Originally run on: The Big Slice – There’s not a single person who gritted their teeth through the 2013 Emmys this weekend that didn’t have something negative to say about it, and for many in the LGBT community it was something missing from the show that has caused them to speak out, namely the word ‘gay’ from Elton John’s tribute to the late Liberace.
The Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra” – which it should be noted never made it to theatres because not a single studio wanted something that overtly gay as their responsibility – picked up three Emmy wins, and a tribute from Elton John that fell into step with the hushed homophobia still plaguing the movie industry.
Before launching into a live version of the song Home Again, Sir Elton was obliged to read through his pre-approved speech which was painfully crafted to ensure that the word ‘gay’ was never mentioned, and in its place the word ‘life style’ was inserted to describe Liberace’s sexual identity.
“He was made to say, “What I was not aware of until years later was [Liberace’s] lifestyle,” which made him do a take and quip, “Yeah right. Um…oh well!” At first I thought he was smarting at the word “lifestyle” to describe Liberace’s sexuality (all together now: IT’S NOT A LIFESTYLE), but instead I think he’s mocking the idea of being unaware that Liberace was gay. That’s pretty fucking stupid, you know?”
And you know what, Rich Juzwiak from Gawker has it absolutely right: It is pretty fucking stupid to classify someone being gay as a lifestyle, because let’s face it, no one goes around calling out straight people for their “lifestyle” now do they?
The fact that the Emmys also managed to get an out and gay man to go along with their charade shouldn’t surprise anyone when you look at who they got to do it. Elton John has a rapidly expanding history of selling out the gay community to the highest bidder when gay rights and equality are on the line.
- In 2001, the LGBT community was shocked when Elton John performed on stage at the Grammys with Eminen due to the highly homophobic lyrics in Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP
- In 2010, Elton John played at the wedding of outspoken anti-LGBT conservative Rush Limbaugh. This was Limbaugh’s fourth wedding.
- In 2013, Elton John will travel to Russia to play a concert, despite the enactment of harsh laws against the LGBT community in that country.
So no matter what the reason was for omitting the “g-word” from Elton John’s speech, the fact still remains that as a whole the Emmy’s this year were pretty much a complete shambles, and skirting around the issue of Liberace being gay and getting Elton John to do it, was simply the waxy pink icing on the cake.
Liberace was gay: Someone had to say it. May as well be me.