I have been a vocal critic of Perez Hilton for the past few years for his merciless shaming of celebrities and their children. In 2007, I coined the name The Queen of Homophobic Mania to parody the meglo Queen of All Media moniker. He has made his fame and millions by being cruel to others and staging horrendous publicity stunts. Between the name-calling and hijacking of Toronto's 911 system among other things, Perez Hilton has become a man that is very easy to hate.
This week, Mr. Queen popped on the Ellen Show to discuss his shameful ways. In the interview, he stated that he will be making a concentrated effort to stop humiliating others. He says he understands the skepticism but wants to change because his image in the gay community is that of a pariah. Watch and listen:
I really want to believe that Perez is going to try to stop being outwardly idiotic, but I'm thinking it may not be for selfless reasons. I think that he has realized that his image is so awful that he no longer fits in. The world has decided to step up against a big, insecure bully and Perez has realized that the menace they're all talking about is him. Perez Hilton has come to the realization that his star is fading and the only way to hold on is fame is to stop his menacing, particularly of children.
While I do not believe Perez has had an authentic, feeling epiphany; it is good to see that he is acknowledging his character flaws in public. If he witnesses enough positive reinforcement, maybe he'll actually work to change what is so horribly hurting in his soul. Even if it's just that he's been called out by the celebrities he admires that inspire him to look inside, it is a good thing. All the little things do matter and even if all he does is chill out on the public hatred, it's worth it.
It's not up to me to decide for you whether or not Perez Hilton is a changed man but I will say that sometimes a bully just needs to see the ramifications in order to cease. Even after the heinous actions stop, there is much work to be made to change the internal insecurities that make the bully behave in such awful ways. The process of becoming a decent human being is slow and methodical and sometimes very painful, and I sincerely wish for him to persevere. The world will be watching because the child that grew up to become Perez Hilton is an example of our generation's extreme internet villain.
I hope for Perez' sake that at some point the introspection has a positive effect on the scared little boy that became the Queen of Homophobic Mania.
A personal post with links to a bounty of helpful websites and phonelines can be found here.