Gay Pride and Homophobia

Homophobia, the fear or dislike of gays and homosexuality, is not really a straight thing, as some people might think. In fact, I have concluded that your larger number of homophobes are not the straights at all, but the homosexuals themselves. I expect that there are more closet cases and latent queers in the world than there are real straights who are antigay, and they are the ones who perpetuate homophobic attitudes. For the straights who don’t like queers, it’s more a case of bigotry or mere ignorance on their part than homophobia.

Well-adjusted heteros, who are secure in their own sexual orientation, have no reason to fear or dislike the queers. We’re no threat to them. It’s the hypocritical, insecure gays (and that includes your fag bashers) who, because of their self-loathing and hatred and fear of themselves, use straight society’s persecution tactics to hide behind and to justify their latency. They come up with reasons why it’s better to play it straight than be true to themselves. That’s homophobia.

If being gay means a life of misery, unhappiness and lonely, unfulfilled relationships, then that must mean that all heterosexuals’ lives are uncomplicated with happy, perfect relationships. But we all know that there are many lonely, miserable, straight people in the world. Our life is what we make it, and although it may be influenced by our sexual orientation, it certainly is not defined or destined by it. And how can they be truly happy when trying to be what they are not?

Consider that the concept of gay pride is synonymous with self-respect. How do you expect to be accepted for being gay if you don’t even admit it to yourself? Just tell people, “This is who I am. Now deal with it.” These closet gays won’t come out to their families because “they don’t need to know that about me” or the fear that they will be ostracized or disowned. “I’m afraid that my parents won’t love me if I tell them that I am gay.“ That’s homophobia. Of course, it could and does happen, but I think that it’s worth the risk. I think that they do need to know that about you. Unenlightened parents need a period of adjustment themselves. You should realize that sometimes it’s just as hard for them as it was for you. But trust them enough to know that they will come around eventually to acceptance, just as you did, if you give them the chance.

Coming out to people close to you might initiate a discussion for understanding. The reason they have these negative opinions about gays is because nobody close to them has ever taken the time to tell them anything different. As long as it’s “someone else’s problem,” they don’t have to be concerned about it. You are doing each other a favor by educating them. They just might not hate all faggots and dykes if their own loving son or daughter is one.

Distraught parents of gay teenagers have been known to send them into therapy in the hope that the psychologists and psychiatrists will make the kids realize that they are not really gay but only going through a phase, when the parents should be the ones in counseling to address their own homophobia and lack of education. “We love you, son, that’s why we are trying to help you.“ Well, if you loved him, you would accept him as he is and not try to make him be something that you yourself can feel comfortable about. “Son, you are sick! You need help,“ is said as a disgusted accusation. So if he is “sick,” why are you so angry with him? Would they say the same thing if the kid had cancer or diabetes? He is still sick and needs help, but I don’t think Dad would blame him and consider that particular illness his own fault.

The youngsters aren’t the ones with the problem, necessarily. The problem lies with the parents and those who are being rejecting and non-supportive and absolutely clueless as to what being gay is all about. Instead of trying to get their sons and daughters to change into somebody they’re not, just to please their families, these parents should join a support group like P-FLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to learn about gay tolerance and acceptance.

Many gay teens have been disowned by the very people who are supposed to love and care for them unconditionally. How responsible is the parent who would willfully kick their own child out of the house just because they learned that the kid is gay? One mother beat her son with a baseball bat and told him that homosexuality is a sin. Uh, I think that beating your own child with a bat is what is sinful, bitch! “Get out of my house, Timmy. You’re going to burn in hell!” So where does a person who disowns their innocent, loving child think they are going after death? “Well, I’ll see you there, Mom!”

There is a common adage in Latino cultures that affirms, “Es mejor ser ladron que un maricon—It’s better to be a thief than a faggot.” They would prefer their child to be a criminal rather than be gay. Then these poor, homeless kids actually do turn to crime and prostitution in order to survive, and many don’t have the strength or resourcefulness to cut it out there in the world alone and end up being murdered or killing themselves instead.

