Things That Matter

Right-Wing YouTuber Threw Homophobic And Racist Insults At A Gay Reporter And YouTube Did Nothing

YouTube has long claimed to have zero tolerance for hate speech, cyberbullying, or discrimination. But one journalist’s recent Tweet storm has shown that the video platform really isn’t enforcing its own policies to prevent it.

So today, YouTube announced that it will prohibit videos that promote discrimination. To make things even more complicated, today’s announcement comes less than 24 hours after YouTube said they wouldn’t take any action.

All of this drama started when Carlos Maza, who works as a journalist at Vox, uploaded

videos and tweets showing how much anti-gay and anti-Latino bullying and discrimination he was facing from the YouTube community.

This is one of his tweets that started the entire conversation around YouTube and its role in preventing online harassment.

Credit: @gaywonk / Twitter

Carlos Maza spoke up about harassment he’s experienced from YouTuber Steven Crowder and his fans.

In a Twitter thread, Maza explained that after each episode of his Vox show ‘Strikethrough’, he will “wake up to a wall of homophobic/racist abuse on Instagram and Twitter.”

He called out “mind-melting” levels of homophobia he experiences on YouTube, a platform that prides itself on being an inclusive, queer-friendly site.

Credit: @gaywonk / Twitter

The platform is even celebrating Pride month by changing its own YouTube profile picture. But they won’t protect the LGBTQ community from hateful speech and online bullying.

This is just one of the many examples Maza shared on Twitter.

There are many videos and examples of obvious homophobia and anti-Latino sentiment in Crowder’s videos. But YouTube originally declined to do anything about it.

Like, really YouTube, this shirt wasn’t enough to classify as hateful speech?!

Credit: @gaywonk / Twitter

I mean I don’t think homophobia gets clearer than wearing a shirt that says “socialism is for f*gsI How much proof did they want?

Maza even put YouTube on blast among other LGBTQ YouTubers.

Credit: @gaywonk / Twitter

He’s absolutely right though. I mean how can YouTube say they have the LGBTQ community’s back but then allow harmful hate speech?

Other’s chimed in adding that much of the speech Crowder was using was so blatantly homophobic they were shocked YouTube wasn’t acting.

Credit: @dylanmatt / Twitter

YouTube’s harassment policy, states that “content that makes hurtful and negative personal comments/videos about another person” is not allowed on the platform.

Maza calls out the video hosting service in the Twitter thread for not only allowing Crowder to continue to make content, but also for making money off of him. “YouTube is designed to give those a**holes a megaphone, push new followers in their directions, and keep them listening. It’s a weapon,” Maza wrote in the thread.

YouTube first responded to the controversy saying they wouldn’t take any actions against Crowder or similar content.

Credit: @TeamYouTube / Twitter

On Tuesday, in a series of tweets, YouTube said that Crowder’s near-constant harassment of Maza contained “hurtful” language, but that it did not violate its policies. This left many confused because according to YouTube, they have a policy against hate speech. If this wasn’t hate speech then what was it?

Apparently, according to YouTube, calling someone a “lispy queer” is just debating.

Credit: @gaywonk/ Twitter

That response had people outraged.

Then after major public outcry, YouTube reversed its decision less than 24 hours later.

Credit: @THR / Twitter

On Wednesday, YouTube announced that it will prohibit videos that promote discrimination or segregation based on things like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. Thousands of channels are expected to be affected by the policy change but it’s not clear if Crowder’s account will be affected.

The post also said that the platform will be reducing what it calls “borderline content, such as ”videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, or claiming the earth is flat.”

It’s great that YouTube finally made the right choice to start enforcing their own policy against hate speech and cyberbullying. But what took them so long?

