Perhaps he felt inspired by Mark Sanford's apology, or fears being charged with a hate crime, but something came over Perez Hilton tonight, as he took to his website and offered a self-congratulatory apology for being a heinous jackass.
People make mistakes. I have made many in my life, but this past week I have made more than I can count on one hand.
I am sorry. And I mean it. No one is forcing me to write this. I am not feeling pressured to say this. I am speaking out because I realize that the last few days have been more hurtful to me - and many others - than the repeated blows I suffered to my head in Toronto this past weekend.
I have been filled with incredible sadness and regret.
I am sorry that any good work I have done for promoting equality may be tainted by me reclaiming a hurtful word - that's been personally used against me and the gay community - to hurt someone that was verbally attacking me. It was stupid.
Apologizing for me is not easy. Writing this was not easy. Life is not easy. But everything happens for a reason and I will take away a lot of valuable lessons from this experience.
Violence is never the answer. Never.
Victims should not be mocked.
The "F" word will never be uttered from my lips again. Just as others use the "N" word to insult and hurt - or as part of their everyday speech - I challenge them to remove it from their vocabulary as well.
Hindsight is always 20/20, they say. I should have been the bigger man and walked away from an unfortunate situation. Instead, I chose - in a very misguided way - to stand up for myself and only made things worse by how I - under pressure and diress - handled the situation.
I am sorry.
I am NOT apologizing to GLAAD. I could care less about them, my former employers.
I am apologizing to the gay community, to anyone who was hurt by my my choice of words, and to all the people who have ever emailed me to thank me for all that I have done to fight for gay rights over the last few years.
I have reached out to Isaiah Washington, someone I incorrectly labeled a homophobe in the past, despite his own public statements that he was not.
I will be donating any moneys collected from my lawsuit against Polo Molina, road manager for the Black Eyed Peas, to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
And I will continue to speak out for equality and support the great work done by LGBT organizations, such as LAMBDA Legal and HRC.
Though Hilton's apology may be sincere, it's almost impossible not to view it with some skepticism. Valid questions to consider: Is he doing this out of fear that his "brand" is rapidly eroding because of his recent behavior? Or is this a contrived "good faith" gesture he hopes will ward off any possible criminal charges against him in Canada for violating section 319 of that country's criminal code, the one titled "Public Incitement of Hatred," punishable by up to two years in prison? The law, which would seem to cover Hilton's hurling of a violence-inciting gay slur at Will.I.Am, is described here by the CBC:
Section 319 deals with publicly stirring up or inciting hatred against an identifiable group based on colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. It is illegal to communicate hatred in a public place by telephone, broadcast or through other audio or visual means. The same section protects people from being charged with a hate crime if their statements are truthful or the expression of a religious opinion.
The law (subparagraph 718.2(a)(i), to be specific) encourages judges to consider in sentencing whether the crime was motivated by hate of: the victim's race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or any other similar factor.
The crime of "publicly inciting hatred" has four main elements. To contravene the Code, a person must:
* communicate statements,
* in a public place,
* incite hatred against an identifiable group,
* in such a way that there will likely be a breach of the peace.
Now, we're not sure if Canadian authorities are even considering any action against him, but wouldn't it be an interesting twist of fate if Perez Hilton were the person actually faced with doing jail time here?