Some closeted gays won’t tell their buddies because they don’t want to lose them as a friend. Another cop out. If they are a true friend, then that shouldn’t matter, should it? And if someone throws you down over a little thing like that, then they aren’t too much of a friend anyway. Wouldn’t you rather find out now so that you won’t have to waste your time with such a person? I don’t want someone to like me for who they think I am or who they would like me to be rather than for who I really am. Then there are the ones who tell you that they can’t come out at work because they are afraid of losing their jobs. Big cop out! I don’t buy any of these excuses. No job should be that important that you should sacrifice your integrity and true self. There are always other and better jobs.

Consider the situation from both sides for a moment. If someone actually fired you because they found out that you were gay, why would you want to be associated with somebody that petty, bigoted and narrow-minded anyway? Wouldn’t you rather work where you can be comfortable with yourself and not have to lie to everybody? On the other hand, as an employer, I would like to know if those working for me were gay or not. If a person willfully conceals their very identity from you, how can you trust them completely? What I am saying is that to know someone’s sexual orientation should not matter to you. Of course, it should not even be an issue in the workplace, or anywhere else for that matter, but since it is, let’s try to do something about it.

Heterosexual employees should know who their gay co-workers are just like the gay employees should know who is straight. If anything, once they get past their perceived bigotry, it should make for better working relationships. There are certain things that I would say to a gay person that I would not to a straight person, and vice versa. A sapphist would not be subjected to unwelcome advances and come-ons by the guys in the office, because they would know right offhand that they don’t have a chance with her. Your co-workers would not always be trying to fix you up with their straight friends if they know that you already have a same-sex lover at home. If their attempts to hook up with you are consistently turned down, they are going to suspect something about you anyway. So you might as well tell them the truth about yourself.

Some incidents of perceived sexual harassment might be excused if you know where people’s interests lie. If a male co-worker, who is gay, greets a woman regularly with, “Ooh, girl, you are working that outfit today, and those shoes are fierce!” she would not take that comment the same as if a lecherous, straight guy often tells her, “Hey, Sweet Thang! You sure are looking yummy today. Good enough to eat. Can I have some of that?”

Considering how many gays there are in the workforce, these bosses wouldn’t dare fire everybody! Who will be left to work for them? These closeted gays should have more confidence in themselves and their abilities and worth, and faith in their employers, for that matter. For example, openly-gay Hollywood mogul David Geffen has many gay people working in his company, but some still choose to remain in the closet out of shame and their own homophobia, not for fear of losing their jobs for being gay.

You know, the whole problem of being found out can be avoided if people are open and honest right from the beginning, at the time they take the new job. One doesn’t need to volunteer the information–they should be able to figure it out on their own–but if asked, they should admit it. I hate that tired old, hypocritical excuse by the Government that wants to deny employment to closeted gays for certain high-ranking positions because they are a “security risk” and “subject to blackmail.” Well, that’s the very reason to have one’s gayness out in the open! How can they be blackmailed if there is nothing that they consider scandalous to reveal about them? Besides, I don’t think that anybody (or most anyway) even cares anymore about who is gay or not, so that type of discrimination does not fly anymore. If one chooses to hide their being gay, that’s their own hangup. Don’t try to blame your reason for secrecy on others.

In case you don’t know or have not read my detailed account about them, The Flirtations [1986-1996], was the first and only, at the time, openly-gay acappella singing group, and everyone who came to any of our shows would become aware of that fact, if they didn’t know beforehand. We played to many straight audiences as well as gay ones and received many comments and letters from our het fans, telling us that they didn’t know much about gays or our lifestyle before, but after seeing us and getting to know us, it has made them more accepting and appreciative of gay people in general. We were accredited pioneers of the Gay Revolution of the 1990s.

One of our regular bits in our shows was to out certain members of our audience–not the gays, mind you, but the straights! We’d turn the tables on them by asking, “Are there any straight people here? Raise your hands! Come out, let’s see who you are.” There was hesitation at first, audience members looking around to see if there were any others like themselves there. When they were called out like that and learned that they were usually in the minority, they became very self-conscious and it began to sink in how we gays must feel in a similar situation. “What, are you ashamed to admit that you are straight?” Yes, the heterosexuals had a new attitude after attending one of our shows.

