Kanye West‘s comments about how one’s “clothing don’t give away whether or not you like a man” sparked a debate this week about the intersection of homosexuality and the world of haute couture.
The rapper was responding to people who have criticized his fashion taste, including the latest homophobic diss by 50 Cent and other hip-hop loudmouths who have sought to “identify” him as gay.
West dismissed the criticism, stating he was “genuine,” “natural,” and “assured with [his] manhood.” He also called out his peers for being intolerant of the gay community.
To MTV, he lamented, “People are so gay-conscious now,” meaning they are “scared” of homosexual people or of being regarded as gay.
“That’s the whole deal with the internet; people are constantly saying things like, “Oh, I can tell he’s gay now!” Songs like “Get In That Ass” were popular back in the day.
Today, if someone were to attempt to create such a song, everyone would be like, “Whoa! I just can’t write a song in that style. I can already feel the taunts coming: “People are going to call me gay!”
Although it is unusual to hear a hip-hop musician speak so freely about homosexuality, West’s words are welcome, his ideas about gay stereotypes are perhaps a touch misplaced, and his comments are refreshing.
He praised the red, yellow, pink, and blue of the rainbow, saying, “Because stereotypically gay people have such amazing [style], they were smart enough to take a fresh-ass brand like the rainbow and say that it’s going to be theirs.”
I’ve been buying up all the new rainbow gear (Denver Nuggets jerseys, BAPE sneakers, Nikes with rainbows on ”em), saying things like, “Man, I think as straight males, we need to take the rainbow back because it’s fresh.”.
“What part of that makes it gay, exactly? Colors? Why is it considered homosexual to have a plethora of colors in one’s wardrobe?”
West claimed that he had a fear of homosexual people in the past but that he is now “genuine” and “confident in [his] manhood,” to the point where he can “go to Paris [and] have discussions with individuals that are gay.”
The fact that West had declared “gays truly know how to dress” is another thing he now regrets.
In a recent interview, he admitted, “That was when I was naïve of gays.” “Because many LGBT people don’t put any effort into their appearance. Many of my gay male counterparts are less well-dressed than I am.”