TW: anti-LGBT bigotry
Issa Rae basically uses homophobia and transphobia in her show Awkward Black Girl as punch lines
in the first season the T-word was used as an insult levied at one of the characters
also in Jay’s awkward raps she uses the phrase “no lesbo”
I am as white privileged as they come, likely, and I love The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl. So here’s my possibly insensitive unapologetic proclamation that I enjoy that webseries. I find it funny, and I find that I have a lot in common with the main character, which is why it’s funny. I don’t laugh at transphobic or homophobic humor, but I find that the rest of the show’s substance makes up for those shortcomings. I might feel differently if I were a PoC or transgendered or otherwise differently privileged, but the most I can do is be aware that others might have issue with some of the things I find humorous and not rub it in their faces, but still enjoy the things I enjoy. Wrong? Maybe? I don’t know, what do you think?
- not laughing at the anti-trans and anti-queer remarks in the show, but then subsequently turning around and saying “but i still find the substance of the show worthy of my time and attention” is a back handed slap in the face to the queer and trans people of colour who feel insulted that an indie black production resorts to the same trickery of using homophobic and transphobic digs to make the show “entertaining”, all the while throwing its queer and trans* viewership under the bus.
- as a white person, its also indicative of where your priorities lie and your understanding of accountability within all of this is. i’mma be real for a minute and say there are gaggles of mainstream television shows that cater to awkward white girls. the probability of you finding a non-anti-LGBT mainstream television show featuring an awkward white character is much higher than a QTPOC finding a mainstream POC dominated show that doesn’t rely on anti-trans & queer jibes in order to be entertaining.
- so really you’re making a conscious choice to watch a show that is notably problematic, whose target audience doesn’t include you, and trying to pat yourself on the back for not laughing at the anti-LGBT aspects of the show because in your eyes the “show’s substance makes up for its shortcomings”.
- did i mention that you’re not an awkward black girl already? or do i gotta drive that ALL THE WAY home! which means that your ability to identify with an awkward black girl character who is notably anti-trans* and anti-queer is completely irrelevant. irrelevant to the queer and trans* folk of colour who identified with the show because they too are awkward until they were slapped in the face with the bigotry they face in the non-awkward world. irrelevant to every queer and trans* person of colour who called Issa Rae out on her shit and basically got told to sit down and shut up.
- the only people who your opinion is relevant to are the straight brown folk and tragic queers who are falling all over themselves trying to justify their enjoyment of the show.
- because those same straight brown folk and tragic queers fail to realize you can like problematic things. but your job in liking problematic things is not to dismiss the legitimate concerns of those raising them and prioritizing your need to be entertained OVER their concerns.
- and by the way, you failed that test by referring to the anti-queer and anti-trans sentiments of the show as being “short-comings”. anti-queer and anti-trans* sentiments are not “shortcomings”. they are far from short comings to those who live the realities of those oppressions, whether they are inter-personal, systemic, or cultural. to write them off as “short comings” is horribly insensitive and deeply insulting on more levels than the Tower of Babylon stacks on high. only a complete fool who lies to themselves about what it REALLY takes to have anti-oppression praxis in relation to gender and sexual orientation communities would write off anti-trans* and anti-queer bigotries as a “short comings”.
- and only a complete fool would step to somebody who IS APART OF THAT COMMUNITY and have the gall to write off the oppression as a shortcoming to that persons face.