A sapphist-run boutique in Northampton, Mass., I suppose as an experiment, once offered a discount special for all sapphist shoppers. To take advantage of the 20% discount, all a woman had to do was admit that she is a sapphist. One apparently homophobic woman (I’m not saying that she was straight) approached the cashier with her purchases and was informed that a “lesbian” discount was in effect. “Are you a lesbian?” The poor woman gasped, clutched her pearls, stammered, “Well, I…uh…” “20% off! Are you a lesbian?” There was nobody else in the store. No witnesses. Who would know? Still she wouldn’t bring herself to say that she was a sapphist, as if that were the worst possible thing in the world that she could call herself. I wonder if no charge to her at all would have decided her. My mother told me that she would have done it. Hell, I would be a sapphist to get a discount!

A woman went to her gynecologist complaining about some green circles on the inner sides of both of her thighs. After examining her, the doctor asked, “Are you a sapphist?” The patient replied, “Uh, no, I’m not.” “Well, okay then. Apply this ointment as directed and come back to see me in a week.” A week later the woman returned to the doctor and upon examination found the green circles still to be present in the same place. The doctor asked her again, “Come on now, are you a sapphist?” The woman hesitated, then finally answered, “Well…I wasn’t honest with you before, Doctor. Okay, I admit it. I am a sapphist. But why do you ask?” The doctor replied, “Well, that explains your problem. Tell your girlfriend that those earrings of hers are not made of real gold.” Think about it.

We can go for long periods of time, years in many cases, leading a perfectly carefree existence, playing the game, doing what’s expected of us and what’s acceptable to the society in which we live. What happens, though, sometimes, when we finally decide to come clean and divulge little secrets about ourselves and/or others, things that still may be objectionable to some? There are certain aspects of our individual identities that we are not responsible for. They are our gender, our age, our ethnic origin and our sexual orientation. The first three are rather discernible in most cases, however there are exceptions, but the last aspect is not always so apparent. In the case of a gay person coming out to co-workers and other acquaintances, and even to family members and so-called loved ones, the onus of the revelation seems to be always on the confessor rather than the ones receiving this new “shocking” information.

What I mean is, like when a closeted gay man or a sapphist finally decides, after a long while, to stop lying to the people they care about, it is most often the gay person who is required to make all the adjustments. What has changed for that person? They are exactly the same person they were before they said anything and are not doing anything different. But now they are rejected, reviled, dismissed from their job, kicked out of their apartment, and have their children taken away from them. Why should their life have to change so drastically? If you don’t like working alongside a homosexual, living with or near one, having them teach your children, then why don’t you find another job where there aren’t any? Why don’t you move to another building where there aren’t any? Why don’t you send your children to a school that is absolutely queer-free? You make the necessary sacrifices, since you are the one with the problem. Why do we have to be the ones always to make the concessions and do all the compromising? It’s not we who need to change for society’s sake. It’s the homophobes who need to get their minds fixed.

The TV series “The Commish,” “Law and Order” and “NYPD Blue” have all done episodes with storylines about gay cops who were deliberately abandoned by their fellow officers while on duty during an arrest. The ironic absurdity and hypocrisy of their rationale is that the homophobic straight cops argued that the gay guys could not be depended upon to do their job when a dangerous situation occurred, when it was they who turned their backs on their gay partners and denied them proper backup when they needed help.

Of course, those old shows and episodes are quite outdated now. There is a new positive attitude towards gay characters on current shows. In addition to gay police officers, we now have openly-gay fire fighters and EMT workers, doctors, lawyers, elementary schoolteachers, every other occupation, and nobody gives a damn.

Look at the opposition that Dr. Tom Waddell faced from the U.S. Olympic Committee, when he tried to establish the Gay Olympics in 1982, their claiming that they had exclusive use of the word “Olympics” and that he was infringing upon their copyright. Of course, this was a bogus reason for the injunction, because there were already more than a dozen other Olympics, including the Special Olympics, the Police Olympics, the Armenian Olympics, the Eskimo Olympics, the Rat Olympics, and even the Crab-Cooking (!) Olympics, but the Committee just would not accept the Gay Olympics, and we eventually had to settle for “Gay Games.” Clearly a case of unjustified, homophobic bigotry. So what else is new?