YouTube Has A New Star In This Abuelita Who Is Sharing Her Traditional Mexican Recipes With The World

Culture

YouTube Has A New Star In This Abuelita Who Is Sharing Her Traditional Mexican Recipes With The World

One of the downsides of online celebrity is the predictability of who will become an influencer. By now, influencers have created a well established culture and even an industry. Some of them even have PR agencies to manage their affairs! By now, influencers in sectors such as fashion and video games have established formulas for monetizing content. This leads to a creative rut and lack of originality, so it is always refreshing with a totally different type of influencer enters the stage!

Enter this abuelita who totally immerses us into her lovely ranch and the traditional cooking methods that are passed down through generations.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

You can´t get more authentic than that! Doña Ángela is from the great state of Michoacan, in Mexico. She has had an unexpected but very welcome success on social media. This is how she was introduced: leisurely walking among her crops.  

She opened the channel “De mi rancho a tu cocina” on August 19, 2019. And her viewership numbers will shock you!

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

In just over a month she has gathered over 300,000 followers and her videos (just 13 in total) have been watched over seven million times. There are plenty of influencer-wannabes who spend months, or even years, deploying carefully curated accounts and never get that kind of following. 

Her secret: absolute honesty and a sense of wholesomeness that is hard to fabricate.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

This glorious abuelita talks to her audience as if we all were her nietecitos chulos. She also loves her land and her cooking with a passion that is impossible to make up. The ingredients are all fresh and the rustic nature of her kitchen is the total opposite of pristine settings used in high-production YouTube cooking channels. In short: es la neta la abuelita. 

Just look at those gorditas fluffing up and up and up… 

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Seriously, if you are not salivating by now there is something seriously wrong with you… or you are not really into Mexican food. 

She walks us through every stage of the process with a nonchalant elegance.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

We love her classic abuelita apron and the way in which she truly enjoys putting classic dishes together. The video series is also an ode for simplicity: you don’t need fancy and expensive kitchen equipment to let magic happen. 

And just look at that sweet, happy, content expression.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

She has her gorditas just as she liked them, con poquita lechuga. Can we just move in with her already?

This is organic AF, ok?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Our amazing cooking master just walks to her crops and harvests flor de calabaza. If you want to buy it at a fancy hipster grocer te va a salir en un ojo de la cara. Hers is a true connection to the soil and an intuitive knowledge of nature. You can’t get more organic than that despite whatever certification or what-e-ver. 

And she prepares whole menus: atolito to go with that fresh flor de calabaza?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

What sommeliers call “pairings” she simply calls the best way to enjoy dishes. With a delicious traditional beverage 

Look at that traditional comal…

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Complete with coal and the marks left behind by countless sessions in the kitchen. 

Damn, that salsa has gotten our juices flowing.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

We are talking about saliva, malpensados, puercos estos. 

And what about a delicious breakfast of eggs bathed in salsa?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

She, of course, gets the eggs from her ranch as well. We seriously can’t think of a better way to wake up. Move over avocado on toast! This is the real deal, ese! 

And look at that pot brewing cafe de olla.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Imagine waking up to the aroma of a hot clay pot containing coffee with piloncillo and spices…. it is like dessert in a cazuelita and Mexico’s answer to all those over-the-top Starbucks jaladas. Give us a cafecito de olla over a frapuccino anytime!

Could she be the beginning of a trend?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

We certainly hope so! The more we know about REAL Mexican grub, the better!

Because classics never get old.

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Here she is making arroz a la mexicana, red Mexican rice as the gringos call it. 

Can it get any better?

Credit: YouTube / De mi rancho a tu cocina

Spoiler alert: it can’t.

Founder Of Nation’s Largest Conversion Therapy Group For Gay People Has Come Out As A Gay Man And Why Aren’t We Surprised

Things That Matter

Founder Of Nation’s Largest Conversion Therapy Group For Gay People Has Come Out As A Gay Man And Why Aren’t We Surprised

Laura Williams / Unsplash

McKrae Game, the founder of one of the country’s largest conversion therapy programs has come out as gay and has apologized for the damage he has caused. No apology will ever be enough. Conversion therapy is nothing short of issuing psychological warfare on an innocent person because of who they love and who they are. 

