Welcome back to our weekly round-up of the most infuriating bits of anti-LGBT rhetoric to grace our news feeds in the past seven days. And as usual, right-wingers around the world gave us plenty to choose from — our only problem was picking only five outrageous stories to share here. Read on to see what made the cut, but expect a healthy dose of snark in the following pages — sometimes it's the only way we can get through the day.
5. Gabourey Sidibe Uses Slur to Joke About Trans Women Arrested En Masse
Back on January 23, Gabourey Sidibe appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show, and she was generally charming and funny as usual. But when she started to recount what she says was a common scene outside the bars in her hometown of New Orleans, she devolved into using a string of transphobic slurs.
Here's the exchange as it went down on the January 23 episode of Arsenio:
Gabourey Sidibe: There was a bar that we would frequent and every time we'd go, when we were leaving, every single time there was always like a gang of cops arresting trannies.
Sidibe: Specifically trannies.
Arsenio Hall: Yeah…
Sidibe: And I don't know what goes on with trannies but that tranny-on-tranny crime needs to stop!
Arsenio Hall and audience: [Laughter]
Sidibe [chuckling]: It is tearing our nation apart!
Now, to her credit, the Precious and American Horror Story: Coven star apologized for her comments on Saturday, tweeting that she didn't "realize that it was a slur. I'm very sorry for my poor choice of words." In a separate tweet one minute later, Sidibe tweeted that she was "Also sorry for having made light of a bad situation. It was not my intention."
I believe that Sidibe used the T-word unknowingly, and I don't particularly think she meant it as a way to demean transgender women. But when those women — who are disproportionately the victims of homicide and police violence directed at them because of their gender identity — are treated like the punchline to a joke, it's worth calling people out, even if those people are our allies or, as my colleague at The Advocate notes, even if those people are members of our own community.
When the T-word is the last word that far too many transgender women hear before they are brutally murdered, we have to call it out when we see the systemic oppression of our friends. When drag queens and cisgender (nontrans) gay men appropriate the word that has likely never been hurled at them in earnest, it's worth calling out that reclaiming a word is the responsibility of those who have been oppressed by that word. We don't tolerate white people using the N-word because it isn't theirs to appropriate. We don't let straight folks call us "dykes" unchallenged, because they haven't had the experience of hearing that word spat at them as they were shoved to the ground, or as someone tried to "correctively rape" them. So it's time we stand up for our trans sisters and allow them to the ones — the only ones — who determine when and where that word can be used. As for the rest of us, let's strike it from our vocabulary — because I've yet to hear the word come out of a cisgender person's mouth in a way that isn't at the very least derisive to transgender people.
4. Fox Puts Women Where They Belong During Super Bowl XLVIII… In the Kitchen
We're not gullible enough to try and look to Fox News for any kind of revolutionary, or even moderately progressive commentary on gender. But wouldn't it be nice if the "Fair and Balanced" folks at Fox weren't so reliably awful when it comes to recognizing women as, you know, a productive and worthwhile part of society? Maybe someday.
But that day certainly wasn't this weekend, when the penis-toting anchors of Fox & Friends Sunday sat back in their Lay-Z-Boys and ordered their female cohost to make them a drink, wench! (OK. They didn't use the word "wench," but when even the anchor is calling out problematic, tired gender stereotypes on-air, you know it's gotten bad.)
Tucker Carlson and Clayton Morris lounged in recliners during the pregame show Sunday alongside Dan Silberman, president of Mancaves, a company that builds the custom spaces. No girls allowed, naturally!
Morris observed that Game Day would be incomplete "without some great food and some great drinks," which was clearly the lady-anchor's cue to make herself useful.
"So, basically you're telling me that the guys are in the mancave, and the lady gets stuck in the kitchen, huh?" quipped Anna Kooiman, before apologizing for her unruly borderline feminist outburst and giggling, "I'm just kidding!" Can I get you a blow job with that cocktail?
OK, again. That last sentence didn't actually happen. But take a look at the actual exchange, and you'll see we're not that far off:
Oh and in case you were thinking this was an isolated incident, may I present last year's Super Bowl coverage on Fox News: Fox & Friends Sunday's former anchor, Dave Briggs slammed anyone who tries to talk through the big game. "If you want to yap," Briggs said, according to Media Matters, you should do so "with the ladies in the kitchen!"
Because that is obviously where women belong during the Super Bowl. Since there are no women who watch sports ever, and definitely not a sizable contingent of lesbians who tune into the Super Bowl for a variety of reasons.
Find more outrage on the following pages.