What’s even more ironic about it is that the original Olympic Games (held from 776 B.C. to 388 A.D.) were made up almost entirely of gay athletes! Homosexuality during that time in Greece was neither looked down upon with disapproval nor otherwise ignored. In fact, it was freely encouraged. Virgins were forbidden any male contact until they married, therefore the men were all off-limits to them. Furthermore, the participants of the Games were the best-looking, most physically-fit men in the kingdom, so of course, they all had the hots for each other! Okay, you have these hot, horny, virile young jocks, all romping around together naked, with no access to any women. Now, what do you think they were doing with each other? It’s no different in other similar situations—prisons, boys’ schools, seminaries, Navy and pirate ships. Hello?!

Oh, yes, the Games were performed completely in the nude, by the way. The early Games was a religious event, you see, and the athletes were required to wear the “uniform of the gods” while competing. When the Olympics resumed 1508 years later, in 1896, of course, times had changed. But we seem now to have come full circle. I’m sure that there are still people who think that gay athletes are a novelty, though. 1994’s Gay Games IV brought in more than 11,500 participants from 44 countries. (I don’t have the latest statistics.) There were even several world records made and broken, as there have been every time. I think that an event of this magnitude should be taken seriously and given the same attention, funding, coverage and respect by the mainstream media as the other Olympics events. So, all you opinionated blowhards, know some history or at least something about your subject before you go spouting off your mouth about it.

I want to talk more about gays serving in the Armed Forces and why we are considered such a threat to the established status quo. So some of you straight men don’t want us in there, sharing barracks space with you and, God forbid, have to take showers with us? What, are you afraid that we might do to you what you have been doing to women for all times?! First of all, don’t flatter yourselves. We probably don’t want you anyway. We don’t normally prey on straight guys. With us, it has to be consensual. And unlike you, we are able to restrain ourselves. These het homophobes are directing their hate and distrust on the wrong people. They had better check out themselves and others like them.

Let’s take a look at the Navy’s Tailhook Scandal of 1991, when several female officers were sexually assaulted and harassed by their fellow male officers during a rowdy party. It was next to impossible for the Navy to bring charges against their own personnel. I mean, this was a traditional “guy thing,” you see. “So the men felt up you women’s asses and breasts a little bit. No reason for you to get all upset about it. Why do you want to make waves and cause trouble? After all, boys will be boys, heh heh heh.” Okay, Admiral, if that’s the way you feel about it, then you shouldn’t mind, do you, if the gay guys in your unit come on to the straight guys and feel them up in the shower? It’s a traditional “gay thing.” No reason for them to get all upset about it. Why do they want to make waves and cause trouble? After all, faggots will be faggots, heh heh heh (who are boys, too, aren’t they?). Yeah, let’s see how lenient and understanding the Navy Brass is about that!

Of course, this Navy atrocity is only one such incident. There are thousands of reported cases every year of female rape that occur in every branch of the military, and nobody is doing anything about it. Just like most every organized society, the Armed Forces is still a male-dominated structure, and if they could have their way, many of the men would like it to be exclusively male. But with more and more women taking an active part in the military and the corporate workforce in general, there is a great power struggle going on, and these chauvinistic, misogynistic men feel very threatened by this new crop of highly-qualified, confident women. They feel that the women need to be tamed, as it were, you know, cut down to size. “What that bitch needs is my dick up in her! That’ll make her behave!”

Of course, there are exceptions, like gay child molesters, but with them, women are not their targets. Your average sex offenders are more often heterosexual and misogynistic males. It’s insecure straight men that have little or no respect for women, not gay men. They are the ones who exploit, harass and degrade women, put out anti-feminist rap records, whistle and make catcalls (excuse me, I mean “mancalls”) and obscene gestures at them, grope their asses and crotches, try to control them and exert their power by seducing them into unwelcome submission, are guilty of stalking, cyber- and otherwise, send them phone pics of their dick, even when she didn’t ask to see it, beat up on them, commit rape, sometimes causing unwanted pregnancies, and sexually abuse others’ children as well as their own.

