they identify with (all of a sudden, we turn from sinner to saint and quote every scripture to defend our homophobic choices).

We need to do better. We need to stop thinking that by taking slang created by GAY BLACK MEN (i.e. shade, spilling the tea, what’s the tea, slay, yasss, etc., etc., etc.) and making it our own is not on par for the tongue lashing we would give to white people when they take black slang and make it their own. It isn’t the exact same thing…but it isn’t that far off.

I say “we” because that is me included. I have not excluded myself and I never would. We all have room to grow and we all NEED to grow up and stand up for LGBTQIA folks who come to us and say “hey, this isn’t right” and ask for us to help.  Don’t get defensive, don’t say they are “reaching”, just LISTEN.

Listening is free too.

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