Tonight, Real Housewives of New Jersey diva Teresa Giudice is scheduled to headline “Get Ready to Sleigh: A Toys for Tots Event” in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. The event is at the restaurant and bar Valanni. While not specifically a “gay bar,” the hot-spot does cater to a large LGBT clientele and hosts a number of events promoted by the local queer community.
“We’re seeing gay bars being taken over by heterosexuals and continuing to fail at getting their diversity problems right, and we ask, how does this keep happening?” DJ Sharyn Stone told Philadelphia magazine. “It happens when we invite Trump-supporting housewives into our spaces and give them paychecks with our gay money.”
Philadelphia magazine journalist Ernest Owens points out:
“I feel uncomfortable with Teresa making money off of LGBTQ people Trump wants to take their rights away from,” a Valanni employee said off the record to Owens. “When I found out she was coming this week, I was not as excited as some of the other staff were.”
But not everyone is up in arms about the appearance. Freelance writer and Hornet contributor Michael Cook defended the event.
In a Facebook post sharing Owens’ article, Cook defended Teresa Giudice:
I’ve interviewed and spent time with Teresa Giudice a number of times. At no time, did we discuss politics or her political views on anything. The time I spent with her was to promote a new season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey or one of her books. We chatted about her kids, Jersey, and during our last chat, how much she loved the LGBT community. While you may not agree with her politically and you may disagree with her short sighted comments on sexual assault, the event’s purpose is much larger than her and definitely much larger than the writer.
This event is a Toys for Tots event. For children. During the holiday season. For the writer to try to use the event to make a far-reaching political point and gain some followers and attention on social media is beyond disgraceful. In polarizing times like the ones we are living in, we don’t have to agree at all, and many of us frequently don’t. One thing I think we can agree on though, is that during the holidays specifically, “good will towards men” would extend to everyone, specifically children.