Haters gonna hate, but not Cassie… at least, not anymore

Hello, my babies! I hate to say it, but I use the word “hate” a lot. I say, “Oh my God, I hate him” or “She is so annoying — I hate her.” Well, I have decided that I am really going to work on that. “Hate” is such a strong word and usually, it is not what I mean. There is so much hate and negativity in the world. We live in a “hate” culture. Most of the time when I say “hate,” what I really mean is “I am slightly annoyed with a person so I exaggerate my feelings.” We as gay people tend to be slightly more dramatic about … well… everything. I know I can be.

I’m not saying that I will never hate anything again, but I am going to try to reserve that word for things I actually, viscerally hate — like ISIS, child molesters and Trump supporters. See, even the Trump supporters line I just typed is not true, but I said it so easily. I do not hate Trump supporters. They worry me and make me shake my head in a very “bless their hearts” kind of way. It’s just so easy to say “hate.”

My girl Valerie Lohr has even tried for years to get me to stop saying hate when she knew that was not what I really meant. I wish I said “love” as much as I say “hate.” What I am now realizing, as I write this, is that I use the word “hate” mostly to describe people. I can go see a mediocre movie and find good things to say about it rather than just saying, “meh, it wasn’t great but I liked the music or that one actor that is so damn fine.” I can find redeeming qualities in movies … but I don’t do the same thing for people? I guess I really need to work on myself. We all love to say STOP HATE, but do we listen to the advice we give others?

On that subject, I hate what comedian/actress Leslie Jones has been going through. If you don’t know Leslie Jones, she is a tall, talented, hilariously fierce actress. She is a writer and cast member on Saturday Night Live, she was in the Ghostbusters reboot this summer and if you have not watched her comedy special Problem Child, go watch it now. It is brilliant. Oh, and her #SlayAllDay Tweets were one of my favorite things about the Olympics.

Leslie has been cyber-bullied on Twitter. She was called racial slurs and other names. Her website was hacked and her personal information was released. Her driver’s license and passport were posted for all to see. The people that did this to her, I do hate. Anyone that will sit anonymously, clickity-clacking away behind the safety of a keyboard, deserve to be hogtied and branded as a bigot. I just don’t understand why someone would go through the trouble of doing something so mean to someone they obviously know nothing about. I don’t personally know Leslie Jones, but in my head, she and I are besties. We talk and text everyday about boys, eggplant Friday and funny animal videos. But seriously, my heart truly hurts for her.

Here are a few things I would like to do to the Twitter Twats that attacked my girl Leslie Jones.
No. 1. Paint their faces to look like soccer balls and bury them up to their necks in a vacant field near a high school in Brazil.
No. 2. Put their feet in concrete, let it set, dress them as a rodeo clown and drop them in the middle of a TGRA bull riding completion.
No. 3. Paper cuts… on their penises! Then accidently spill Icy Hot on their laps.
No. 4. Any of the punishments from the movie Se7en. I’ll show you what’s in the box, bitch!
No. 5. Pissed-off fire ants to the face!

The sad fact of is, one mean person can overshadow all of the love you get. A few weeks ago at one of my shows, a friend of mine told me he saw a guy roll his eyes and say, “I just hate her.” A little later, while I was performing, I passed by him and touched his shoulder. I was told that he shuddered in revulsion.

Until I heard that, I was having the absolute best night. I went out, did my thing. I got some laughs. I was told I looked sickening by a bunch of people. I was told by a guy that had been having a really rough week, that I was funny and that I helped bring him out of a funk and put him in a good mood. Good feels, good vibes and compliments galore. But the thing that stuck with me that night as I drove home was the eye rolling Cassie Nova hater.

I get it: Not everybody is gonna like you but him saying he hates me without even knowing me made me rethink the word hate. Hopefully, I am just a mild annoyance to him. Maybe he was once scared by a big red headed lady and I bring back bad memories. Oooh, maybe he was traumatized by Ronald McDonald. After all I am just a sexier, more contoured version of a clown.

I hate that I let this random nameless guy that I never even laid eyes on, affect me at all. I thought about his negativity all that night — hell, I’m still thinking about it. My good girlfriend Kelexis gave me some good advice. She said, “It’s your name that is in his mouth and you don’t even know who he is. Keep it that way. Don’t give him any power over you.” That is easier said than done. We all want to be liked, loved and respected. Even an ego-driven ballsy, brash drag queen. Thick skin doesn’t come naturally. It is something you have to work hard to develop.

If I could say anything to the beautiful Miss Leslie Jones, I would say let the love you receive outweigh the hate. In all you do. Take those negative comments and the horrible bullshit those cowards say and put in in a box in your mind. Take that box and wrap it in chains and throw that box off a cliff into the deepest hole that has no end, never to be seen or thought of again. I know it’s easy to say but harder to do. The advice I give to you, Miss Jones, I give to myself. Shake them haters off. Quick and rough like a Band-Aid that has been on too long and gets matted in your hair. It only hurts for a second. Let the kind words and support you receive heal you. Heal you heart, heal your soul. Love and goodness will outweigh the bad if you let it.

I have an idea, Leslie my bestie: Take the negativity and ridiculousness you have experienced and write some jokes about it. You are one of the funniest people on the planet and if anybody can turn this shit funny, you can! Your heartfelt thank you to Whoopi Goldberg on The View showed us your heart. The way you have handled yourself during this mess has showed us your grace. You exude light and love with your quick tongue and edgy jokes. Your raunchy comedy speaks to my soul. I wanna be you when I grow up. Stay strong and SLAY ALL DAY!!!!

Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2016.