Novelist and prolix Twitterer Bret Easton Ellis is raising hackles once again by labeling such organizations as GLAAD as "the gatekeepers of politically correct gayness" in a long editorial in Out magazine. Ellis invited further response to his argument by announcing an AMA ("ask me anything") on Reddit, to be held at noon Pacific time today.
The Out rant, titled "In the Reign of the Gay Magical Elves," was prompted in part by the media response to the recent coming out of basketball player Jason Collins, whom Ellis writes is being treated "as some kind of baby panda who needs to be honored and consoled and -- yes -- infantilized."
Ellis goes on to criticize "gay self-patronization in the media," which in his opinion celebrates "the Gay Man as Magical Elf, who whenever he comes out appears before us as some kind of saintly E.T. whose sole purpose is to be put in the position of reminding us only about Tolerance."
At fault, according to Ellis, are organizations that marginalize the gay man "who doesn't want to represent, doesn't want to teach" and who "makes crude jokes about other gays in the media (as straight dudes do of each other constantly)." This, Ellis writes, amounts to "corporate PC fascism."
Ellis has had his own issues with what he calls the "gatekeepers." In April, he had a quite public tiff with the LGBT organization GLAAD over an invitation to the group’s media award ceremony; the invite was pulled after GLAAD discovered some of the things Ellis had written on Twitter, such as comparing the show "Glee" to "a puddle of HIV."
But the invitation's withdrawal (which, according to Gawker, was in fact requested by Ellis' agent) seems to be only symptomatic for Ellis of a larger problem within the gay community: "An organization holding an awards ceremony that they think represents all gays and also feels they can choose which gays can and cannot be a member of the party is, on the face of it, ridiculous."
Ellis writes that he has been called "a 'self-loathing' gay man" for his incendiary tweets and unorthodox opinions about LGBT culture. But although he admits that "I may be a little self-loathing at times," he adds, "it's not because I'm gay."
[For the Record, 10:24 a.m. PDT May 15: An earlier version of this online post said GLAAD had invited Ellis to the group’s media award ceremony; as Ellis said in his Out article, he was invited not by the organization, but by his agent. GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro said in an emailed statement to The Times: “GLAAD spoke with the guest who was planning to bring Bret about his recent remarks, which the gay community responded negatively to. We also asked for a time to sit down with Bret and planned to invite other leaders in the gay community as well as the HIV/AIDS community. … The guest replaced Bret at the fund-raiser and there has been no response from Bret regarding the meeting.”]