Thursday, January 03, 2008

2007’s Most Memorable Remarks

Some famous, and in some cases last, words:

“I love gay. I wanted to be gay. Please let me be gay … I did not call T.R. a faggot.”
“Grey’s Anatomy” actor Isaiah Washington on the Golden Globes red carpet, reigniting a controversy stemming from an on-set scuffle with co-star T.R. Knight, who is gay. Despite apologizing, Washington was eventually fired for his remarks. (Access Hollywood, Jan. 16)

“I’m going to be really honest right now, he needs to just not speak in public. Period … T.R. is my best friend. I will use every ounce of energy I have to take you down if you hurt his feelings.”
“Grey’s Anatomy” actress Katherine Heigl coming to T.R. Knight’s defense (Associated Press, Jan. 17)

“I am not a hero, I am not special in any regard. I am simply doing what a good person of principle and conscience should do, which is making people aware that gay people don’t just look like Jack from ‘Will & Grace,’ and that they don’t want to jump your bones every occasion, and that some are camp, and some are butch, and that’s we’re different, and useful and we are here.”
John Amaechi, becoming the first NBA player, active or retired, to announce he is gay (ESPN, Feb. 11)

“Well, you know, I hate gay people. I let it be known, I don’t like gay people. I don’t like to be around gay people. Yeah, I’m homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world for that or in the United States for that. So, yeah, I don’t like it. First of all, I wouldn’t want [an openly gay athlete] on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, you know, I would really distance myself from him because I don’t think that is right. … I don’t condone it. And if people got problems with it, I’m sorry. I’m saying I can’t stand being around that person, knowing that they sleep with somebody of the same sex.”
Former NBA star Tim Hardaway, reacting to Amaechi coming out (Feb. 14 & 15 radio interviews)

“K.T. is my life partner. K.T. stands for Kathy Travis. We’re going on seven years. I have never been with a man in my whole life. I’m still a 55-year-old virgin.”
Financial guru Suze Orman announcing she would like to get married so her lesbian partner can avoid paying estate taxes when Orman dies (New York Times Magazine, Feb. 25)

“I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”
Author and pundit Ann Coulter, speaking at a national gathering of conservatives (CSPAN, March 2)

“I believe homosexual acts between two individuals is immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.”
Gen. Peter Pace, former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlining his support of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy (Chicago Tribune, March 12)

“Never once in my 54 years have I ever once heard a gay or lesbian person who’s politically active say one thing about anything that was not about them. They don’t care about minimum wage, they don’t care about any other group other than their own self because you know, some people say being gay and lesbian is a totally narcissistic thing and sometimes I wonder. I’ve never heard any of them say anything except for ‘accept me ‘cause I’m gay.’ It’s just, it’s screwed … I don’t give a damn who anybody has sex with, as long as they’re not underage and an animal. I don’t give a damn, it’s none of my damn business. I’m just sick of all the divisiveness, it’s not getting any of us anywhere.”
Comedian Roseanne Barr, while co-hosting a California radio show (April 6)

“Don’t tell me you don’t want to talk about personal life when you wrote a book about your father’s death and your brother’s death. You can’t move this big mass of personal stuff out for public display, then people ask questions and you say, ‘Oh, no, I didn’t say there was going to be any questions.’ … Don’t tell me you can’t talk about your personal life and then, when they send you overseas and you do a report that consists of your voice-over and pictures of you in a custom-made, blue-to-match-your-eyes bulletproof vest, looking somberly at these scenes of human devastation — like a tourist — and that’s your report. Your shtick is your personal life.”
MSNBC anchor Keith Olberman taking a shot at CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who refuses to address rumors that he is gay (AfterElton, April 10)

“I like pin-up girls. I’m not lesbian though — not before a Sambuca, anyway.”
Singer Amy Winehouse on her interest in other women (Digital Spy, May 15)

