10 Celebrities on Taking the T Out of LGBT

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"I look towards expanding the community, not diminishing it." —Michael Musto Photo: (l-r) Juan Rico/FAMEFlynet; Doug Meszler/Splash News; Splash News; Parisa/FAMEFlynet

This year’s OUT100 Celebration, presented by Lexus, had all the trappings of past years’ galas: over-the-top outfits, legendary advocates, and, of course, no shortage of male models. But new to the fête was chatter about a Change.org petition that seeks to take the T out of LGBT. Citing issues of sexual orientation versus gender identity, the petition has raised eyebrows — and middle fingers — within the LGBT community. The Cut caught up with celebs at the Guastavino’s event in Manhattan and asked how they felt about making the T silent.  

Kit Williamson
“I hope people don’t look at this as reflective of the gay community’s voice because it’s one sad person that’s lashing out at a community that we should be celebrating and supporting at this stage in history.”

Miss J
“So if I was a former gay or lesbian, and I did FTM or MTF, I’m not considered a part of that [community]? The trans community is part of that compassion and understanding, we support them as wholly as they support us. It’s just part of what happens.”

Sarah Kate Ellis
“I think it’s very clear what gender identity versus sexual identity is. One is who you love, and one is who you go to bed with, right? But I don’t think that there’s ever been a hiccup as far as GLAAD is concerned in how we support the transgender community, and we’ve done a tremendous amount about visibility in the past couple of years, and working with Caitlyn [Jenner] and her coming-out story.  So I think it’s really important that, at a time where our opponents are trying to fracture us and separate us, that we come together even more, and not take that as bait to separate.”

Gilbert Baker
“I relate to it because when I grew up I was gay, but I didn’t know anybody who was gay, so I thought I was born in the wrong body. It took me until I was in my 20s, almost in my 30s, to accept my male, masculine body, and to not believe I was born wrong, that I should’ve been born a woman. So on a certain level, I completely empathize and understand the transgender movement. On the other hand, I find it very troubling that a lot of the things that are celebrated about the trans movement are incredibly superficial, and in fact very sexist. So I worry about it in the sense that I’m not sure how that fits with our ‘queering’ the culture … As the creator of the rainbow flag, it’s for everybody. Sexuality is for everybody. It comes in every color.”

Marc Solomon
“I mean, anybody can start a petition if they want to, and I haven’t seen any prominent voices or any leaders behind it in any way, shape, or form. So I think it’ll go the way most stupid traditions go, into the dustbin of — not even into the dustbin of history, just into the dustbin.”

Violet Chachki
“I personally think we have more that unite us than separate us, and I identify as a lot of different things. For some people, they identify as both gay and trans, gender neutral, so it’s really hard to put people in a black-and-white category unless you’re doing it to yourself. So, for me, and for a lot of my friends who I love and respect, it’s not black or white like that. Maybe they fit in three of those [terms] in that acronym across the board, it’s all the same.”

Miss Fame
“I kind of fall in between genders because of the drag that I do, and they say 'gender fluid' …There are so many titles out there that aren’t affiliated to the LGBTQ. For me, I feel [trans is] a part of the community that I do relate to very closely, and I couldn’t imagine them not being associated … We need more allies, and it doesn’t have to be another trans person. I’m an ally, and I’m also a part of the LGBTQ. So stay together, band together, we need it.”

Michael Musto
“It’s not going to happen. I look towards expanding the community, not diminishing it. It’s always been a welcoming community, and that’s going to keep going.”

Alex Newell
“I think it’s weak. It’s sad that just because your fight as part of LGBT is slowing down, that doesn’t mean that your brothers and sisters and everybody else in your community’s fights are over yet. So I don’t agree with that whatsoever — the fight’s not over.”

Geena Rocero
“There’s so much visibility that’s happening, with shows and with pop culture, but still, what’s really happening on the ground is still the other way around. I mean, there are still about 22 trans people that we know of that have been killed this year, so those two realities need to somehow merge together and make an understanding. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”