I, and every gay person I know, have never done any of those things. So why is it always we gay men who get the bad rep? We certainly have more respect for other people’s sexual orientation, and humanity in general, women included, than the male hets apparently have. The irony is that there is always this unwarranted hoopla of trying to keep the often celibate gay men and women (and now transgender individuals are being targeted) who haven’t done anything to anybody, out of the military, when they should be more concerned about keeping all those rapists and women abusers out instead? And they are so worried about us gays looking at their tired butts in the shower? How dare they! Such hypocrisy!

I love this next account. In the award-winning documentary Before Stonewall (1984) a woman is interviewed who served in the WACs (Women’s Army Corps) during the ‘60s. She relates that her particular unit alone was 98% sapphists. So one day her superior officer, a man, came to her and told her that he had gotten wind that there were some gay women among the ranks and requested that she compile a list of the suspected offenders. The woman let this man know right away that she would be at the top of the list and the name of his trusted secretary and confidante would be right below hers. She went on to ask him if he was willing to replace all his clerks, technicians, medical personnel, virtually the entire unit, who were the most efficient, competent, loyal people that he has ever known and were regularly cited and commended for their outstanding meritorial service, sure, she would make him up the list for him. He thought about it and then said, “Uh, never mind. Forget the list.”

It appears that physical as well as verbal gay-bashing is the last frontier of socially-accepted injustice. Whenever any other social group comes up against public negativity, it is met with moral outrage and support. But it’s still open season on queers. People are made to feel that they can say and do anything to us without receiving any peer recrimination, because, in most cases, they don’t.

The self-loathing homophobic gays do more disservice to our cause than help it. By not coming forward and speaking up, they give credence to the bad things said about us. If someone makes a disparaging remark about gays, they won’t defend it because people will think that they must be gay, too, or accused of being a sympathizer or of guilt by association. Well, so what if they do think that? Make a stand, share the stigma! American slavery probably never would have ended if the abolitionists were not willing to allow themselves to be called race traitors and “nigger-lovers” all the time.

There is a disturbing scene in Armistead Maupin’s Further Tales of the City, when the main gay character, Michael, and his straight friend and housemate, Brian, are attacked on the street by some young fag bashers. While Michael is being beaten himself, he tells the thugs who are pummeling Brian, “But he’s not gay!” So they should leave Brian alone and beat up only on the real faggot, then? How is that for self-hate, as if he is getting what he deserves? It’s all about perception. If you’re hanging out with a known faggot, then you must be, too, so expect to be treated accordingly. As RuPaul says at the end of all his shows, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here?”

(# …Oh, we’ll have fun, fun, fun… #)
(# …Ain’t we got fun!… #)
“Aw, come on, we’re just having a little fun!” Some males have some misguided ideas about what fun is. It doesn’t matter who is hurt or inconvenienced, as long as they get their kicks. It’s “fun” to get stinking, fallen-down drunk, until you pass out or until you kill somebody while driving. It’s “fun” to gamble and squander your family’s life savings away. It’s “fun” to bully, harass, deride and humiliate your peers. It’s “fun” to hunt and kill innocent animals. It’s “fun” to lynch other humans and burn people’s houses and churches down. It’s “fun” to degrade, molest and sexually assault women against their will. It’s great “fun” to stalk, beat up, and even kill, queers. These guys think that they can do anything they want to and get away with it, all in the name of Fun.

My own idea of fun is when I am making music or doing something creative. Being a performer and entertainer and making people happy is fun, and to be entertained myself. It’s fun to exercise my brain cells with puzzles and games and to engage in stimulating conversation. Learning is fun. Sex is fun. To me, fun is receiving personal pleasure without inflicting pain or suffering on other people.

Until just very recently, most leading men in films and TV as well as on the stage, especially if they were gay, would not portray a gay character, due to their own homophobia. When a good gay role does come along, who almost always gets it?–a straight actor. Most closeted gay actors don’t like to play gay characters, because the people who know about them will conjecture, “He’s not really acting, you know. He’s just playing himself.” I say, so what? I consider that an asset. A gay actor would have the proper insight to portray a gay character. I will use my racial analogy. “That guy portraying Nelson Mandela is not really acting, you know. He really is black.” You never hear that said about straight actors, of course. “You realize, don’t you, that Bruce Willis is not acting in that love scene. He really does like women, you know.”

