Azealia Banks | Donna Summer | Jake Shears | News

Jake Shears Is Not Buying Azealia Banks' 'Context' Argument


Gay singer Jake Shears has waded into the Azealia Banks versus Perez Hilton feud, and he's definitely not standing by Banks, who blew up her gay fan base by called Hilton a "messy faggot" on Twitter.


Banks claimed that her bisexuality, the context of her remark and a complicated hierarchy of gendered denigrations of both gay men and women, made her use of the f-word a-okay, but Shears, frontman for Scissor Sisters, disagrees, writing, "It all about context. And right now, I'm sorry, but context is not on your side." He also reminded Banks that singer Donna Summer was "ostracized" for years for her past comments about gay fans, something that may very well happen to Banks.


GLAAD also came out against Banks. "[That] is an ugly, archaic word that was used to stigmatize a population of people who suffer high rates of violence both here in the U.S. and abroad," said Matt Kane, the group's Associate Director of Entertainment Media. "As far as we’ve come in this society, seeing it used by an artist many young people may look up to is painful, but even more so for those young fans, many of whom GLAAD has heard from."

GLAAD also offered, via Twitter, Banks an opportunity to open a dialogue that they hope will help her change her ways, or at least change her word choice.


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  1. Sorry Jake Spears, but maybe you're not the best person to go after Banks.

    Posted by: EverythingInContext | Jan 6, 2013 4:25:45 PM

  2. I'm in the group who thinks that we should make it as unacceptable to say the f-word as it is to say the n-word.

    If you want to use it with your hommies, be my guest, but it should be clear to everyone that it is not acceptable in civilized company.

    Just like a white person using the n-word ought to have an explanation of the particularly special set of circumstances that make it appropriate, a woman,even a bisexual African American one, should not resort to the "f" word in any public forum, Twitter included, unless she has a very special reason of why it is the only word that will do at that moment in time. Here, Amaryllis has no such very special reason - Perez Hilton's sleeziness notwithstanding.

    I'm glad she's being criticized and held accountable. One has to believe that the outrage has a deterrent effect.

    Posted by: Fahd | Jan 6, 2013 4:36:07 PM

  3. Francis, different points of view can be seen when the conversation is civil. I admit that as an African American gay man, I'm used to hearing the phrase used frequently by those within that community and that includes bisexual women. Therefore I'm probably desensitized. I do disagree that she has and will lose fans over this though. When I posted the news in one of my groups for black gays no one was phased. Absolutely no one. Since that is her target market more or less I think she's gonna be ok.

    Posted by: JP | Jan 6, 2013 4:41:56 PM

  4. You're not desensitized, JP. I doubt you use the word in neutral social settings. Most gay men don't, and most gay men wouldn't like it if they heard it in such circumstances. That's all I'm really saying. That we all know there is a line between OK/Not OK with f*ggot. I'm biracial and I hear white and black gay guys use the f-bomb, and I hear straight guys with their gay friends using it. Do I like it? Not really. I see the f-bomb as close (not the same but close) to the n-word and therefore I hate using it. But I don't get offended by it's usage when it's by someone who I know isn't abusing the word or abusing me as a gay man.

    I don't care Azealia said it and I don't think most gay men care so you may be right in that she won't lose her hardcore fans, but I know she will definitely lose some. Some gay men, some LGBT/straight-allies have a total no-go zone mentality with the word. And her "clarification" of using the word is, for me is what is offensive to begin with.

    We as a community need to figure out where that line and how we're going to respond when someone crosses it before the f-bomb becomes the new n-word and everyone is using it and defending using it in any context.

    Posted by: Francis | Jan 6, 2013 5:08:30 PM

  5. I like Jake, I don't care about Perez or Azealia. But I'm more upset that Jake still thinks Donna Summer said something phobic. We had this debate here on the towleroad when she died. Show me the proof. There was NEVER ANY witnesses that came forward, no proof ever given, no video, no transcript---just an out of control rumor at the time that blew up in the press. Then after her death a never before published letter she hand typed (before the internet) explaining her shock when she found out what she was accused of. See the towleroad link of the letter:

    ...yes, she was religious (so is ally Dolly Parton) but she loved her gay friends and fans. Many think to this day it was actually disco diva and very religious and not gay friendly Gloria Gaynor (of "I will survive" fame) who made the anti-gay statement and it was confused with Donna Summer by the lame reporting at the time. It still seems odd that the full letter was never published by the gay press when they could have to tell the whole story. It was news. Like the gay press had an ax to grind, or were covering their mistake. But again no proof. Show me the proof.

