After apologizing for his offensive homophobic rant last week, Tracy Morgan continued his bid for public redemption and forgiveness yesterday, June 13, when he spoke with The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to announce his plans to become an LGBT ally. During the announcement, Morgan also revealed painful details about his past including his own run-ins with bullies and his father’s AIDS-related death.
“I know how bad bullying can hurt,” Morgan said. “I was bullied when I was a kid. I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean it. I never want to use my comedy to hurt anyone. My family knew what it was like to feel different. My brother was disabled, and I lost my father to AIDS in 1987.
“My dad wasn’t gay, but I also learned about homophobia then because of how people treated people who were sick with that. Parents should support and love their kids no matter what. Gay people deserve the same right to be happy in this country as everyone else. Our laws should support that.”
Morgan lamented that he hopes both the LGBT community and those closest to him can forgive him for his homophobic statements.
“I hope that my fans — gay, straight, whatever — forgive me, and I hope my family forgives me for this.”
In becoming an ally, Morgan announced that, this week, he will meet with LGBT teens who were isolated or left homeless by their parents as well as parents of slain LGBT kids who were killed in hate crimes.
And while Morgan has received criticism from the likes of Chris Rock and Tina Fey, the repentant comedian found his own ally in hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who, next week, will accompany Morgan and GLAAD to Tennessee where the comedian will meet with those he offended during his comedy routine as well as make an announcement about how he will support the LGBT community.
“In the years that I have known Tracy, I’ve only ever known him to want to make people happy. This experience might be a blessing. The amount of pain he caused has resulted in a new sensitivity for him that he can now use to bridge communities,” said Simmons. “I’m proud to be a straight American who spends time advocating for the LGBT community and for marriage equality. I’m happy to have another ally in Tracy. People like Tracy Morgan need to speak out against homophobia, and I hope more leaders within the black community and everywhere speak out in support for marriage equality like he has.”
Besides his public appearances, Morgan will also film a PSA as part of GLAAD’s upcoming ‘Amplify Your Voice’ PSA campaign.
“By not only apologizing, but sending a message of support for gay and transgender people, Tracy will help many realize that no one should be treated differently or subjected to violence,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “It is so important that Americans hear from allies like him as well as gay and transgender youth shunned by their families and parents who have lost their only children to anti-gay violence. We look forward to working with him on spreading this message to Americans.”
Morgan may not be redeemed just yet, but, at least, he’s on the right path and, hopefully, others will learn to be more accepting through his journey. –nicholas robinson