A case in point. I like Tom Hanks most of the time, but his portrayal of a gay lawyer in Philadelphia (1993) left me rather underwhelmed. I don’t think that he deserved the Oscar, because in the whole movie he never convinced me that he was really gay. We knew only because we were told that he was. They shouldn’t have to tell us. Even when a straight actor plays gay, we should know it without him saying so. They can convey it in other ways. And most do succeed in that respect. Two good examples are Robert Downey Jr. and Robin Williams. Their gay characters are/were always convincing. I have pegged gay characters on film even before they are revealed to us. ’He’s a faggot!’ ’I’ll just bet you that one there is gay.’ I can tell when someone is pregnant, too.

But back to Tom Hanks for a moment. There is a scene in Philadelphia where Tom’s character is explaining an opera aria, playing in the background, to his defense lawyer Denzel Washington. It is quite a dramatic and poignant scene, which a real die-hard, gay opera queen would have done a lot more with than Tom gave it. The fervor and passion just wasn’t there, I’m sorry, Tom. Perhaps the fact that the director, Jonathan Demme, was also straight, he didn’t know enough himself to direct the scene properly. Was Tom afraid that the gays would object to his being campy? Come on, we camp! Especially when we are alone or with our own kind. We won’t be offended. You are just being real. He doesn’t have to flame exactly, but give us something! Tom and his costar, Antonio Banderas, did not even convince me that they were lovers.
They never kissed or embraced. I read the novelization of the film and liked it better than the movie. In the book the two guys’ relationship was quite apparent, and I couldn’t even see them!

Who actually believes that any actor is in reality every role that he portrays? So an actor who plays a wife beater, rapist or mad slasher in a film must really be one, right? Are all those actors who have appeared in drag in the movies really closet drag queens in real life? It seems that these closeted actors would rather be perceived to be women-hating serial killers than have their public think that they are gay.

After I learned that Rock Hudson was gay, for instance, it doesn’t bother me that he played all those heterosexual characters in the movies, just like it apparently doesn’t bother most people that openly-sapphist Amanda Bearse and openly-gay actors Dan Butler and Neil Patrick Harris play het characters on TV sitcoms. Come on, give us some credit. It’s not the moviegoers that give a hoot about an actor’s sexuality. It’s those pathologically-paranoid producers, directors, executives, agents and the actors themselves who are so homophobic.

The late Elizabeth Taylor once said on TV that it’s so ironic that (in her day) there is so much homophobia in the film industry, because without the gays, there would be no Hollywood! It’s so true. And Sister knew, major fag hag that she was. It’s a shame, though, that gay actors are even more uptight than the straight ones. At least we have/had secure enough gay, sapphist and bisexual actors who ignored imagined public opinion to play a variety of interesting gay characters on stage and screen. Consult my blog, Let’s Have an Outing for the full list.

Some parents, upon learning of their child’s queerdom, expect them to change for the parents’ benefit. A stubborn mother tells her confused teenager, “You will have to do something about this, because I simply will not have a gay son.” That sounds like an ultimatum. So the boy kills himself. His suicide note to his mother reads, “Mom, you told me that you will not have a gay son. So now you don’t. Are you happy now?” Be careful what you wish for. You just may get it. How can you change one’s inner being, and why should you? Did that mother actually think that by giving her son a choice, he would honor her wishes by choosing not to be gay? Now realizing that she is responsible for her son’s death, only then does she seek therapy, which she should have done in the first place. There was nothing wrong with the boy. It’s his mother who has the problem.

When a study group of confused, self-loathing gay youngsters were asked, “If there were a pill that you could take that would make you straight, would you take it?” they all raised their hands. When asked why, they agreed that they don’t like society’s regard and treatment of them and would prefer to be like “everybody else.” Everybody else? But everybody is not straight. Who specifically do you want to be like? My argument would be, Why should I change my very being just to gain Society’s acceptance of me? You’ll never please everybody anyway. I will use my race analogy again. If there were a pill to make me white, I wouldn’t take it either. Why don’t they make this pill for the homophobes and racial bigots that would change their feelings toward gay people and others and cure them into sexual and racial tolerance and acceptance? They are the real sickos in the world, not us gays.

