Last night’s historic Grammys performance by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, and Madonna of hit open-minded heterosexual anthem “Same Love” once and for all put an end to homophobia in this country and across the world. The consensus among anyone who’s kinda, you know, gay, is that all the gay people in the world can now breathe a collective sigh of relief because a straight man is totally cool with it.
Macklemore, a self-identified straight man (in his song pledging support for gay people, he dedicates the first verse to clarifying that he’s not gay. He’s not gay at all. He loves women so much and wants to have all the sex with them. Super not gay. Gay is great, fine by him, thank you very much, but he’s not gay.), has been held up as a hero for bravely coming forward and admitting that he doesn’t mind gay people. His courageous suggestion that non-heterosexual love is equal, or “same,” as heterosexual love has gotten him legions of fans. Coupled with his equally courageous love for thrifting, Macklemore is pretty much the most progressive guy around. And yesterday evening’s Grammy performance marked the pinnacle of his heroism and his ascension onto Mount Olympus, where he will be worshipped like a Greek God (talk about a gay bunch, am I right?).
Along with sidekick Ryan Lewis and actual homosexual Mary Lambert (who at one point was completely obscured by Macklemore flailing his body wildly with accepting passion, truly showing how much he cares about gay people), Macklemore performed “Same Love” to an adoring crowd. Then shit got REAL, because Queen Latifah came on stage and performed a wedding ceremony for 33 couples of different orientations. In announcing that this mass wedding would take place, there was careful mention of the multiple orientations and races of the betrothed, so note to people of color: Macklemore has also decided that you are okay, too.
While there is a tradition of homosexual musicians making the case for equality (and in hip hop specifically–Racialicious pointed to the genre of Homo Hop in an article when Macklemore first showed up), none of that mattered until a blonde, doe-eyed heterosexual with a keen eye towards hip hop entered the game. Gay people can talk until they’re blue in the face about how they’re people who deserve rights or whatever, but that’s all useless compared to straight dude talking. Macklemore’s a normal guy we can all relate to. If he’s fine with gays, then gays are fine by me.
Macklemore never uses the broader word “queer” or addresses anyone outside of what seems like a fairly niche group, so unfortunately I can’t deliver any good news if you don’t fit neatly into the “gay” category. A lady loving another lady? I can get my head around that because Macklemore helped me. But how does he feel about someone whose gender doesn’t match their sex? Or someone who doesn’t identify as gay or lesbian, but something using words he doesn’t know? I don’t know, because he doesn’t know, and therefore, I don’t know how I feel. I’m waiting for him to tell me.
You could say Macklemore’s whole career has been leading up to this very point. What started as a little ditty getting some radio play about a straight guy who realized that gay people needed his blessing turned into a full on cathedral-esque experience in which Macklemore is the Messiah here to save us all. Fittingly, he walked out in front of his band to raise his hand up and accept the standing ovation of adoring applause and raised arms. Church was fully underway, and everyone was standing up and worshipping the true face of the the gay struggle: the guy who’s paying his bills off of it, and experiencing none of it.
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