Many of us were disappointed when American Idol contestant La’Porsha Renae lost to fellow competitor Trent Harmon during the last-ever finale of the reality TV show, but recent comments the Mississippi-born singer made about the LGBT community have caused a number of her fans to second-guess their support.
During a media conference call, a reporter asked Renae about her home state’s newly signed anti-LGBT law, which allows business owners to deny LGBT citizens services based on the idea of “religious liberty.”
“This is how I feel about the LGBT community: They are people just like us. They’re not animals as someone stated before. They’re people with feelings. Although all of us may not agree with that particular lifestyle for religious reasons, whatever the reason is, you still treat each other with respect. Everybody is a human being. We should be able to coexist with one another.”
LGBT people are not animals! Maybe this means they’re not minerals or vegetables or other categories of non-human, either! How lovely of you to say, La’Porsha. How. Lovely.
She went on:
“I am one of the people who don’t really agree with that lifestyle. I wasn’t brought up that way. It wasn’t how I was raised. But I do have a lot of friends and a lot of people that I love dearly who are gay and homosexual and they’re such sweet, nice people. We should just respect each other’s differences and opinions and move on.”
Oh, honey, there’s a big difference between tolerance and acceptance, and I think you just gave my new favorite textbook example. And utilizing tokenism (i.e, “I have a gay friend!”) does not let you get away with dehumanizing LGBT people—it just makes your latent homophobia even more glaringly obvious.
Renae’s commentary is even more befuddling in light of another interview the singer had with Yahoo Music, in which she stated that intends to use her new-found fame as a stepping-stone for change—a possibility she discovered during her American Idol tenure.
“Yeah, I know [American Idol] is a singing competition, but it’s also a show where a lot of times they shed light on certain things,” the singer told Yahoo. “Having such a big platform, I wanted to use it for good.”
And because it’s the diametric opposite to these remarks, I’m going to post Renae’s response to the backlash that ensued regarding her anti-LGBT commentary right here.
For our sake and yours, La’Porsha, please get woke.
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Image via Getty.