Fighting words: Jack Mackenroth v. Tyra

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imageContributing blogger Darian Aaron is an Alabama native who now calls Atlanta home. He’s the creator of Living Out Loud with Darian, a blog that offers his take on social, political and religious issues that impact the LGBT community.

Not everyone is excited about GLAAD’s decision to honor talk show host and LGBT ally Tyra Banks with their Excellence In Media Award.

Former Project Runway contestant Jack Mackenroth has expressed his disapproval on his blog and his harsh criticisms of Banks is evenly dividing the gays. Here’s the quote from Mackenroth that’s pissing off Tyra Banks loyalists and providing fodder for her haters.

“I just really don’t understand why Tyra Banks was being honored. Because she has gay people on her show? Big deal. It’s about fashion and modeling. We are a dime a dozen in those industries.

I may enjoy watching Mr. and Ms. Jay prance around the set of Top Model but I don’t think they do anything to advance the LGBT cause. If anything they perpetuate the idea that gay men are all over-the-top borderline drag queens. Nothing against them personally. I just think GLAAD should dig a little deeper.

I also found it a bit offensive that Clay Aiken was making an appearance. He is another one who has been sending the message to America that being gay is not OK. He does not represent me. There are so many talented, out, GLBT people that could have been chosen. I was truly disappointed.

Now I know that we need to align with our straight allies. I just think GLAAD needs to rethink some of their choices.”

Now my first inclination is to rip Mackenroth a new one, but I’m gonna try to keep it cute because actually his words are mild in comparison to what some people in the gay community are saying about Banks. Say what you will about her personality or her show, but I don’t see too many other privileged heterosexual black or white folks using their platform to bring national attention to LGBT issues. I actually believe that her heart is in the right place.

Do ratings play a part in Banks’ public admiration for the gay community and the amount of attention she gives us on her show? Quite possibly, but we’ll never know for sure. But what I do know is that she gets it on some level. As a black woman and one of a handful of black supermodels, she understands discrimination. Unlike many in the straight black community, she hasn’t conveniently become the oppressor as a result of being oppressed.

I can’t help but be a fan. Any woman who can grasp the reality that it’s possible for someone to be born in the wrong body and then agree to pay for her gender re-assignment surgery deserves an award. And Mackenroth, you have Tyra’s GLAAD win to thank for extending your reality TV career for an extra five minutes.

Get into Tyra Banks’ GLAAD acceptance speech below:

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