** This post is stitched together like Frankenstein from a comment I made on the original Barba post. **
I kinda knew my interview with Kevin Michael Barba would stir up strong feelings considering the relish with which commenters disemboweled him in the initial Gawker piece on that stomach-turning letter used to introduce him to the world. I mean, "18yo gay socialite" is like chum in the water.
But I find a chunk of the responses to be a real embarrassment—much worse than the harm they're accusing Barba of causing simply by existing and having an ego and a youthful desire to achieve notoriety.
Let me start by saying I actually take no issue with all the commenters who simply are not at all impressed—especially (but not exclusively) for older people, there is no real reason why he would be inspiring. So those criticisms are pretty expected and self-explanatory and I get them.
First, anyone who's attacking him for his nose or his hair or his clothes while saying he's not deserving of being a role model is kind of saying, "He's sooo shallow...and ugly, too!" I mean, look at your logic.
Criticize him for being naive in thinking just getting to where he is so far is a sign of "success"—but attacking how he looks? How exactly does that make him unworthy?
More deliciously, we have commenters calling him a lesbian, a girl, a transvestite and over on YouTube insulting him for being "femme," something our community "tends to shy away from." Are you guys out of your gourds? You're fucking gay. You suck penises. We all do. So what if he is more effeminate than you are (assuming he even is)? Why on earth would that bug you? The drags at Stonewall wore dresses. So?