We’ve given GLAAD a bunch of shit in the past, so it’s a little hard for us to say this, but we have to show them a little love for taking a stand against Charles Knipp’s outlandishly offensive minstrel drag alter ego, Shirley Q. Liquor. For those of you who don’t know, Shirley Q’s a “performer” who gets her kicks perpetuating stereotypes of inarticulate, irrational black women, particularly Reagan-era notions of the welfare mother.
While our work at GLAAD is about promoting fair, accurate and inclusive media representations of the LGBT community, this issue has risen to a level of visibility and importance that we feel compelled to add our voice to those speaking out against this awful portrayal. Based on what we have heard from community members and read about this character, we are joining those taking a stand against Knipp’s offensive caricature.
We recognize that this performer has a right to free speech and expression, but we also have the right to condemn his performance and speak out against this harmful depiction. This performance perpetuates ugly racial stereotypes that are offensive, hurtful and simply unacceptable…
Good for you, GLAAD. Although, we must admit, we’re a little disappointed you didn’t do it sooner.
Of their press release, lesbian journo Jasmyne Cannick – an actual black woman who has been leading the fight against Knipp – wrote:
Hopefully this statement is the beginning of a change in the way that national gay organizations address gay personalities that defame minority communities, thus putting an end to the hypocrisy.
Of course, one can’t help but wonder why GLAAD took so long to speak out against Knipp – does it have anything to do with Black History Month, we wonder? Probably.
Now, as for our agreeing with GLAAD – don’t worry, we’re sure we’ll recover…