By Roxanne Timan, Managing Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster
This past weekend my friends and I stopped by a party on the way to a bar to say hello to some friends. We got there late and scanned the basement of drunken, sweaty partiers, as we stood in the corner, eagerly inching towards the door. After final goodbyes and sloppy hugs, we walked out into the crisp spring night, down porch steps, when I stated “Let’s go girls” in my best Shania Twain impression.
Unofficially named a queer anthem adopted by queer people worldwide, ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’ by Twain has made its rounds in gay bars and dance clubs, no matter if it’s “country” or not. The first twang of the guitar makes girls scream and grab one another’s wrists to yank them to the dance floor. That is, until this past week.
Twain’s reign in the gay world came to an abrupt halt after mentioning in an interview that, if she were an American citizen, she would have voted for president Donald Trump.
Donald Trump, the man who attempted to strip transgender military members of their status, joked about his vice president wanting to “hang” gay people, argued anti-gay discrimination in the workplace is legal, and axed the whole Presidential Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS all within his first year of office.
Obviously, all stars have their slip-ups, but her explanation for the statement is that “he seemed honest.” Does that include all the racist, sexist tirades during his campaign? Does “grabbing someone by the pussy” follow the morals put together by the song that made you such a sensation, a song played in drag bars across America as a sign of escape from the identities that most drag queens must portray during the day?
Oh yeah, this past week Twain also appeared on one of the highest viewed gay reality shows, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’ The show is a competition for drag queens to show their personalities and talents in order to make it out on top, introducing a once underground gay scene to a wider audience of straight women and LGBTQIA+ folk mainly.
Her disinterest in the stars while two pranced around on stage to her previously mentioned chart-topping fitting hit, already gave viewers a sour taste in their mouths, and this endorsement was the ignition on the implosion of her career in the community.
One of the most popular tweets on the subject by user @perryduff285 explains, “Shania Twain is a Trump supporter... I’m devastated. Right after her appearance on ‘Drag Race’ too, now we know why she looked so disgusted all the time. Thought it was just her reserved personality #shaniatwaincancelled.”
In past columns, I have pointed out how we must be consistent in our values, that if we diss one celebrity for something we deem inappropriate or wrong, that we must do this to all celebrities or none. This tricky dichotomy is tough to bear, but as someone with such a gay following, it feels like a stab in the back for Twain to publicly endorse someone who has proved to be hateful to the queer community.
Even with an apology, it seems like Twain has taken a tumble that can’t really be resolved. In the meantime, I would suggest looking the other way and maybe looking to Canadian sensations Nelly Furtado or even Alanis Morissette, both big gay allies with potential pro-gay hits. I believe ‘Promiscuous’ is a definite gay banger, even if it’s a bit ironic, don’t ya think?