This week, I am on vacation with my family, making our annual voyage to Stratford, Ontario for the Shakespeare Festival. While I am away in Canada, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to honor one of my favorite Canadians.
Little Kiwi. Trolls hate him. I adore him. To give you an idea of how much I adore him, this man was recently featured in an article on Queerty, which I swore off months ago, but I went to that horrific site once again to show my support (this is a big gesture coming from me, I swear.) But I couldn't let Queerty have all the fun... I needed to score some screen time with Little Kiwi for myself! I reached out to this man, whom I would dare to call one of my heros, and snuggle up virtually for a little interview.
Lucas: First thing's first: Why do you call yourself 'Little Kiwi'?
Little Kiwi: Little Kiwi is a character from Ethan Mordden's "Buddies Cycle" of 5 novels about a family of gay friends in Manhattan over 30 years. My best friend who introduced me to the books a decade ago called me Little Kiwi, as that was 'the role' I fit...the young gay kid coming out and into a world of adults.
Ooh, sounds like something I should add to my reading list. Clearly you spend a lot of time on LGBT blogs. What are some of your favorites?
www.aintitcool.com, towleroad.com, pamshouseblend, huffingtonpost, and I'm an admitted wikipedia junkie. I love learning (quickly!) about things I didn't previously know about.
What do you do by day, outside the internet?
Write. Read. Socialize. Work in a bar. Hang out with my best friends. Take in an incredible amount of film, which is my number one hobby. Massive film buff.
You seem to have made quite a few enemies on Queerty on Towleroad. Why do you think that is?
"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
- Winston Churchill
I like that quote. I also know that those who are most vocally irritated by me are also irritated by my refusal to do what they do, namely comment anonymously. People can talk themselves up easily when there's no face or name to who they are. The internet is their burqa and gives them a false sense of bravery. It's like the anonymous people who leave racist and homophobic comments all over Youtube: none can actually put a face to their comments. I put myself out there, and that angers those who (frankly) can't or won't.
I've been told by many people, older and wiser than me, that when you make yourself visible you do indeed draw anger from those who for whatever reason or excuse cannot be just as visible.
I am also a huge fan of that quote. Do you have a particularly favorite tiff from these experiences?
There are no favourite tiffs. They're all stupid. The internet can be a cesspool for people whose only outlet is to miserably spew venom from a place of anonymity. vicariously living through an internet handle with no consequences. No matter how solid your arguments against their claims or statements may be, they will be ignored. Delusion, alas, is all these people have left.
Do you have any thoughts on what the creators of these websites could do differently/better?
Imagine a site where one cannot post anonymously. It would change everything. Once your mask is off it's amazing how reticent people become to voicing their opinions.
Think of it this way: the legions of guys whose online profiles say something along the lines of "no fats fems asians or blacks"... Would any of those guys who defend not only their "preferences" but their "right" to state them in that way have the balls to wear such a statement on a tee-shirt in a gay bar? Highly, highly doubtful.
Now, this doesn't mean that I'm some brave fucking hero for putting a face to my comments, because I'm neither of those things. And I can be a royal pain in the ass. But at least I have to hold myself accountable for what I say. But there's a world of people who complain complain complain, without ever standing up to be counted and actively affect the change they claim to want, or see in others. Telling everyone else what they're doing wrong yet not stepping up to "do it properly" themselves. This is the Anonymous Internet Troll - "everyone else is to blame, except me, because I'm right and I don't need to prove it."
Preach! Now, to touch on current events for a moment...Do you have any commentary on the recent Chic-Fil-A fiasco?
A fast-food chain decides to cement itself on the wrong side of history by promoting and financially and socially supporting bigotry with their waffle fries. I encourage Chick-Fil-A to open more locations and for everyone with a conscience to protest with their wallets and not support them. Waste money on new locations that then fold. It's also disgusting the way Huckabee, Palin, Santorum et al are now proudly endorsing Chick-Fil-A. Why are the supporting Chick-Fil-A? Well, it has NOTHING to do with anything resembling the "first amendment" and everything to do with hitching onto the anti-gay wagon, which is what one does when they can't actually talk fiscal politics. The anti-gay community are the lowest common denominator in every country around the world. Those who pander to them are even more abhorrent.
Finally...What are your thoughts on glitter-bombing?
In the grand scheme of things it may be the most benign form of "physical protest" imaginable. What does it do? It makes a glittery point. It's not as if the politicians being glitter-bombed are capable of sane rational dialogues and discussions about LGBT equality anyway. These are people who have chosen to be wrong, and are adamant about sticking to it. But I'm neither fan nor opponent of glitter-bombing, truthfully. And I encourage all those who *do* take issue with glitter-bombings to get off their asses, go out and actively contribute in a way they feel would yield better results. Complaining about someone else while not actively doing something of your own makes you about as useful as tits on a fish.
Unf. Love this man. If you care to see more of his rants and encounters, along with some videos of his adorable dog, you can visit him here at Little Kiwi's Word Museum of Wonder and Terror.