Whatever!? - Page 2

Parsing the homophobia of "UR So Gay"

It's dumb and juvenile, and it makes straight women who watch their homophobia emerge when they lash out at men look bad. And much like Howard Stern and his ilk's supposedly playful trash talking, that doesn't mean it's not hateful.

Of course, that's not how Perry, a 23-year-old Santa Barbara native and star of Gym Class Heroes' "Cupid's Chokehold" video, whose music has appeared on MTV's The Hills and Oxygen's Fight Girls, sees it. The song, she said in a phone interview, is "provocative, and my mouth is a loose cannon. I speak my mind. I get into trouble." She sees herself in line with Lauper, Joan Jett, and "girls who aren't afraid to take chances" — though you can't ever imagine Lauper or Jett warbling "UR So Gay"<0x2009>'s lines.

Perry wrote the song, she said, after "I was finally dumped by my ex shortly after a breakup that lasted twice as long as the relationship — you know how that goes." Stymied for a chorus, she said, she just blurted in frustration, "Oh, he's so gay!" and at the urging of her roommate she made that the hook. "If you listen to the song, it's not associated with sexuality," Perry said. "It's about guys who use flatirons and gayliner. The general feeling when I play that song is that everyone's laughing and singing along, and I've had girls come up to me and say, 'I've had that boyfriend — thank you, homegirl, for writing that song!' The positivity of the song means it's not a negative thing."

It's all positivity when you're not gay, of course, and Perry isn't suffering negatively on any level: this spring the song will usher in a full-length, which the songwriter worked on with Glen Ballard (Alanis Morissette, No Doubt), Dave Stewart (the Eurythmics), and Dr. Luke (Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne), among others. "Having a record release is a phenomenon these days because the music industry is a crumbling Babylon," Perry explained. Whatever it takes to rise above The Hills.

Also from this author

  • Women with movie cameras

    Cheers to CAAMFest's crop of female Asian American film directors

  • Spiking the box office

    THE YEAR IN FILM: Looking back at a triumphant year for African American films

  • Not from around here

    French synth-pop giants Phoenix and Daft Punk tap into the alien within

  • Also in this section

  • Peace-out

    After seven rockin' years, Sonic Reducer bids adieu with a look back at some choice musical moments

  • Feel the 'Love

    Rosily buzzing U.K. outfit the Big Pink gets it, Carly Simon and all

  • Sly 'n' sincere

    Don't confuse this Brit with Britney. Plus: Midlake and Barn Owl and Daniel Higgs