I used to feel this way and in some instances I think that it stands. Celebrities, for example, should always come out with their homo flags flying. It’s important that media figures, artists, actors, actresses, musicians, and political figures come out with their gay guns blazing. It’s important that they show the world that they’re comfortable in their homo skin and it shows America and the world that gay comes in many different forms. When celebrities come out it allows small town girl in Michigan that there are people out there who are like her, who are different, who are gay.
I feel the same way about showing positive images of women, people of color, and other minorities on television. It doesn’t help society when all blacks are portrayed as absent minded, drug addict gang bangers. Showing Asians as smart, good-doer prudes and Latinos as knife swinging, tequilla drinking thugs. Just as gay men prancing around in glitter and tights don’t do gays any good. Fact of the matter is that there are limp wristed gay boys, black men and women in gangs, Mexicans swigging tequilla, and an Asian girl getting into Princeton with her perfect SAT scores and GPA. The vast majority of minorities fall in the middle, though. Don’t we?
When you have positive images in the media of minority people it allows you to see a projection of yourself or a projection of who you aspire to be. It is for this reason that I get angry when the media keeps shoveling the same bullshit down our throats. It’s also why I stood on the side of come out ,be proud. Until those teenagers took their lives for being who they are. My tune has shifted a bit because it’s not always safe to come out and be who you are. I applaud those young boys in glee club who wave their homosexual flag for the world to see. I love the teen who refused to attend prom if not on the arm of her girlfriend. On the other hand, there are so many different places and spaces where being gay, or perceived to be gay is like standing in front of a firing squad.
Growing up, I knew that I was gay. I can remember my first realization when I had my first job at 15 at a local hotdog chain. My boss and I were closing and she leaned over. I could see down her shirt and she wasn’t wearing a bra. Her breasts were small and perfect and the moment my eyes caught sight of her perfectly perky pink nipples there was an immediate warmth and aching in my shorts I never felt when I was in the back seat of a car making out with the pimply faced boyfriend I had. I knew I was gay and waited 13 years to come out later. It’s not that Toledo, Ohio was an anti-gay place, I just wasn’t ready to admit who I was.
After the alarming number of recent suicides I’m feeling a little different. I love Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project but on the other hand, I think that keeping kids safe is more important. Schools need to have better laws, restrictions, and groups that support LGBTQ and questioning students. Gay and Straight alliances aren’t an option in this day in age, they are required just as the Math Club or Student Council are mainstays of high school life. There needs to be more safe spaces for LGBTQ youth to go to when they feel like there is no place to turn and parents need to come to the reality that their children may be gay. Education on so many levels is severely lacking in our country and gay issues is one of the areas. In the public school system, tolerance doesn’t need to be taught, acceptance needs to be the norm. Lastly, so many of us, me included, need to do something to make it better for kids instead of waiting for someone to pick up the slack for us.