Anonymous asked: I think you're wrong about Tyler Oakley. His youtube channel and subsequent interactions with LGBT youth have had a really big impact. I feel like you're attacking the wrong "enemy" here. Everyone does their part to support LGBT kids. Are you saying that gay guys can't be flamboyant? Cos I know of plenty who are like that without realising it's a "stereotype." I think he's hardly the biggest threat out there.
I wish we could have this conversation in person, but with you being all anonymous, I guess this is our only chance.
I’m not sure how Tyler Oakley has had a positive impact on LGBT youth, other than existing. Many people out there think that visibility of LGBT people alone is a triumph toward “normalizing” our culture, but I argue that the depictions of LGBT persons in our culture have a very intentional effect - and Tyler Oakley’s video was damaging, to say the least.
Just because he seemingly supports the community, when really it seems like he only supports men (and mostly white men at that) doesn’t mean that I should blindly follow suit. HIs message and his vision were narrow and self-defeating.
Also, I have no idea where your criticism comes from regarding the flamboyance of gay men. I never said they can’t be flamboyant. I said that the straight man portraying a cartoonish stereotype of gay mannerisms is inappropriate. I would be just as offended if Tyler had claimed to be an African-American female; unfortunately, this happens all too often amongst white gay men.
I’m sorry you don’t agree with me, and I honestly couldn’t care less. However, if you’d like to discuss the deep-seated issues at play in that video, I would be happy to expound on the intersectionality of oppression in our culture, and the staggering amount of male privilege on display in Tyler’s argument.
If I Were a Middle Aged White Man
If I were a middle aged white man, I wouldn’t write articles called “If I Were a Poor Black Kid” for Forbes. With a title like that, it wouldn’t matter what points I was making. You are not a poor black kid, tech writer Gene Marks — you never were, and you never will be. The problem with this hypothetical is that a middle aged white person lacks the necessary context to begin understanding what it means to be a poor black kid. You know only what you would do with your means — it’s easy to imagine how you could be “better” at being a poor black kid when you’re doing so from your privileged, middle aged white male perspective.
Marks continues with this stunningly ignorant final thought: “Technology can help these kids. But only if the kids want to be helped. Yes, there is much inequality. But the opportunity is still there in this country for those that are smart enough to go for it.” If solving inequality were as simple as wanting it badly enough, I’d like to think we’d all be equal. Who in his right mind would put himself at a severe disadvantage? The economic and social disparity in this county has less to do with apathy than Marks might think. Being “smart enough” to know about the resources Marks identifies doesn’t mean having access to them—and having access to the resources doesn’t guarantee success.