OK, I admit it. I’m the type of geek blogger who checks his blog comments, blog stats and email, before I do anything else in the morning. Robe on. Slippers on. Computer on. Check. And this morning I was surprised to find an invitation to join a Facebook group.:

[…] invited you to join the Facebook group “1,000,000 AGAINST Perez Hilton being the GLBTQ SPOKESPERSON! “.

My first thought was, what has Perez done now? Did he go on TV [or the Internet or somewhere] and declare that he was the new spokesperson for all of us?

I used to join most every group someone invited me to join. That wasn’t too bad at first, but after my friends list was over about 30 friends, that started to get out of hand. So, now, I check out the group, and the purpose of the group before joining. Some will want to join this group because Perez Hilton  has been (and most likely will continue to be) a real ass sometimes. There, I said it! Perez Hilton is a real ass sometimes. Actually, it isn’t the first time I have said that. I have been critical of him before on my blog. But I won’t be joining this Facebook group. Now, if the group was named “Demand Perez Hilton Accept that he is an ASS,” That’s a group, I could join. But these two are very different groups.

Bumping around the web, I couldn’t find anything anywhere that suggested that Perez Hilton sees himself as  “the GLBTQ spokesperson.” If you have a URL that demonstrates otherwise, please post it in the comments. What I did find was a ton of stuff that demonstrates the he is a loud mouth, opinionated , guy, who has built a brand and a reputation on being an unapologetic bitch. I also couldn’t find anything that suggested that other people see him as “the GLBTQ spokesperson.” To an extent, he was thrust into that role, over his question about same-sex marriage to a certain soft-porn star turned beauty pageant contestant. But if there was any doubt if he was a community spokes person or not, that incident proved that he wasn’t. I doubt that anyone would have even seen his role there as a spokesperson, except that the issue of Marriage Equality is so huge and so critically important. It is both a real practical need, but it is also the greatest symbol of the 2nd class citizenship of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. When you talk about something that is both real and hugely symbolic, your words take on a meaning that is treated as symbolic too. Unless this post gets too long (as they always do) I’ll write more about this later in the post.

What this Facebook group is really all about are people afraid that there is a right way and a wrong way to be gay, or at least look and act gay:

Would Harvey Milk have come as far as he did if he dressed and acted like Perez Hilton?

So, at least to some, how one dresses and acts either makes you a good spokesperson or a bad one?

If the queer community want’s to reverse the positive effects that we have worked so hard for, so be it, but I and hopefully with others choose Perez Hilton not to be my voice!

As I read this, I was so amused!  There are two inter-connected things at work here. The first, is a point, I won’t dwell too much on. It comes up every Pride season, as well as at other times, when someone exclaims that it is the leather daddies, or the dykes on bikes, or some other sliver of the whole of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender coalition of communities that give the rest of us a bad image. This partly happens because the TV cameras always seem to gravitate to those that look the most unusual. This is the case with Perez as well. The publicity machine automatically gravitates towards the shiny object, and doesn’t discern if it is just heat or real light. But my position is that one person, or even a group of people within the LGBT community are not even remotely responsible for “reversing the positive effects.” There are far too many far-right anti-gay haters out there who are quite capable of doing that no matter who is deemed as spokesperson. (For the record, I, speaking as only myself, think everyone ought to be welcome at Pride exactly as they are.)

But the part of that quote I want to focus upon, is at the end of it (emphasis added as BOLD text my me)”

… choose Perez Hilton not to be my voice

This is the single most amazing thing I’ve ever read perhaps! This comment suggests that if I/we don’t choose Perez to not be my/our voice, then, by default he is our (my/our) voice. How astounding to be sure!

Not even the most amazing and powerful spokesperson is my voice. I am my own voice! I may agree or not agree with a spokesperson, but they are never my voice. I would suggest that if we as a whole started to find ways of raising our own voices up, we would be making far more positive gains. I’d suggest that this minds set, this expectation, that there can be a great spokesperson, and we as individuals don’t need to raise our own voices- that is the thing that will reverse the positive steps our community has taken forward.

Why is it that some (3,957 people on facebook at least) are so comfortable letting go of their own power, and allowing someone else to be their voice. As long as it is the right type of person that is. Why do people want to choose someone else to be their voice or not their voice? Who would you choose to be your voice? I’d choose myself.

I’d choose to be my own voice, and I’d choose to use that in many ways. Writing this blog is just one.

I’m already over 1000 words. Enough for this blog post. The point I raised earlier about practical and symbolic will have to wait until another post. Who do you choose to be your voice? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Gawker article: http://gawker.com/5333551/perez-hilton-will-not-apologize-for-being-an-awful-person

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