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Eminem Is Still Not Gay-Friendly

When Eminem flooded my Twitter feed earlier this week, I wondered if I had stepped on anything and fell back into 2010. I soon learned that what triggered so much chatter about Slim Shady was that during an interview with Vulture, not only did he reveal that he can be found out dating apps like Tinder, he can also be spotted on Grindr.

The exchange went as follows:

Do you date?

It’s tough. Since my divorce I’ve had a few dates and nothing’s panned out in a way that I wanted to make it public. Dating’s just not where I’m at lately.

When you were dating, how’d you meet people? Tinder?

I mean, yeah.

Are you being serious?

Yeah, Tinder.

Really?

[Laughs] And Grindr. I also used to go to strip clubs.

I think a lot of long-term relationships start in strip clubs.

What can I say? Going to strip clubs is how I was meeting some chicks. It was an interesting time for me.

Is fame lonely for you?

Am I lonely? No, I’m good. Thanks for asking though.

Immediately, speculation went rampant. Did Eminem just casually admit he’s bisexual? To many, it would explain the frequency of ass shots Eminem has provided us over the course of his career. The same goes for the doth protest too much indeed with respect to his use of the word faggot and her anti-gay rhetoric found in his rhymes.

For others, it was obvious that the man was clearly joking. After all, you see more of his sarcasm in his response to an inquiry over whether or not he was lonely because of his famous. Shout out to the interviewer for failing to offer a follow up on the little nugget that was one of the most popular rappers of all-time casually mention he goes on a sight known for men interested in other men. I would if this man ever interviewed President Sweet Potato Saddam and he casually mentioned that he just finished slurping Vladimir Putin in the back of the Oval Office, he wouldn’t quickly turn to a question about whether or not he feels like John Kelly is the big bro he always wanted.

Anyhow, I’m inclined to believe Eminem was saying that in jest. However, regardless of whether or not he meant it, no matter how you slice it, either Eminem suddenly admitted to trashing what is apparently a part of him or once again is he making a joke about something associated with gay people. Maybe I lost too many ounces of my sense of humor, but of all people who shouldn’t get too comfortable with gay people, it would be Eminem.

I guess this is the part where I point out that Eminem was criticized for his homophobic comments way back in the aughts. That led to Eminem performing and later befriending Elton John. Recently, John appeared on The Graham Norton Show and defended Eminem from accusations of homophobia.

“I just adore him When David [Furnish] and I did our civil partnership, I got this package from Eminem," John told Norton. "It shows you how homophobic he isn’t! It had two diamond encrusted cock rings on velvet cushions. I have to say, they have remained unused!”

In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone in 2013, Eminem tried to rationalize his use of the word faggot, claiming that he used so in a “tongue-in-cheek” way and arguing that its usage had nothing to do with an anti-gay bias. “Those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin’ or whatever, I never really equated those words [with homosexuality],” he said. “It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole. But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all.”

But as Rich Juzwiak laid out for Gawker at the time, Eminem never made his stance on gay people clear, and despite claims to the contrary, very much equated gays, lesbians, and trans people with words that weren’t exactly complimentary in any fashion. For Em, a lot of his remarks about the LGBTQ community weredone for shock. That’s long been a shtick of his and now he casually once again stirs the spot by name-dropping Grindr for what? Attention. Attention his boring ass songs no longer command.

I hope Eminem finds whatever it is he’s looking for. Nevertheless, he should Grindr and anything else designated for our community out of his mouth because he never been man enough to own the insults he’s hurled our way much less apologize for them. Find a new gimmick, latest pop-pop of rap. This is as a tired as that imitation Macklemore song he tragically got my glorious queen Beyoncé to be a part of.

In sum, you can continue showing your ass, Eminem, but can you finally stop being one already?


Michael Arceneaux

Michael Arceneaux writes the “Dearly Beloved” advice column at INTO. He is the author of the forthcoming book I Can't Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Guardian, Mic, and more.

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