Dave Holmes, an openly gay TV personality and feature writer for Esquire.com, has published an open letter admonishing Kid Rock for his free and thoughtless use of the word “gay” while doing press for his new album First Kiss. According to Holmes, this is because, in addition to promoting his Warner Bros Records debut, Rock has used the available media platforms to exclaim that the free right of him, and his high school age son, to use “gay” in the pejorative sense, meaning “foolish, silly, and less worthy”, has been compromised by a wave of unreasonable political correctness.
In the letter Holmes proceeds to explain to Kid how wrongly placed his feelings are. After acknowledging that a large portion of the “Picture” singer’s issue regarding political correctness and the improper use of the word gay seems to be rooted in the fact that it is discouraged at the Malibu school of Kid Rock’s son, Holmes then categorically breaks down how the improper use of “gay” affects young people coming to terms with their sexuality, and explains to the singler why the school is right to step in. Providing vivid detail that clearly pulls from his own struggles growing up, Dave’s described the difficulty and venerability of that journey in a well articulated way that we think would be universally understood by anyone that reads his words, gay or straight.
We found the stance he took with Esquire particularly poignant because we remember that the “Wanna Be A VJ” contestant turned network personality knew Kid Rock personally from his work on popular shows like Total Request Live. We felt compelled to share a linked excerpt of the letter below. Please read.
Dear Kid Rock,
Congratulations on your new album! You’re everywhere these days promoting it and, while I wish you the best and baddest of luck, I can’t help but notice that right in there with “First Kiss is a return to form” and “Kid Rock is a real American badass,” a key element of your marketing campaign seems to be “it’s fun to use the word ‘gay’ as a pejorative.” You told TMZ that selfies are “so gay.” In an interview with the Guardian, you called rap-rock “gay.” You regaled Howard Stern the other day with a story about how miserable and oppressed your son felt in a Malibu high school that hung a single sign forbidding the use of the word “gay” as an insult, and how you shared a moment of father-son bonding over how gay the sign itself was. “If someone says you can’t say ‘gay’ like that, you can tell them to go fuck themselves,” you assured us in your Guardian op-ed piece. “You’re not going to get anything politically correct out of me.”
Well, that’s not exactly true. If you define “political correctness” as “watching your mouth so as not to offend the sensibilities of the people around you,” we actually get a megadose of political correctness from you every time one of your singles gets a radio edit. You can’t say “fuck” on television or on the radio, so you don’t, and I’ve never heard you complain about anyone coming for your fucks. You give that right up willingly when it benefits you, and you know that you do.
Click here to read the complete letter.