"We’re literally the same person."
Are you though? Are you, really?
Bi-weekly antics, week of 10/26
I’ll admit. I once held up my proverbial nose to reality television.
“I don’t really fuck with reality TV,” I’d brag.
But alas. That statement is no longer true.
Cause ya’ll, Love Island UK sunk its sharp veneers into me like LeStat and baby I am hooked. Regrettably, I’ve been hooked for months.
What a silly, silly show with such oddly brilliant production.
But anyway, I’ve noticed something quite fascinating on this show.
Something that’s made me question the straights in a way I never have. Especially after noticing the very same trope in other shows recently, like Love is Blind for example…
You see, in at least every other episode (or more) one (or more) of the the Islanders (that’s what they call the cast) find a young beau or fine lass who they especially vibe with. And without fail, the Islander will say one of these things…
We’re literally the same person.
She’s/He’s a bit of me.
He’s/She’s the male/female version of me.
This is absolutely fascinating to me.
First of all because they’ve found a way to compliment someone else by simply complimenting themselves.
It’s the vanity for me. And I’m not mad at it!
But then also, it seems that instead of looking for an individual human who compliments them, they’re looking for a pretty mirror.
But, if you watch the show, you already know these mirrors get realll ugly real fast.
Because, without a doubt, the crush they so admired will mirror those very traits in a way they don’t like. And this, inevitably, leads to the couple’s demise.
I’m not saying it’s weird to be drawn to familiarity. It’s a comforting lead into any new relationship. But the way so many of these TV straights go through all the trouble to find love only to have wanted a male or female clone …Chile. And to not know yourself enough to know this might not end well?!
It sounds to me like the better option was therapy.
But…I guess that’s really none of my gay business.
In a past newsletter, I motioned to this new era of wayward comedic icons. The Louis CKs and Dave Chappelles of the world.
I said we wouldn’t get into it.
Well, that was then!
Today is a new day, a new moon, and nearly the end of 2022 so it seems high time we “get into it,” no? Because comedians aren’t the only folks affected by this new wave of demanded accountability. And so many of these same people are quite upset about it.
DaBaby, Ellen, Chrissy Teigen…dozens of celebrities and powerful folks have been called to take responsibility for a number of ugly actions. But where I think we as a society get stuck is…what does that accountability look like? And when do we all move on?
I’d love to think out loud on it, if I may.
Let’s talk about redemption. How does one earn redemption, and can anyone have it?
The abolitionist movement tells us every person is worthy of the opportunity for rehabilitation. It goes further to insist on useful tools accessible to everyone that help us all reach our best selves, regardless of our failings.
But here’s the thing, the people I listed above, the ones with buku money and every bit of access, with overwhelming support regardless of the harm they cause?
They already got all the resources they need. Yet, so many of them don’t even try. Or, they give a half-assed apology and expect us all to forget, but we don’t. Why?
Well maybe we can find our answer in the ones who do try.
Like Don Lemon, possibly one of the most notable redemption arcs in the last decade.
The news anchor went from publicly justifying a cop brutalizing a teenage Black girl in 2015, to, ever since an unhinged NYE celebration in 2017, consistently choosing the more compassionate, pro Black perspective.
Now, yes, Black Twitter and other Black communities dragged the stuffing out of Don Lemon each time he placed his formerly conservative foot in his mouth. But he didn’t have to care.
There was an audience for his antiBlackness had he chosen to lean in. Candace Owen’s fully tapped into it. There’s space there for him. He could have simply ignored outcries for change, like sooo many of the powerful folks do.
However, Lemon chose introspection and growth. Over time, after proving to truly care about Black issues in a more nuanced, empathetic way his critics became supporters. They welcomed him into the fold with open arms.
And how about the iconic TS Madison? The first ever Black trans woman to star in and executive produce her own reality series, who most recently appeared in that new movie Bros (No, I haven’t seen it. No, I don’t have plans to).
Madison admitted in a recent interview that back in the day, she used to publicly shame bisexual men on her platform. Many of her supporters reached out to explain to her how harmful that sort of thinking is, especially with the power she holds as an LGBTQ icon. She listened, explaining…
We are the way that we are because of the lack of knowledge. And we have the lack of knowledge at times because we don’t want to learn…Sometimes I’ve gotta be like, okay, maybe they were right. I’ve got to go back and reevaluate.
And that reevaluation is an ongoing practice in reformation and unlearning and learning. There is no quick fix to righting a wrong. No perfect apology that erases harm and memory.
Those with power should use it responsibly, but you only have to if you care to. That’s the tricky thing about power.
So it seems to me the only thing holding all the other folks back is…apathy.
I will always have space for those interested in redemption, if they’re willing to do the work it requires. But redemption and rehabilitation are only possible if you care.
If Dave Chappelle stopped putting anti trans shit in his specials, apologized clearly, found a way to be funny and pro-Black at the same time, put his money where his mouth was with donations and financial support to Black trans spaces and orgs…Millions of queers would fuck with him again. But he clearly doesn’t care to.
If you don’t care to grow beyond your worst behavior, a lot of folks won’t care to respect your hustle. And they may even be loud about it.
That’s not “cancel culture.” That’s consequences to your actions.
Anywho, that’s just my two cents. Do you have more redemption arc examples? Do you think there’s way more to this than what I’ve just said?
Sound off in the comments.
In the meantime, thanks for reading!
P.s: Will Christian Walker be our next successful redemption arc? I feel like, yes.
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