Jackie Emerson and the Fandom ‘Phobes
It’s prom season, ladies and gents! Most of us are already looking back on our prom, either fondly or not so fondly. But for some lucky folks, the joy and allure of prom is still a new thing. Jackie Emerson is one of those people.
Jackie went to her prom on Friday and she was so excited, she very graciously shared that experience with us via Twitter. Included in that experience was a funny, charming “awkward prom photo” with a friend.
The immediate response? People calling Jackie gay.
The meltdown starts in 3… 2.. 1!
Really? REALLY?! Is this what we’ve come to as a society? A celebrity mocks prom pictures with a friend of the same gender and her “fans” turn around and either infer that she is a lesbian or flat out tell her that she is one? Can we not accept that some people just like to hug each other?!
Because Jackie has proven herself to be one of the sweetest people on Earth, she very quietly addressed the situation on her Tumblr by saying that she “was not offended by this in the least” and finds it interesting that people feel the need to label two girls hugging as something more.
Even if she were a lesbian, which she says she’s not as of this point in her life (bless her!), should Jackie need to label all of her pictures explaining whether the person she’s hugging is a platonic friend or not? No! Frankly, it’s none of our damn business who she hugs.
It kills me that Jackie Emerson, who did nothing but share one of the pivotal moments her life with fans, got homophobic backlash while my friends and I do things like this without a single peep from the peanut gallery:
Maybe it’s the penis tiara my friend wore that’s keeping the ‘phobes at bay. ANYWAY…
Jackie is right: People who aren’t taught to be tolerant of others from a young age feel this need to label others the second something starts to look or feel different from the norm. She handled the whole situation so amazingly well. The 17-year-old version of me would not have tried to explain the intricacies of platonic love and the world’s sociological tendencies toward affection between people of the same sex. I would have called you a bigot and told you to go to hell. Even these days, we feel a little indignant on Jackie’s behalf, even though she clearly doesn’t need defending.
So let’s fight the hate by giving the whole world ALL THE HUGS, no matter what the other person’s gender, race, or sexuality. Because hugs solve pretty much everything… besides political issues.
New Goal in Life: Leg Hitch Photo with Jackie Emerson,
The Girl With The Pearl