Comedian Alec Mapa had some choice words in response to Russell Tovey’s femmephobic comments,
If you haven’t already heard about “Looking” star Russell Tovey’s controversial comments
about being gay, all you need to know is this: He said he’s glad he’s not feminine. And that’s a bad thing.
“I feel like I could have been really effeminate,” the actor said in an interview with The Guardian. “I thank my dad for that, for not allowing me to go down that path.”
Needless to say, his comments set up Twitter on fire, to quote Oprah. And rightfully so—his comments reek of internalized homophobia and femmephobia, both of which are rooted in misogyny.
Basically, it’s not a good look for several reasons. And as much as I want to rant about each reasons here, I won’t. Because comedian Alec Mapa sums up everything that’s wrong with Russell’s comments—and does so hilariously.
The actor, known for playing Suzuki St. Pierre on “Ugly Betty,” posted the following response on Facebook:
He’s glad he’s not effeminate?
Well the feeling is mutual lady, I’m glad I’m not you.
I kind of feel like this is why I do what I do. Why I’m not just a homo, but A BIG ONE. Being an effeminate gay man still remains an unforgivable sin in our masculinity obsessed culture. I think about all the young sissy boys who return from school after being bullied and shamed day after day, perhaps returning home to the same treatment. I know because I was one of those kids. Was? I still am! I still get it in the neck for being who I am. I’ve spoken to so many non gender conforming youth who have the same recognizable look of despair on their faces . All they need to hear is that they’re fine exactly the way they are. That there’s nothing wrong. That they haven’t killed anyone. That they’re worthy of love and acceptance , AS IS. Perhaps if they heard that they’d stand up for themselves. Perhaps if they heard that they wouldn’t be four times as likely to commit suicide than their straight peers. Perhaps if we were all encouraged to love ourselves from the beginning we wouldn’t grow up to be gay men who treat other gay men like shit. I’m in no way outraged by this. I’ve been hearing this since day I could mince. It’s just disappointing . We experience so much discrimination from the outside world, wouldn’t it be great if we were kinder to each other in our own community? There are a billion reasons to feel actual shame and remorse. Being your authentic, fabulous, faggy self shouldn’t be one of them.
Professional Effeminate Homosexual for nearly 50 years.
He hits the nail on the head.
Now, before anyone gets defensive, let’s be clear—Alec is not condemning Russell for being masculine. If that’s who he really is, good for him. (Though, his envy of the boys who were allowed to “prance around” in theater school says otherwise…) The issue is that Russell—and so many other gay men—believe that it’s better and more desirable to be masculine.
The sad part? In our society, it is. We’re raised in a patriarchal, androcentric society—that is, a society that prioritizes the needs and perspectives of men and applies those standards to everyone. That’s the problem. But that’s exactly why it’s so important to call out comments like these for what they are—bullshit that does nothing more but reinforce the very ideals that keep so many people oppressed(including the men—gay and straight—who defend these perspectives so passionately).
What did you think of Russell’s comments? Are you #TeamRussell or #TeamAlec? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or in your own post.