Gay Men Can't Take Criticism

Published: March 12, 2015

Michael Musto
Original Article:

We talk a saucy talk and blithely mouth off on a variety of topics, but if someone in the spotlight offers criticism of us as a group, we’re as quick on the defensive as Shia Labeouf after being called an arrogant jerk. It makes sense. Many of us were bullied as kids — and continue to be harassed — simply because of our sexual orientation. What’s more, despite all the progress we’ve made in society, we’re one of the last groups that some people manage to get away with bashing in the media, and in life. No wonder we’re thin skinned—we’ve grown sensitive to being picked on and routinely bristle at a dis, especially one that’s internationally picked up by the media.

Naturally, when Bible-thumpers, bigots, and performers like Eminem rag on us, we want to scream and protest our lungs out. That’s perfectly honorable. But how about when celebrities who actually like gay people make fairly reasoned remarks about our behavior? Have things become so politically correct that we can’t even stop and listen before organizing a rally?

Last year, Rose McGowan enraged the community with comments she made in a podcast with queer author Bret Easton Ellis. The onetime Charmed and Chosen star engaged in some sweeping generalizations, but she also offered specifics as to what troubled her about gay men. She criticized those who boycotted the Dorchester Collection hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei (a country where homosexuality is illegal and punishable) and for not protesting the abuse of women in Arab states. “Gay men are as misogynistic [as straight men], if not more so,” McGowan said. “You want to talk about the fact that I have heard nobody in the gay community, no gay males, standing up for women on any level? I think it’s what happens to you as a group when you are starting to get most of what you fought for. What do you do now? What I would hope they would do is extend a hand to women.” Women, she said, have invaluably helped gays get where we are today, but we have egregiously failed to return the favor.

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