Bilerico Report

Are MSNBC host Joy Reid’s gay comments homophobic?

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A Twitter user this past week uncovered archived blog posts from MSNBC host and national correspondent Joy Reid’s blog that some are calling homophobic.

Before working for MSNBC, Reid was a commentator and morning show host on several print and television outlets in Florida. During this time, she also kept a blog called The Reid Report, where she mostly wrote about Florida politics.

From 2007 to 2009, she wrote several posts about Republican governor Charlie Crist and repeatedly said that he was gay and called him “Miss Charlie.” In some of the posts, she chastised him for leading women on.

I was working in LGBTQ media at around that time, and I remember hearing that Crist is gay or bi so many times that I had to google to find out that he has always denied those rumors and never came out.

I also remember that LGBTQ media and activist types didn’t do much to fight those rumors. Crist was a Republican governor who opposed LGBTQ rights, plus there’s nothing wrong with being gay or bi.

Which is to say that accusing Reid of being homophobic just because she thought Crist was gay – or even because she criticized him for being a closeted gay Republican or the GOP for wanting a heterosexual VP pick – is overwrought. Those rumors were rampant because a lot of people who knew Crist were contributing to them.

And it’s not like Reid said that Crist was going to burn in hell. If anything, her overall position is that the GOP is wrong for being homophobic.

Some of her specific comments, though, go too far. The “Miss Charlie” thing might be funny if, say, a lesbian stand-up comic said it, but not a straight journalist. I would just roll my eyes if a drag queen made the Will & Grace joke, but a straight person? Not so much.

Reid hasn’t commented on the posts yet and a lot of straight people’s attitudes have changed in the last ten years. For example, Crist himself left the GOP in 2014 in part because that party is “anti-gay,” and he now supports marriage equality.

Update: Reid has apologized for the posts.

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