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Trump and “gay slurs”: The Buttboy controversy

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Mika Brzezinski, the co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” news show, got into hot water the other day, after calling Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, what the media are calling “a gay slur” because they’re too squeamish to quote her real word: “buttboy.”

I’ll explain what that means (if you don’t already know, and I suspect you do) in a minute. First, here’s what Mika meant: that Pompeo was and is Mohammed bin Salman’s lapdog, apologist and ass kisser, after Pompeo lied to the world and said there’s “no direct evidence” MBS ordered the torture and murder of Jamal Kashoggi. Of course there is. Everybody knows it. But Pompeo, on the instructions of his boss, Trump, is covering up that fact, for reasons best understood by him.

Now, as to the slang meaning of “buttboy,”the Urban Dictionary defines it as “a sexual boy toy who belongs to an older man. The younger guy is ‘a bottom’ or anal receiver while the older guy is the pitcher, or ‘top.’”

Well, that about sums it up! As for Mika, a lot of people piled up on her. Fox “News” reported that Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who apparently is gay, tweeted

Then there was Trump himself, a famous defender of LGBTQ people (I’m kidding, folks), who in the middle of his latest tweetstorm about Michael Cohen and Robert Mueller, pretended to give a rat’s ass about gay slurs, professing faux outrage on Twitter: “If it was a Conservative that said what ‘crazed’ Mike [sic] Brzezinski stated on her show yesterday, using a certain horrible term, that person would be banned permanently from television… Congratulations to Richard Grenell, our great Ambassador to Germany, for having the courage to take this horrible issue on.”

A couple things. First, there’s no doubt that when Trump decided to go after Mika, a fierce Trump critic, he had someone look around his administration to find possibly the only gay person in a high-level position, and then he ordered the unlucky victim, Grenell, to tweet what he did. That makes Grenell Trump’s buttboy.

Secondly, as a gay man, I can promise you that no gay person in America took any offense whatsoever at Mika’s remark. (Believe me, I know this is true: We all conference-call every night over Chardonnay.) There was nothing, absolutely nothing, homophobic about Mika’s remark! As the Urban Dictionary definition makes clear, “buttboy” is exactly the role that Pompeo served under MBS, and it also happens to be the role Pompeo serves under Trump. Pompeo knows exactly what happened to Kashoggi, and he knows who made it happen. So does Trump. So Pompeo is a double buttboy (MBS and Trump) and that makes Grenell also a double buttboy (Pompeo and Trump). You see how complicated things can get when we stray into the exotic realm of anal sex!

I tweeted Grenell to tell him how sordid and disreputable his tweet was, and that he ought to be ashamed of himself. I’ve also sent a copy of today’s post directly to Mika because I want her to know that most of us realize this brouhaha over her “buttboy” remark is a made-up controversy on the Right, invented and brought to the boil by Trump. It’s just another distraction. Show me a single instance in Trump’s entire life where he showed any empathy at all for the problems gay people face. For that matter, homophobia is a sickness that occurs, not in the Democratic Party, not among the liberals Trump hates, not in Mika Brzezinski’s mind, but in Trump’s own Republican Party. It is rightwing evangelicals and so-called Christians who discriminate against gay people—the same gaybashers whom Trump ass-kissed at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University during his speech there last year,  which I guess makes Trump Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s buttboy.

So to Mika, I say: You go, girl! To MSNBC I warn: hands off! Leave Mika alone. She did nothing wrong or improper. If you try to punish her, you’ll be Trump’s buttboy, and you’ll make a lot of us who watch MSNBC very angry.

  1. Dennis Allgary says:

    Steve,

    As a gay liberal man I was offended by Mika’s remark and her failure to apologize to us but only to Senator Dick Durbin and E.G. Andrews. What are we if we continue to allow people to use our sexuality as a way to demean or minimize people?

    Your piece says that’s exactly what she was intending to do. What about young gay or questioning boys out there? it would have made me feel more terrible than I already did. However, I did grow up in the ’70s. I will have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. I think she owes a specific apology to the Gay community.

    I’m not part of the rabid right wing calling on her to be fired or burned at the stake but I do think she needs to apologize and understand what she said means and why so many of us take offense at it.

    Why did it become to be used as a way to control, demean and minimize people? It’s because it has a gay sexual meaning. I’m disappointed that you chose to give her a free pass. I wish more for changing the negative culture when ever a chance arises.
    Thank you.

    Respectfully,
    Dennis Allgary
    @DharmaDog13 on Twitter @DharmaDog on ello.co not on Facebook

    PS: I apologize for any auto-corrects I missed. Damn demon invention.

  2. Dear Dennis, I think you’re over-reacting. You have the right to feel the way you do, but I would ask you to be reasonable. What is wrong with the use of “buttboy”? It’s a perfectly good term to describe the position of Mike Pompeo with respect to Mohammed bin Salman. Are you angry because Mika isn’t gay? Would it be okay if I, a gay man, had used the term? I just think that people in America get too upset about little things like this nowadays. It’s political correctness run amok. We have far more important things to worry about, such as protecting LGBTQ rights against the onslaught from the religious right. So, please, calm down and give Mika a pass. She was not trying to insult anyone (except Pompeo). I would hate to see political commentators like Mika, who has a good pro-gay rights record, afraid to say anything, out of fear of offending easily-offended people. And I would like to see us gay men have a little more sense of humor about these things! Thank you.

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