Last weekend Wale was supposed to perform at DC Black Pride, an event celebrating African-Americans who identify as gay and lesbian in Washington, D.C. Great, right? Good for him.
Except then his management, upon finding out what DC Black Pride meant, canceled his appearance. A few bloggers picked up the story for obvious reasons, and it started to make him look bad. Wale, then, explained that he was not informed of the cancellation, rescheduled the appearance and flew up from Miami to do the show. He apologized to the audience for the brief cancellation, and wanted to make it known that he has nothing but love for gays and lesbians. Right on, Wale.
In an interview with “Carlos In DC,” though, he explains his reasons for not being a homophobe, which are kind of wince-inducing: “Most of the designers that I wear are gay,” he said, before referring to members of the LGBT community as “functioning human beings.” “It’s 2010, there’s gay people that are heads of companies…” And then, “I don’t personally know any gay people, but one thing I do know, we have the same heart and the same soul. And you have to live your life.”
Fortunately, we’re not still at a point in our history where a popular artist saying it’s alright to be gay is a historic event. Yes, homophobia and heteronormativity still abound in our popular culture, generally, and hip-hop in particular, and it’s important to have popular media figures denounce that kind of discrimination and exclusion. But, as he points out, we’re in the second decade of the 21st Century, and homosexuality is slowly ceasing to become a novelty. Still, big ups for Wale. But also….eesh man.
Also: really?! He doesn’t know a single gay or lesbian person?!