TV Character

American Horror Story's Naomi Grossman: LGBTQ Advocate

You want a little Pepper on that? Sure, I’ve got some for you – directly from the red carpet in at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

Actress Naomi Grossman – who played the character of Pepper on American Horror Story for two seasons – described herself as an “advocate” for the LGBTQ community. And I kind of believed her, seeing as how we were both at a major annual fundraiser for LA’s LGBT Center.

Why are you here tonight?

Because I’m a little bit Babs, kinda Liza…and a whole lot of…well, I’m my own self. At then end of the day I’m a real advocate [for the gay community}.

As an LGBTQ ally how would you describe your journey in terms of accepting gay people. Did you have to evolve into it or was it immediate for you?

It was immediate. My family had a million gay friends. We’re artists so we’re automatically sort of allowed. My parents were not, but I wondered about my dad. He was always so well-dressed, very artistic. He was an architect…the original metrosexual. So I always wondered.

He’s not…but he gave me hope. He made me feel like, “You know what? There are straight men out there that can dress. They care about the way things look.”

I’ve met straight guys who go to gay bars because gay guys’ straight girlfriends come with them and then they can just clean house.

Oh wow! I’ll have to try that. Actually, I do try that. [laughs]

A lot of people are here tonight because they value equality and social change. If you could                                                                                wave a magic wand…what kind of change would                                                                             you most want to see?

God. I think I’d just take away Trump’s Twitter.

I think that would solve a lot of problems. Obviously I’m being cheeky, but if we could just respect each other…which would be taking away his Twitter.

He’s been an advocate for anti-cyber bullying…and yet he’s the cyber bully OG!

On American Horror Story you played Pepper, a character living with microcephaly. What has having been on that show brought to your life?

I mean, it’s definitely been fan interaction. The fact that I, honestly…[would wake] up at night fearing a backlash. I assumed [the disabled community] would be after me, [seeing me as] taking away a role [from a disabled actor], but it’s been quite the opposite. Now [people with disabilities] ask me to come to their events and speak on their behalf.

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Marcia Brady...Uh...Maureen McCormick Feels Part Of The Gay Community

Maureen McCormick, 61, played Marcia Brady on ABC’s The Brady Bunch from 1969-1974. I caught up with her at the recent Vanguard Awards, the biggest annual fundraiser for LA’s LGBT Center, which was held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

The evening’s host was LGBTQ ally Jimmy Kimmel, who got a standing ovation when he arrived onstage, interpreted by many for his outspoken critiques of the Republicans’ continued attempts to repeal Obamacare.

Q: You are here at the Vanguard Awards…because?

Maureen McCormick: When I got the invitation, I was, like, of course. Oh, I feel such a part of this community. [Note: She emphasized the “Oh,” like OHHHHHHH…….! So you know she really, really feels like a part of the LGBTQ community.]

Most people here tonight want to see social change, equal rights for everybody. What kind of social change would you like to see, if you could wave a magic wand…?

[She pauses] It sounds so cliché, and stupid, but just peace within people’s hearts and…in their souls. And just loving, loving, loving.

How would that change society in your view?

In every way. Love is the greatest thing there is, right?

It’s a scary time. There’s a lot of fear, lots of vicious things being spewed from both sides. If that continues…you have to break that. And talk in love for another person to hear.

Sounds like you’re talking about being able to have a dialogue.

That’s a huge thing…opening up the dialogue.

I have friends, who are Republicans. I’m a Democrat who grew up in a very liberal household. But I respect them, too. I really think we need to start listening and having dialogue. And that’s very tricky. Because people right away get [defensive].

Everyone needs to go to a lot of therapy and learn how to do that. Because it’s an art. It’s really hard.

My husband and I have spent 33 years learning to celebrate our differences and to really listen to each other. It’s very hard to do if you just want everything your way or the high way. I think that through communication, really, really good communication, where we’re not trying to win…that people can come together.

[Then she turns the tables, and asks me!]

Do you?

Me: Well, I think dialogue is hard. It reminds me of how many friends I have lost on Facebook because I got angry.

Right.

Remember, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia is always right. It's just one reason why The Brady Bunch was such a hit.

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An Offensive Gay Character Caused A Stir In Japan

A resurrected “gay” tv character caused a stir in Japan.

Homoo Homooda was created by the comedy duo Tunnels in the 1980s. Tunnels decided to bring back the character, who’d disappeared from TV screens for 28 years, as a part of their TV special celebrating their 30-year career together. It didn’t go over well.

Fuji TV, the station that broadcasted the special, later received 104 complaints about the character.

What Tunnels may not have realized is that this homophobic caricature is no longer acceptable in Japan’s social climate.

While Japan is still struggling with accepting the existence and rights of LGBTQ people, a character like Homoo Homooda, with a derogatory term as a name, stereotypical black lace fan, exaggerated blue beard and pink cheeks, and being referred to as a homo and a pedophile, is too much even for the everyday citizens of the country.

In addition to the individual complaints, a great number of LGBTQ organizations complained about the inclusion of the character.

One such group was Good Aging Yells

“I can’t believe they’re still showing this sort of thing,” said Gon Matsunaka, the head of the LGBTQ group Good Aging Yells, to The Mainichi.

“When the character first appeared (in the 1980s), it was common for children to use the word ‘homo’ as an insult to boys who were quiet and gentle.”

“I remember feeling uncomfortable at the time, especially as I was of a susceptible age. I wonder how children who are unsure about their gender or sexual orientation felt when they saw this one-off program.”

All the complaints led to Fuji TV apologizing.

“If there are any aspects that have caused discomfort then it is necessary for me to apologize,” said Fuji TV CEO Masayoshi Miyauchi.

h/t: GayStarNews