Monday, March 13, 2006

ah, the local color...

Last week a supposed alternate voice for one of the Morning Mess crew (Xavier the Freakin' Rican and Biggie Paul) was "outed" as gay because he put his hand in the crotch of the DJ Biggie Paul and told him he loved him. The hosting radio station is The Beat, 98.5, a local hip hop/r&b station.

Part of the theatrics was that Biggie Paul threw a chair. The "gay" character, Hau Ping, is a psychic from Dallas who was utilized to provide horrible scopes and give away tickets and prizes. Hau Ping is already stereotyped with a huge accent and mischevious anecdotes.

It's all play but the stereotypes abound, including the fact that queer men just grab at another's crotch. And while the Hau Ping character was always played somewhat effeminiantly, the whole gay identity is a new thing that manifested last week.

After the chair throwing, the whole episode had Hau Ping calling from a cell phone on his drive back to Dallas while speaking dramatically/emotionally. There was no other talk about Hau Ping or the scene until this morning when Hau Ping returned to the phone saying he was going to sue, that he had a lawyer, etc. but that he wouldn't sue if Biggie Paul would go out on a date with him.

All the while, Biggie Paul and Xavier are both saying there's nothing wrong with being gay but that straight people shouldn't be subjected to gay advances (and, they say, the other way around).

It seems like something small but it's hurtful to me. Immigrant accents abound, stereotypes of what it means to be Asian, what behavior is deemed appropriate to queers, etc. all works to bother me.

I don't know what inroads have been made into radio regarding lgbt issues but this is a local radio program, not syndicated. I've talked to friends at GLAAD for advice.

The queer community here is in shambles since the Diversity Center closed but I'm committed to building up what I can including, if nothing else, a kind of media response group. We do have the Esperanza here but, to be honest, they've alienated some, and the MCC church here, which also has a limited audience at times. Both, however, are supporting Diversity Center programming now that their doors have closed.

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