Saturday, February 3, 2007

More ugliness, this time: Paris Hilton

My first introduction to Paris Hilton was about a year ago, when a friend and I went to visit another friend in a town about half an hour away. I brought my laptop. While waiting for the afternoon train back, and without TV, all we had for entertainment was my friend's DVD collection. Although she had yet to watch it, she had the complete first season of The Simple Life.

We watched three episodes before going to the train station. If you haven't seen this show, let me just warn you to avoid it. It completely shook me. I had no realization that people like this existed. At all. She, and her friend Nichole Richie, were the most self-absorbed people that I had ever seen. They reached a level of selfishness that almost made me want to vomit. On the walk back to the train station, all three of us were silent. We were scarred from what we had just seen.

Since then I can't understand why she is respected by anyone, why she had her own show at all, why anyone cares what she does. Until she ups the ante:
In the video clip, which appears to be several years old, Paris repeatedly calls one person a "f*****t" as she is dancing with her sister.At one point in the clip, Paris pauses dancing to Notorious BIG's "Hypnotize," walks up to the camera and says she and her sister "are like two n******. [Asterisks Access Hollywood's]

All I can say about this scene specifically: Is anyone actually surprised? Considering how little she cares about others, is there anyone out there who thought that she would think about how her words can hurt others? Ugh, I digress.

While I honestly couldn't care about what she says, I did remember this little story from a year and a half ago, when she grand marshalled LA Pride. Yes, I remember wondering what in the world this woman did for our community, and, as Rosanna Mah asked: "Are there no gay people that could possibly grand marshal our own parade?" (I hope that there was an LA Pride official who has since apologized for this, and if there is I'll post the link).

So this is what we are left to understand: a city with one of the largest gay and lesbian populations in the country had a Pride parade grand marshalled by a woman who can't even avoid saying the word faggot and using hate speech against African-Americans. I'm not one to think that all someone has to do to be gay-friendly is not say "faggot", but it is definitely required. And Paris didn't even meet this low, low standard.

What's the point of all this? I don't have a simple answer, but we in the LGBT community need to take a long hard look at our own priorities. This embarrassment to LA Pride and the LGBT community was not unavoidable, it's not that no one saw it coming, so who's going to make sure that it doesn't happen again?

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