According to the Human Rights Campaign, LGBTQ+ young people who are “highly rejected” by their caregivers compared to those who are not, are eight more times likely to have attempted suicide, six times more likely to have depression, three times more likely to use illegal drugs, and three times more likely to be at high risk for HIV and STDs. 

Anything short of acceptance of LGBTQ+ people puts their lives at risk. Moreover, it is nothing short of immoral and quite frankly, narcissistic to think you can decide who someone ought to be or that your opinion matters more than scientific evidence.

The result of rejection is LGBTQ+ children who hate themselves and grow up to hate other LGBTQ+ people. McKrae Game is a product of a bigotted society, it’s very sad, but he must be held accountable for inflicting so much more pain and trauma. 

Hope for Wholeness

McKrae Game, now 51, founded Hope for Wholeness, a faith-based conversion therapy in South Carolina, two decades ago. Game married a woman and preached to thousands of people that they could change their sexual orientation, all the while being gay himself. 

In 2017, he was abruptly fired by Hope for Wholeness’ board of directors. This summer he came out and severed ties with the organization. 

“I was a religious zealot that hurt people,” Game told the Post and Courier. “People said they attempted suicide over me and the things I said to them. People, I know, are in therapy because of me. Why would I want that to continue?”

Conversion Therapy Is a for-profit business. 

Game has not just hurt thousands of LGBTQ+, he has profited from that pain. That pain was his livelihood. Even in his Facebook apology, Game announced an upcoming book about his journey. Will he be refunding all of the money stolen from families? Will he be paying back damages for pain and suffering? I haven’t located any such declaration. 

“Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful,” Game said. “Because it’s false advertising.”

While it is unclear how many people have been “counseled” by Hope for Wholeness, an IRS Form 990 from 2007 revealed the ministry had administered 528 counseling sessions and held 60 group meetings that year. Game believes they’ve hurt thousands.

“I created it all,” Game said of Hope for Wholeness. “We have harmed generations of people.”

Things are changing.

In 2014, nine former founders and leaders of conversion therapy programs published a letter on the National Center for Lesbian Rights. 

“As former ex-gay leaders, having witnessed the incredible harm done to those who attempted to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, we join together in calling for a ban on conversion therapy,” they wrote. “It is our firm belief that it is much more productive to support, counsel, and mentor LGBTQ individuals to embrace who they are in order to live happy, well-adjusted lives.”

According to a 2018 study by UCLA’s Williams Institute, roughly 700,000 LGBTQ+ people have undergone conversion therapy. In 2018, the Trevor Project launched “50 Bills in 50 States,” a lobbying campaign to pass legislation barring conversation therapy on minors. Today 18 states and Puerto Rico have laws banning and regulating the use of conversion therapy on minors.

Conversion Therapy does not work.

Some caregivers may believe that they are giving a child the best chance at a good life by trying to “straighten” them out to spare them the bigotry and adversity that comes with being marginalized. Point blank, there is no scientific evidence that suggests you can change someone’s sexual orientation.

In 2007, an American Psychological Association task force examined the existing research to determine if conversion therapy was effective, they concluded that the “results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through sexual orientation change efforts (SOCEs).”

Where do we go from here?

There is this pervasive myth that when someone really hates LGBTQ+ people they must be a member of the community themselves. This harmful stereotype attributes the oppression of LGBTQ+ people to themselves. That’s unlikely and offensive. The reality is that when the dominant culture asserts cis-heterosexuality as the only acceptable form of love LGBTQ+ people internalize those harmful messages and worst of all, start to believe it. 

If you are convinced who you are is wrong then the only form of self-improvement is changing yourself, and when you can’t, you inevitably blame yourself even more. This is how trauma is formed and passed onto others. Acceptance is the only answer. Acceptance is the only effective liberation.