If you don’t know who Katy Perry is, she is the chick that has made a hit out of kissing a girl (even though Jill Sobule did it many years ago, and unlike Perry, didn’t seem to have any issues with it) and then telling the world about it. As much as I wanted to like the song “I Kissed a Girl” (currently #2 on iTunes) by Perry, I initially didn’t feel like it was a good message. She sings about how it feels “wrong”, and even worse, she says that kissing girls isn’t what “good girls do”. However, after looking at the song from a different perspective, I figured that maybe she didn’t mean that at all; in fact, perhaps what good girls don’t do, is cheat on their boyfriends… and in that case, this song is playful, and not grounded in hate at all.
However (and a HUGE however), after checking her out further, and really trying to give her the benefit of the doubt with her “experimentation” with homosexual kissing, I found something that really makes me scratch my head and wonder if there is some problem that Katy has with gay people. She has a song called “Ur So Gay”, which has been called the “ultimate kiss-off” to a boy that was too “full of himself” to give her the time of day. In the song, she describes everything “wrong” with him, building to the conclusion that he must be gay, even though he doesn’t like boys (which, is the actual only ACCURATE use of the word gay… that which is glaringly absent from her song).
While many will see this accurately as a joke, the underlying message is too clear to ignore; Katy sees being gay as wrong, abnormal, and most importantly, as an insult that she uses to make herself feel better for being dissed. What’s wrong with that, some of you may wonder? Well, the underlying message is hate speech, and here again, I can’t believe that we have yet another example of someone using the description of a person’s sexual orientation as a slur of any kind.
Katy dear, this is 2008. We need to stop using gay as an insult; being gay is normal. If you use “gay” as synonym for bad, negative, horrible, stupid, or any of the many other derogatory words it has been used in place of to place insult, then you are propagating and continuing the underlying bigotry that is so fervent in this country. Continuing this form of “hidden” bigotry is just intolerable, and I for one feel like I must continue to speak out against it.
“Artists” like Katy Perry should be confronted with the fact that their “silly, harmless jokes” are grounded in hateful, shameful, and derogatory feelings that only further the bigotry against gay people in this country. It isn’t “cute” or “funny” that she kissed another girl, it is normal; whether or not she can deal with her homosexual feelings is her problem, not ours.
If you don’t see this as a big deal, ask yourself: would it be cute or funny if she wrote a song about how weird it was for her to kiss a black person?? How do you think that would that go over? Additionally, if she were to write a song about how awful a boy was because he was so “stereotypically black”, how would that sound? Well, I know how it would sound, in one word: RACIST. So I want to know why is it okay to apply that same sentiment to gay people?? Clearly, it isn’t, and I honestly can’t believe that this type of message is still put out there; yet here it is.
Shame on you Katy Perry. Grow up. Become more than that stereotypical playground bully. Gain some intelligence (clearly, that is lacking, because being gay means “liking boys” if you are male, and she doesn’t seem to put two and two together in her song) and perspective, and realize that, even in a “joking” manner, that using the term “gay” to insult someone is causing harm to the gay community in perpetuating the very hate and indifference we are fighting so hard to get rid of. I always cling to the hope that people can be better than they are, but it is people like Katy Perry that continually let me down. Unfortunately, there are people out there that are just waiting to gobble this crap up, and morons like Perry are ready to give them more. I have to ask myself, can there truly be a time when we can all stop the name calling, and just see each other as equal? Can their truly be a time when gay people can be treated as the normal people that we are, and not continually insulted and have our lifestyle continually used as a form of degradation? Little things like this really make me wonder if people are truly capable of that at all, unfortunately.
Sigh. Hopefully, she will fade into the distance soon, and people will rightfully forget about her ignorance; even though it is bound to pop up somewhere else.