It’s Bigger Than Jason Collins –

It's Bigger Than Jason Collins - POPSspot | POPSspot

It’s Bigger Than Jason Collins

By David J. Leonard On May 5, 2013

Special to  POPSspot | POPSspot

One of the time honored recent traditions within NBA media culture is the television shot of a players’ partner nervously watching “her man” on the court. Often deployed during the playoffs, this gaze adds to both the humanity and importance of the game. With Kobe Bryant, especially in the aftermath of Colorado, his kissing of his partner and his kids as he walked to the locker room served as an important moment to humanize him within the heteronormative (and marriage obsessed) imagination.

Jason Collins’ announcement hopefully paves a pathway where he or others can kiss their partner during halftime; his announcement hopefully marks a moment where a national television audience can bare witness to a nervous, anxious, and adoring male partner supporting his man. The reserved privilege for heterosexuals within the NBA has been challenged with the announcement. As was the denied ability for these players/men/ national role models to be themselves, to be visible amid the uber visible world of American sports. Saeed Jones made this clear:

Add to this that in a world where a narrow construction of masculinity, defined by physicality, (hetero)sexuality, and brutality is both celebrated and required, one hopes that Collins’ announcement opens up this space where simultaneously deconstructing the vary assumptions that have resulted in the “masculinity box.”

Yet, its bigger than Jason Collins.

While America loves symbolic change, has used Collins to celebrate itself as “evolving” and “progressing” toward a “more perfect union,” this Sports Illustrated article doesn’t mark the end to homophobia. Just as the election of Barack Obama didn’t mark the end of racial profiling, housing discrimination, racism within the criminal justice system and a system based in/on white supremacy, Jason Collins doesn’t mark the end of homophobia.

One has to wonder how many homophobic and racist jokes were cracked in America’s dorms and boardrooms while we celebrating “progress.” Clearly Jason Collins’ announcement did not mark the end of homophobia or usher in a new era on twitter. In the end, Jason Collins’ announcement highlights the importance TO CONTINUE to combat bigotry, institutional discrimination, and systemic generated privilege. It doesn’t mark the end of struggle.

From It’s Bigger Than Jason Collins – POPSspot | POPSspot.

Hate Violence Against LGBT Community Is On a Dangerous Rise – COLORLINES

Hate Violence Against LGBT Community Is On a Dangerous Rise

by Jamilah King, Tuesday, June 4 2013, 1:19 PM EST

It’s been less than a month since the brutal slaying of Mark Carson, an openly gay black man who was shot and killed in New York City’s West Village. Police continue to investigate Carson’s death as a hate crime and have had a suspect in custody since early on in the case, but the murder has become one of the more prominent examples of a frighetening increase in hate crimes targeting people in LGBT communities.

That increase is the focus of a new report on anti-LGBT hate violence released today by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. The report looks specifically at incidents of reported violence that took place in 2012 and found that transgender people of color were among the most impacted communities.

“Though the recent spate of hate violence incidents in New York City has captured the media’s attention, this report demonstrates that severe acts of violence against gay men, transgender people and LGBTQ people of color are, unfortunately, not unique to Manhattan nor to the past month, but rather part of a troubling trend in the United States,” said Chai Jindasurat, NCAVP Coordinator at the New York City Anti- Violence Project.

The report is the most comprehensive look at hate crimes against LGBT communities in the U.S. It draws on data from 15 anti-violence programs in 15 states.

Some of the key findings:

LGBTQ people of color were 1.82 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to white LGBTQ people

Gay men were 1.56 times as likely to require medical attention compared to other survivors reporting.

There were 2,016 incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence in 2012.

In 2012, NCAVP documented 25 anti-LGBTQ homicides in the United States, which is the 4th highest yearly total ever recorded by NCAVP.

The 2012 report found that 73.1 percent of all anti-LGBTQ homicide victims in 2012 were people of color. Of the 25 known homicide victims in 2012 whose race/ethnicity was disclosed, 54 percent were Black/African American, 15 percent Latino, 12 percent white and 4 percent Native American.

via Hate Violence Against LGBT Community Is On a Dangerous Rise – COLORLINES.


NewBlackMan: Protecting the (White Male) Gaze: Homophobia of Sports Talk Radio Goes Unchallenged

Protecting the (White Male) Gaze: Homophobia of Sports Talk Radio Goes Unchallenged

by David C. Leonard | NewBlackMan

During his ESPN show on Tuesday, Bruce Jacobs described the Los Angeles Sparks and the Phoenix Mercury as “the “Los Angeles Lesbians” and the “Phoenix Dyke-ury.” He returned to the air the following day to offer the following “apology”: “My comments yesterday were ridiculous, stupid and amateurish. I apologize for even uttering the comments, whether you heard them or not, whether you were offended or not.”

To date, little has been made about either his comments or his half-hearted apology that neither apologizes for the spirit of his remarks nor the ideological underpinnings that led to such comments. His apology does not repudiate his own homophobic stereotypes nor does it challenge the ideological assumptions evident here, but instead apologizes for vocalizing them. It isn’t the homophobia that warrants the apology, but expressing it on his show.

While Mr. Jacobs needs to be held accountable for his remarks, along with ESPN, which has failed to publicly condemn the comments, it would be a mistake to isolate this rhetoric as that of a “bad apple.” The homophobia and sexism on display here is reflective of sport talks radio. As with talk radio in general, sports talk radio emerged as a movement to “restore” the hegemony of white male heterosexism. The homophobic remarks of Bruce Jacobs represents a systemic and longstanding effort to restore the normalized vision of sports as a space of male dominance.

Like the efforts to sexualize female athletes, the construction of female athletes as lesbians reaffirms the “normalcy” of sports as a male domain. According to David Nylund (2004), “With White male masculinity being challenged and decentered by feminism, affirmative action, gay and lesbian movements, and other groups’ quest for social equality, sports talk shows, similar to talk radio in general, have become an attractive venue for embattled White men seeking recreational repose and a nostalgic return to a prefeminist ideal.” As argued by Trujillo (1994) and quoted in Nylund:

Media coverage of sports reinforces traditional masculinity in at least three ways. It privileges the masculine over the feminine or homosexual image by linking it to a sense of positive cultural values. It depicts the masculine image as “natural” or conventional, while showing alternative images as unconventional or deviant. And it personalizes traditional masculinity by elevating its representatives to places of heroism and denigrating strong females or homosexuals. (p. 97)

His comments, thus, embody the efforts to silence, surveil, demonize, and ultimately discipline and punish any challenges to the white male heterosexuality of sporting cultures. Those perceived threats to this hegemony are met with efforts to reclaim the sporting space as one of masculinity. From the ubiquity of images of hypersexual female athletes on various sports websites to the commonality of homophobic, sexist, and racist rhetoric, we see that despite the increased levels of diversity, the hegemony of white male heterosexuality remains a central facet within to contemporary sports culture.

The relative silence about this instance of homophobia (as of writing there has been only 9 articles about Jacobs’ comments) and the culture of homophobia within the sports media is especially telling given the widespread condemnation of various players for homophobic slurs during the 2011. Others may cite the varied levels of celebrity and the divergent platforms as reasons for why the comments of Kobe Bryant, Joakim Noah, and Wayne Simmonds received ample media attention. Yet, the comparative silence here reflects a level of comfort in isolating homophobia as a symptom of athlete culture, hip-hop culture and blackness.

Continue reading @ NewBlackMan: Protecting the (White Male) Gaze: Homophobia of Sports Talk Radio Goes Unchallenged.