The fact of the matter is, you cannot change a person’s sexual identity. We are what we are. We can only change our behavior, if need be. Just because a few of my gay friends don’t have sex with men anymore, it doesn’t mean that they are no longer gay. Throughout the history of the world, there have been homosexuals, and despite that social inconvenience afforded us, we always have managed to succeed in our particular lives and careers. Our being gay has never stopped us from excelling. The previously-mentioned other blog illustrates the point.

Parents could look at the situation in another way. Having a gay teenager is not any worse than having a straight one in many cases. Parents with boy-crazy girls tend to be over-protective and are always worried about them getting themselves knocked up or about their boys getting some girl pregnant. Gay teens don’t have that particular concern. Those parents should consider that a blessing. I suspect that their feigned concern has more to do with future grandchildren, which is a selfish attitude. Just like their choosing to have children in the first place is a selfish act, they then want their children to have more children for them, or why would they care whether their kids had children or not? Even with their childless married children, you hear all the time, “When are you going to make us grandparents?” Why is it all about you? I would hope that they would prefer their sons and daughters, if they do decide to have children, to have them with someone they really love—even if it is with a same-sex partner—than to have them with anybody, just to please their parents.

Of course, these parents of gay kids will say that their concern stems from how “Society” treats gay people, and they don’t want them to have to go through that. Well, if acceptance of them begins there at home, then maybe they won’t have to “go through that!” Kids care more about how their own family and friends feel about them and how they are treated, rather than what “Society” at large thinks. We seldom make a personal life decision taking Society into consideration, but we often make life choices to get approval from our parents.

Some TV parents seem to be catching on, though. On “Rescue Me” star Denis Leary’s character, Tommy, is separated from his wife and with a teenaged daughter. He is understandably worried about boys sniffing around, since he is not there to look after her all the time. Well, Tommy was thrilled to no end one season when he found out that his daughter is a sapphist! Now he can rest easy.

On “The Secret Life of an American Teenager” the older of two teenaged sisters got pregnant and kept the baby. The younger daughter has a male fellow student as her best friend who is openly-gay and whom her parents like a lot. They don’t have to worry about him knocking her up, plus he frequently sides with them when the girl makes unwise decisions about her life.

On the short-lived “Committed,” Valerie Harper doesn’t like any of her son’s girlfriends. She bemoans, “Oh, why couldn’t you have been gay?!” I read that actor Tori Spelling prayed for a gay son. On the now-cancelled sitcom, “Sean Saves the World,“ Sean Hayes’ character is a gay (no surprise there), divorced man with a teenaged daughter. His mother, played by Linda Lavin, not only accepts her only son’s being gay (he is also out at work), she helps him with his love life and tries to set him up with dates with other guys.

On the sitcom “Mom,” the character of Anna Faris’ pregnant, teenaged daughter is thinking of putting up her baby for adoption after it’s born. “Violet” finds a gay male couple who want to adopt, but the baby daddy’s parents–judgmental, staunch fundamentalists–have also expressed interest in taking the child. Violet expresses her opinion. “I don’t want this baby to be raised by religious fanatics. I want him to be raised by homosexuals!“ Attagirl!

Let’s hope that other parents will finally come around to acceptable tolerance. A young, gay man called home and told his Jewish mother that he had decided to give up his gay lifestyle because he had met a wonderful woman and wanted to marry her. He told his mother that he thought that she would be happier, since he knew that his being gay had been very disturbing to her. She responded that she was indeed delighted and asked tentatively, “I suppose it would be too much to hope that your intended is Jewish?” He told her that not only is the girl Jewish, but is from a wealthy Beverly Hills family. The mother, overjoyed by this news, then asked, “What’s her name, son?” He answered, “Monica Lewinsky.” There is a long pause, then his mother asked, “Uh, Harold, what happened to that nice Catholic boy you were dating a while ago?”

[Related articles: Conspiracy Theory, Pt. II–The AIDS Epidemic and Other Medical Speculations; Sexism and Gender Issues; Jesus H. Christ; Let’s Have an Outing; Marry, Marry, Quite Contrary; On Being Gay; Parenting 101]

5,133 thoughts on “Gay Pride and Homophobia”

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