Queer Action Coalition

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Hip-Hop artist Kayne West goes on MTV show "All Eyes On.." and calls for an end to homophobia in Hip-Hop culture.

In talking about a song called "Hey Mama" from his new album, West responded:

After my parents got divorced and we moved to Chicago when I was 3, I would go see my father on Christmas, spring break and summer. My father was my everything, but during the rest of the time, my mother was my everything. Of course there's a good side to that, but the bad side of that is that people call you a mama's boy. It gets to the point that when you go to high school and you wasn't out in the streets like that, and you ain't have no father figure, or you wasn't around your father all the time, who you gonna act like? You gonna act like your mother. ... And then everybody in high school be like, "Yo, you actin' like a f--. Dog, you gay?" And I used to deal with that when I was in high school.

And what happened was it made me kind of homophobic, 'cause I would go back and question myself, like, "Damn, why does everyone else walk like this, and I walk like this?" People be like, "Yo fam, look at you. Look at how you act." If you see something and you don't want to be that because there's such a negative connotation toward it, you try to separate yourself from it so much that it made me homophobic by the time I was through high school. Anybody that was gay I was like, "Yo, get away from me." And like Tupac said, "Started hangin' with the thugs," and you look up and all my friends were really thugged out. It's like I was racing to try to find that constant masculine role model right there, right in front of me. I would use the word "f--" and always look down upon gays. But then my cousin told me that another one of my cousins was gay, and I loved him, he's one of my favorite cousins. And at that point it was kind of like a turning point when I was like, "Yo, this my cousin, I love him and I been discriminating against gays."

But everybody in hip-hop discriminates against gay people. Matter of fact, the exact opposite word of "hip-hop," I think, is "gay." Like yo, you play a record and if it's wack, "That's gay, dog!" And I wanna just come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, "Yo, stop it fam."

If just a few more popular, straight artists would take similar stands, then what we'd hopefully see is a huge shift in the stigmatization of GBLT people in the media, and hopefully beyond. We know that people amongst the religious right aren't going to change their idea's anytime soon, HOWEVER, we do know that the media has alot to do with public opinion, and also that the media is controlled by money. If it's becomes "ok", that is, if it will not risk loss in revenue for popular media to portray positive messages/images of GBLT people, then the ignorance, and miseducation about GBLT people would hopefully begin to decline, and in turn less kids would be exposed to homophobic views that are now entrenched in popular culture.

What do we learn, mainly from his story? That homophobia breeds homophobia, and that if GBLT people simply can find the means to openly be themselves, as the human beings that they are, then they will help educate the people around them.


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