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To the Privileged, Pouty Gays Policing Robin and Yoncé

[OPINION] Michael Arceneaux says it's not okay for White male writers to saddle the GMA anchor and the pop star with the burden of representing the LGBT community as they see fit

Michael Arceneaux

by Michael Arceneaux, January 02, 2014

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By way of a Facebook post, Robin Roberts didn’t exactly come out as a lesbian so much as she did no longer obscure that reality from the general public anymore.


Yet, whenever a public figure decides to “come out,” you can expect certain responses all the same. Some are nice. See: First Lady Michelle Obama’s shout out to her girl whose got a girlfriend.


Then there are the other responses, which are often less than ideal and make me want to reach for a fly swatter.

In the Queerty essay “Why Did Robin Roberts Edit Her Girlfriend Out Of Her Recovery Narrative?” writer John Gallagher complains about why Robin Roberts chose “to edit Amber out of her recovery narrative–literally.”

He starts off with the typical niceties, but why bother when the theme and tone are both mean-spirited?

Gallagher writes: “Roberts allowed camera crews to follow her through her treatment for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), including the brutal side effects of a bone marrow transplant. Roberts chronicled the support and love that her biological family gave her, and the support of her colleagues at ABC. She even showed the good wishes showered on her by other patients and fans. And Amber? No where to be found.”

There could be a number of reasons for that. Maybe it was a network call. Perhaps it was Robin’s prerogative to keep something for herself. Or it’s possible that Amber didn’t want to be sought out by the public for simply doing what many would do in her situation: stand by the person they love in their time of need. Ultimately, it’s none of our damn business why Amber was left out until now.

That’s why I find it quite tasteless for Gallagher to write, “If you can’t be honest when you are facing death, when can you be honest? Apparently, when you recover. So congratulations to Roberts for finally taking the important last step. The timing of it was up to her. But if you had the same choice, would you have waited?”

Speaking of timing, I invite John Gallagher to select be less of an inconsiderate jackass “be more thoughtful” as his New Year’s Resolution. 

Even if done casually, Robin Roberts bravely shared her private life for public consumption; she needn’t be slammed for it much less from the very community her announcement will ultimately benefit. Remember that Robin Roberts is a news anchor. The only truth she owes the public is the news that she reports, not anything off script.



You can’t see me, but I’m waving one hand in the air the way your auntie and uncle do at the Patti LaBelle concert when she’s singing “Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is).”

Of course, we need as many high profile gay people as possible, but you have to walk around with an awful lot of entitlement routinely to think anyone else should discuss their sexuality on anyone’s timetable and terms but their own. You’ve also got to be out of your mind to think that if a straight person doesn’t want to talk about things they know nothing about – gay sex, for one – they’re somehow ignoring the gays.

In “Hey Mrs. Carter—What About the Gays?”, Matt Capetola’s argues that Beyoncé ignores (White) gays because she doesn’t pander to them the way Lady Gaga does. He writes, “It dawned on me, though, after I drooled over the album’s 17 videos for about the fourth time, that it featured not a single unambiguous nod to LGBTQ rights.” Capetola goes on to note, “I ask myself today though, does she have my back?”


So Robin Roberts didn’t tell the truth when she was near death and Beyoncé is not singing enough about marriage equality while wearing a rainbow-colored thong as she serenades a two gay twenty-something’s as they lick each other up and down (‘til one says…stop)?

This backwards logic proves that I must come up with the gay equivalent of “All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.” How about “Just because we all like peen doesn’t mean you can party with


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