Liberal Laughs and LGBTQ+

Ah, SNL. The epitome of white liberal humor. So called “progressive” millennials and middle aged baby boomers alike enjoy Alec Baldwin as Trump and Melissa McCarthy as the inept and aggressive Sean Spicer (White House Press Secretary 2017-2017). Anyone slightly left of center looks forward to the stream of hamfisted political quips SNL has every Saturday. Trump’s administration writes its own jokes. In fact I’m pretty sure every SNL writer just snorts coke on a Friday night and, in a fueled frenzy, parodies whatever stupid thing Trump did the day before/that morning/an hour beforehand. But there have been multiple occasions in which a sketch deteriorates and ends in a makeout sesh between Alec Baldwin and whichever cast member (of the same gender) took on the persona of an incompetent White House staff member. There is nothing radical about this. In fact, there is nothing funny about this. Punchlines that end in homosexuality and/or homoerotic undertones just perpetuate the thought that queerness is inherently demeaning. The idea that the best way to undermine Trump’s authority is with gay jokes is childish and harmful. And SNL isn’t the only one to repeatedly make this mistake (to the delight of liberals and the disdain of the queer community). It seems like every other day “hilarious” photos of murals and photoshops of Trump in drag, Trump and Putin kissing, or a sexual innuendo between Trump and any cabinet member pop up on my Facebook feed. And each time I am reminded that I am the butt of a systematic joke. I am weary of the “jokes” that Trump is secretly gay, or that Paul Ryan is secretly trans, or that any politician is secretly not cishet. When you break it down, this humor is just a reminder that being queer is the lowest of the low, that queerness undermines power and authority and is therefore innately funny.


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