Stage & TV star Billy Porter set the red carpet on fire at this years Oscars. He was arguably thee most photographed celeb of the night in a gender-blurred, original creation by Christian Siriano. The part tuxedo-part gown ensemble paid homage to the legendary Hector Xtravaganza – Grandfather of the famed House of Xtravaganza from New York City. Hector had originally rocked the look nearly two decades ago back on the NYC ballroom scene and on Oscar night Billy & Christian beautifully brought the look back.
The fabulous Mister Porter plays flamboyant ballroom EmCee, Pray Tell on the hit FX show “Pose,” which depicts the Vogue Ball Room culture of the 80s and 90s in New York City. The look was an instant hit on the red carpet, making not just a statement in LGBTQ expression but also marking an exciting moment in Oscar fashion history. Quite unanimously, it was reported that Billy’s bold style had slayed the paparazzi, but not everyone was impressed. Some people took to the internet to express their utter dismay with his fashion choice, deeming it unmanly.
Two of the most vocal detractors leading the hate parade, were the over-processed blonde Fox News clone, Tomi Lahren, and rapper, Khia, who’s way past her prime and about two-seconds away from the side of a milk carton. Still, both took to the internet with their own unique style of ignorance, declaring Billy’s look offensive to men and society as a whole.
Tomi is no stranger to feuds with liberals. You may recall over a year ago when the conservative talking head got called out by Chelsea Handler for her hypocrisy. She had been bashing Obamacare every night on the air waves while benefiting from it, going on her parents health insurance at the age of 23 when she lost her job. Thanks Obama! More recently she came for Cardi B on Twitter – never a good Idea. It began when Cardi lashed out against President Trump in a tweet regarding the government shutdown. Lehran in return criticized Cardi for the tweet and further insulted her intelligence. Then, in a one-liner that launched some of the funniest memes in internet history, Cardi sharply responded, “Leave Me Alone. I will Dog Walk You” (translation: I will whoop dat ass).
As for Khia, the Atlanta born rapper is best known for her 2002 hit, “My Neck, My back, Lick it.” The ratchet, bottom of the barrel track became the anthem for hootchies everywhere as it commanded “My neck, my back lick my p*ssy and my crack.” Since releasing that poetic masterpiece, Khia’s career has pretty much devolved to sabotaging herself at every turn, picking fights with famous people in efforts to stay relevant, and insulting those with whom she should be building alliances. Take for example the hilarious, openly transgender social media star, TS Madison.
TS and Khia co-hosted a facebook live show called the Queen’s Court in which they served as judge and jury over the latest celebrity scandals. It was funny as hell and so popular that Nicki Minaj reached out to the girls with a production company and a pitch to bring the show to television. Like clockwork though, Khia’s mouth and nasty attitude blew the deal, as she stormed off set just minutes before their first, high-profile Facebook live celebrity interview was to begin featuring the controversial comedian, Mo’nique.
On the surface, it would seem that Tomi – the conservative Barbie wanna-be, and Khia – the self proclaimed “Miss Thuuug,” couldn’t be any more different from each other. However, in their homophobic assault on Billy Porter’s red carpet look, they emerged as bookend examples of ignorance. It’s the kind of ignorance that reminds the LGBTQ community that we must always remain vigilant in combating homophobia and negative stereotyping. In Tomi’s bizarre perspective on Billy Porter’s ensemble, she tweeted, “I just don’t get this ongoing and continual assault on masculinity by the Left. You can be a proud part of the LGBT community and movement without attacking traditional men and marriage at every turn.”
Khia’s commentary was even more unintelligible than Tomi’s as she took to her Youtube channel calling for men to “look like men” because of how “God” made them. She questioned, “Where has masculinity gone?,” and demanded that gay people “pick a side because you can’t be tuxedo at the top and ball gown on the bottom! There aint no half bird and half swordfish”. Yes, she really said something that moronic.
It is completely nonsensical to assess that any man’s masculinity can be “attacked” because of the clothes another man chooses to wear. It’s the same tired argument conservatives made to block gays from getting married, claiming that homosexuals getting married, devalued the sanctity of marriage. Truth be told, heterosexual marriages by their own accord are at a 52% divorce rate in America – and gay people have nothing to do with that. Gay marriage only affects you — if you’re gay-married.
At this point, anyone who follows Tomi Lahren or Khia on social media knows exactly how divisive and biased they are toward the LGBTQ community, and in Tomi’s case, race is also one of her signature touch points for controversy. In 2016 she mocked Beyonce’s Super Bowl half time show performance as a “Black panther rally for Black lives matter.” The Beyhive was not amused and they swarmed in masses against Tomi on Instagram.
As yet, Billy Porter has not even dignified Tomi nor Khia’s comments with a response. Why would he? He has achieved a level of global success that most likely neither ever will, and his star is still rising. I myself grappled with addressing their comments publicly because I don’t ever want to amplify hate, but given that collectively Tomi and Khia have over 2,000,000 social media followers, that’s a wide reach. The LGBTQ community must be made aware of our enemies, even if at first glance they seem as irrelevant as these two.
One thing is for certain, as Tomi and Khia continue to spread their madness, Billy Porter’s purpose is clear — to spread magic.
Khia and Tomi, please approach the runway to receive a special message from Pray Tell: The Category Is … Don’t Evah Come For Me Unless I send For You!
This piece is an opinion piece by one Contributing Writer for Instinct Magazine and may not reflect the opinion of the magazine or other Contributing Writers.