What Went Wrong This Week For … Homophobes

Scaachi Koul is a senior writer at BuzzFeed Canada, formerly the managing editor of Hazlitt. Her debut collection of essays, The Pursuit of...

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Welcome to Well, That Sucked, our weekly compendium of exactly what it sounds like. Thrown in this week’s garbage: those culture warriors still dying to use the word “faggot” in earnest.

Everybody has at least one shitty relative they don’t want to spend time with at a family gathering. Your activist niece who thinks she can cure world famine with a 35-hour hunger strike. Your grandmother who hates your haircut and wants to tell you about it. Your aunt-by-marriage who lingers too close to your face, bitterly telling you how you’ve grown up so … nicely.

So we can all probably imagine how Liz and Mary Cheney are feeling this Thanksgiving after a week of public disagreement. Liz on one end of the table with her traditional nuclear family, upset that her sister is ruining her political career. Meanwhile, Mary sits at the other end with her heathen wife, single-handedly burning down America with her big lesbian hands.

Indeed, there is no peace in the Cheney household. While older sister Liz runs for Senate in Wyoming, she publically expressed disapproval for gay marriage. Mary is married to a woman. Liz is already on the wrong side of the same-sex marriage debate, since not only are more and more states embracing gay marriage, but even her family—even her father—has gotten over Mary’s icky gayness. When you come across as more heartless than Dick Cheney—a man whose heart once tried to escape from his chest cavity—you need to reevaluate your life choices.

But it isn’t just the Republicans having a hard time getting away with bigotry: the liberal Democrat Hollywood communists can’t seem to keep it together, either.

Recently, melting Superman action figure Alec Baldwin was apparently caught on camera calling a photographer a “cocksucking faggot,” as one does when followed by intrusive paparazzi. This is a marked departure from Baldwin’s typically serene and balanced attitude, as the Baldwins are, of course, known for their composure.

Really, though, what else is he supposed to say to photographers? He’s already tried shoving them. It’s not like he means it in a bad way. I don’t know a single guy who doesn’t adore a literal cocksucker. He’s probably just trying to take the word back, the way gay men sometimes call each other fags as a term of endearment. You know, like, “Hey, you cocksuckin’ faggot, knock that dick outta your mouth and come have a beer with me.”

Because of the incident, MSNBC pulled the plug on Baldwin’s weeks-old show, Up Late with Alec Baldwin. Was it the homophobic slur that killed the show? Or the yelling about cancer patients? Could it have the public’s unwillingness to watch Baldwin wave his meaty bear-paws around on the same network that lets Joe Scarborough do anything he pleases? We may never know.

Instead of accepting responsibility, however, Baldwin blamed his cancellation on a backroom-cabal of media homosexuals. “You’ve got the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy—Rich Ferraro and Andrew Sullivan—they’re out there, they’ve got you,” he said. Remember when we all gave Baldwin a pass because he was on 30 Rock, a great show, with Tina Fey, a great woman, and we basically let him do whatever he wanted?

Those days are gone. Now he’s just an old dad with a hot wife and too much money.

Yes, it’s becoming a lot harder to be a homophobe in the US of A. Even if you’re Alec Baldwin, gazing deep into the eyes of a photographer you’re about to call a queer. Even if you’re Liz Cheney, daughter of the Lord of Darkness. But it also shows that we all have something in common, that even Hollywood liberals and children of Republican dynasties can find some common ground.

In fact, just last week I noticed this while traveling through Ecuador. I stayed in hostels throughout the country, and couldn’t help but remark on how, no matter where I go in the world, people can always find something in common. One evening at the bar, an American and a Fin bonded over calling another guy gay because “his shoes are blue and his socks are red.” They laughed and laughed, until another traveller—a Netherlander—misunderstood and thought it was a come-on. He asked the American, “Oh, are you saying that because you are gay?”

The colour drained from the American’s face. He stopped laughing and he took a step back from the group. “That’s not funny, bro,” he said. “You don’t know me.”

Don’t we, though? It really is such a small world.

Well, That Sucked appears every Friday.

Image via Wikimedia