“He’s very interested in what being gay is because so many of our friends are gay. When talking around your child you have to think very carefully and you have to be prudent about your choice of words. You talk about people looking for happiness and fulfillment in their lives, and how all families are different and look different. You’re forced to really consider your answers. You’re forced to think a lot about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it — even the tone.” Actress Sarah Jessica Parker on talking to her 4-year-old son, James, who has been asking questions about what “gay” means (azcentral.com, May 24)

“Words have power. The power to express love, happiness and joy. They also have the power to heal. When you use words that demean a person because of their sexual orientation, race or gender, you send a message of hate … We have the power to heal and change the world by the words we use.”
Actor Isaiah Washington’s public service announcement on ABC, part of his attempt to make amends for his slur against a fellow “Grey’s Anatomy” star (Associated Press, May 28)

“Those comments were from just one guy, and John Waters blew them right out of the water. There is nothing gay in this movie. I’m not playing a gay man. Scientology is not homophobic in any way, in fact it’s one of the more tolerant faiths. Anyone’s accepted.”
John Travolta addressing complaints by Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff that he should not have played a role in “Hairspray” (The Times, June 30)

“The majority no longer wanted the covering. For some, they said they were environmentally conscious and wanted to cut down on waste. For others, it was more of an out-and-proud issue.”
Michael Phelps, the publisher of The Advocate, explaining that the magazine would no longer be sent in a wrapper unless requested by the subscriber (New York Times, July 9)

“You know when we lost everything, it was the gay people who came to my rescue and I will always love them for that.”
Tammy Faye Messner in an appearance on Larry King Live shortly before her death (July 19)

“Thankfully, it wasn’t scandal, which would have been the worst. I’m not very scandalous. It sort of happened in a way that allowed me to make a statement, and squelch rumors, that was a pro-active affirmation, without it becoming a big, giant deal.”
Actor Neil Patrick Harris on what it was like to publicly come out (Los Angeles Times, Aug. 12)

“Merv Griffin was gay … Why should that be so uncomfortable to contemplate? Why is it so difficult to write? Why are we still so jittery even about raising the issue in purportedly liberal-minded Hollywood, in 2007? … How tremendously sad that a man of Merv’s considerable gifts, of his gregarious nature and social dexterity, would feel compelled to endure such a stealthy double-life … He certainly didn’t owe us any explanation, but you might conclude he owed it to himself to remove the suffocating veil he’d long been forced to hide behind.”
Writer Ray Richmond, memorializing TV icon Merv Griffin (Hollywood Reporter, Aug. 17)

“I think it’s a choice.”
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, while participating in a Democratic presidential debate on gay issues, responding to lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge’s question of whether Richardson thinks “a homosexual is born that way, or do you think that around seventh grade, we go, ‘Ooo, I want to be gay.’” (LOGO, Aug. 9)

“You know, I’m Hispanic. I felt the sting as a kid of being stereotyped. And I apologize, but I meant no harm when I said that.”
Richardson, clarifying his remarks, after being criticized by gay activists and organizations (Washington Blade, Aug. 17)

“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot … Craig tapped his toes several times and moved his foot closer to my foot … The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot … At 1217 hours, I saw Craig swipe his hand under the stall divider … At about 1219 hours, I held my police identification in my right hand down by the floor so that Craig could see it … Craig responded, ‘No!’”
Police report filed by Minneapolis Airport Officer Dave Karsnia (The Smoking Gun, Aug. 28)

“I am not gay, I never have been gay.”
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) responding to news about his arrest for soliciting sex in an airport bathroom (Fox News, Aug. 28)

“These events have provided an important opportunity for us to confront a difficult fact: There are good, decent, moral people in this country who do not yet embrace their gay brothers and sisters as full members of our shared community. We will not secure full equality for all LGBT Americans until we learn how to address that deep disagreement and move beyond it.”
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), responding to criticism he received for scheduling an appearance by “ex-gay” gospel singer Donnie McClurkin at a South Carolina event for Obama’s presidential campaign (Washington Blade, Nov. 16)
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