    Posted by: show me the proof | Jan 6, 2013 5:13:21 PM

  6. ......but Perez IS messy!

    Posted by: Micah | Jan 6, 2013 5:26:29 PM

  7. What on earth does Jake Shears know about Donna Summer? Jake, stick to what you know. Same applies to Azealia and her convoluted logic.

    I just get annoyed when people's tweets are treated as if they are from the Oracle of Delphi. It's the twitterverse, people. Tweet by name, twits by nature.

    Posted by: stephen lucas | Jan 6, 2013 6:00:26 PM

  8. Everybody knows that NOM, the National Organization for Marriage and other anti-gay Christians are behind getting Hispanics and blacks to make trouble for LGBT people. Any time there is trouble look for the anti-gay Christian connection no and you will find out who the anti-gay Christians are, who are behind making trouble for minorities by using minorities against other minorities so they can keep their control and grip over them and their money.

    Posted by: Xtian | Jan 6, 2013 7:06:46 PM

  9. "...the Oracle of Delphi.." LOL

    Posted by: Yupp | Jan 6, 2013 7:22:27 PM

  10. We all just added another few years to Perez Hilton's career. Perez is now the victim. Pls hold my hair while I throw up.

    Posted by: Kenny | Jan 6, 2013 8:29:20 PM

  11. Another faux-bisexual female in music who takes stupid gay mens money and is really just anti-gay. When will gays wake up and quit supporting azzholes like this? Try supporting some TRUE gay men instead instead of trying to make all these homophobic female singers "Gay Icons".

    Posted by: Thomas | Jan 6, 2013 10:11:30 PM

  12. Another faux-bisexual female in music who takes stupid gay mens money and is really just anti-gay. When will gays wake up and quit supporting azzholes like this? Try supporting some TRUE gay men instead instead of trying to make all these homophobic female singers "Gay Icons".

    Posted by: Thomas | Jan 6, 2013 10:11:31 PM

  13. Jeezzzzzze guys, you don't even know your Vedic philosophy to say nothing of sub-atomic physics. It's all an illusion. There's no real substance let alone context, it's all just tightly spinning particles with no matter in it which is why nothing matters. Just think good thoughts and have a good nights' sleep zzzzzzzzz.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jan 7, 2013 2:14:02 AM

  14. @Francis, You are right, both are offensive terms, Savage doesn't get to say it if Azelia doesn't get to say it. All or nothing, adding as much context as possible to Savage's remark doesn't take away that it was an insult using a word that is sensitive to gay people. He had a reason, I like it, still an insult as much as this is though.

    Nuance isn't an excuse to be a complete jerk.

    Posted by: Fensox | Jan 7, 2013 1:10:11 PM

  15. This is sooooome kiki brewing!

    Posted by: Cliff | Jan 7, 2013 2:07:25 PM

  16. Well... She's right and mad talented too. Yea Perez Hilton is totally a messy fa&&ot. ya'll. So in agreement besides isn't she like bisexual or something? Perez will do anything for publicity he deserved that punch in the face by the black eyed peas bodygaurd, too. he's so disrespectful I can't stand him.

    Posted by: alexander | Jan 7, 2013 3:34:14 PM

  17. oh and if anybody ever saw the documentaries about gay sex in the 70's donna summers wasn't exactly off the mark. we need to act better than that and check each other when we're acting messy. real friends look out for their friends.

    Posted by: alexander | Jan 7, 2013 3:37:26 PM

  18. And Shears brings up Donna Summer. He and no one else can point to when and where she said whatever it was she supposedly said.

    She had no idea what was attributed to her until years later. Twitter is another animal entirely where it's right there for you to see and take screen shots of.

    It's all well and good to be pissy with Banks but it's apples and oranges.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Jan 7, 2013 6:28:58 PM

  19. Like other words of loathing and hate,
    there is no context in which "faggot" is
    ok. The only purpose of this word is to
    denigrate and hurt. Gay people who use
    this word about themselves, even in jest,
    succumb to a passive self loathing.
    Be kind to each other.

    Posted by: Tim Le Rossignol | Feb 8, 2013 4:42:46 AM

  20. What a gibbering idiot! Can she even carry a tune in a bucket? Faggot refers to the bundles of wood thrown on the fire in which gays were burnt alive back in the Middle Ages! Does she want to start doing that again? Good luck, Missie, we'll burn you before you burn us!

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Feb 16, 2013 10:54:22 AM

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