Lloyd Grove reports on a Kanye West interview with King magazine in which he discusses his ongoing relationship with homophobia, a topic he spoke out against earlier this year. He says speaking out against homophobia was scarier than calling George Bush a racist:
"I’m still trying to get over my own homophobia. I still wouldn’t feel comfortable at a gay bar. I wouldn’t go to a gay parade. I don’t know if I’m in favor of gay marriage or not. People said to me, ‘Were you scared of speaking out against George Bush?’ No. The bravest thing I did this year was speaking out against homophobia. That’s a scarier topic, because if you bring it up, people think you must be gay. But you don’t have to be gay to not gay-bash. We’re a very close-mind ed people."
West recalls that it was a homophobic incident he was involved in with another rapper that woke him up to his own bigotry: "We started rhyming about beating up gays right in front of him. .. People always say, ‘Kanye’s conscious, Kanye’s conscious’ – well, my conscience kicked in, and it said, ‘Yo, that was kinda wack.’ Things have been clicking ever since. I found out my cousin was gay years ago, and even just dealing with my interior decorator, having to travel with him, I’ve had to deal with issues. There was a point I wouldn’t even get in the car with him ’cause I didn’t want people to see me with a gay person. I didn’t want it to hurt my career."
I think Kanye could benefit from attending a Black gay pride celebration and hearing the stories of what life is like for unmarried Black lesbian and gay couples. At any rate, keep up the great work Kanye. We need you to continue speaking out on this issue.