What We Should Take Away from the La’Porsha Renae Situation

The runner-up for American Idol’s final season is under fire behind her comments regarding the LGBT community and the recently signed anti-LGBT bill in Mississippi.

For those of you unfamiliar, Mississippi recently signed into law the “Religious Bill” that legally allows businesses, individuals, and religiously affiliated groups to deny services to LGBT people, single mothers, or really anyone who might offend their “sincerely held religious belief.” Although I highly doubt any religion encourages people to legally discriminate and disenfranchise another group of people, but that’s another post for another time.

On April 8, 2016, La’Porsha was on a conference call when the Mississippi native was asked how she felt about the “Religious Bill” in her home state. La’Porsha commented,

“This is how I feel about the LGBT community: They are people just like us. They’re not animals as someone stated before. They’re people with feelings. Although all of us may not agree with that particular lifestyle for religious reasons, whatever the reason is, you still treat each other with respect. Everybody is a human being. We should be able to coexist with one another.”

She went on to say, “I am one of the people who don’t really agree with that lifestyle. I wasn’t brought up that way; it wasn’t how I was raised,” she continued, “but I do have a lot of friends and a lot of people that I love dearly who are gay and homosexual, and they’re such sweet, nice people. We should just respect each other’s differences and opinions and move on.”

After these comments, a plethora of backlash was slung La’Porsha’s way but I don’t really understand why. Here’s the thing, people are going to have different opinions and perspectives and that is okay.

La’Porsha didn’t say, “all LGBT folks are going to hell” or “I hate the LGBT community.” She didn’t even say, “I support the Religious Bill.” All she said was “we have a difference of opinions, but everyone should be respected and live how they want.” There was no hate speech or bashing of any kind. She expressed how she felt and why she felt that way, so I’m not understanding the issue.

I think we need to realize that just because someone doesn’t agree with the things we agree with, that doesn’t make them inherently evil or ignorant. It just seems they see things differently and that’s okay.

As a member of the LGBT community, it interest me how people are so quick to shade La’Porsha for her personal opinion, but still spread their anti-black rhetoric, transphobic discourse, and anti-religious narrative. Don’t slander La’Porsha on the internet, while concurrently having “no fat no fems” in your Grindr bio. Either you’re or an ally for all of us or none of us. But we can talk about racism, transphobia, privilege, body shaming & etc. in the LGBT community at a later date. I digress.

The only real problem I had with what La’Porsha said is her word choice of “lifestyle.” My issue with this word is two-fold. 1) The world “lifestyle” implies that it’s a choice (it’s not).

Shane Bitney Crone, the producer of the gay rights documentary Bridegroom: A Love Story, Unequaled), said it best on Twitter without being hateful or calling La’Porsha out of her name. He had the following comment.

This is how you inform someone. A disagreement doesn’t automatically make someone your adversary.

2) The LGBT “lifestyle” is a damn myth. It doesn’t exist.

A lot of straight people seem to think that LGBT people live in some alternative universe where we ride unicorns , operate on fairy dust, and have wild orgies in public spaces. It doesn’t work like that. And it’s always straight people talking about this alleged “lifestyle” we live. We live in the same world y’all live in, so stop.

I was listening to one of my favorite podcast, The FriendZone, and Fran said, “People are allowed to be where they are.” La’Porsha is allowed to feel how she feels even though I don’t necessarily agree with her. Especially since she said nothing hateful.

Moreover, shouting hate to someone is not a way to inform them.

So here’s the takeaway, y’all. 1) People are going to have different views, and that’s perfectly okay. We’re all learning and growing so let people be where they are in this journey we call life 2) If you must speak, educate don’t defamate (Defamate isn’t a real word, but y’all know what I mean and it rhythms with educate. The proper word is “defame”)

Peace & Light

Sources: The Guardian , Essence , Hollywood Life

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