I am not alone in my conundrum. As a gay man I abhor the use of the phrase, “That's so gay.”. It does promote the notion that things associated with being gay are stupid, disgusting, and okay to make fun of.
On the other hand I am an artist, and people say these things. They use hurtful inappropriate language and they do it sometimes thoughtlessly, and sometimes to hurt.
Our news is being censored. I don't hear the hue and cry from the populace there needs to be. Our ability to participate in organized religion is curtailed, our civil right to marry is denied us. We can be fired evicted and effectively exiled simply because of who we are.
Yes we need our politicians to act to protect our civil rights.
I have been bullied, physically and verbally abused. I have been denied jobs promotions etc because I'm gay. I have been passed over for acting jobs because I'm too "fey", "not believable as a straight guy" "not believable as a gay man" and denied access to at least one gallery as an artist because of my politics. I assure you I have been run off from more than one job because I'm gay but NO ONE would ever say that. (To their credit they didn't deny it either.)
We cannot fix the problems that we face by creating new ones. By denying others their right to free speech.
Call me a homo, tell me something is gay, deny me the ability to marry the man I love. Tell me I'm not worthy to live That's on those who live such small lives that they would impose their narrow minded views on anyone and everyone.
Putting a mirror up to society and showing them their faults and hopefully helping them learn is one of the most important functions an artist can hope to accomplish.
Sadly we're in a phase in our culture that embraces stupidity. Those that embrace small-mindedness, and ill-will toward men refuse not only to acknowledge that they're wrong, but refuse to effect ANY change that might start us on the road out of this mess. And though I'm paraphrasing here, the notion that “My stupidity is just as valuable as your intelligence.” is the very method that was used to kill America.
So Ron Howard's refusal to take the “gay” joke out of his new film puts me in a quandary. Do I as a gay man stand up and shout “Hey! You need to stop calling us worthless and disgusting so people see our value as human beings and not as punching bags.”
Or do I take the very logical stand that Ron Howard has the CIVIL RIGHT to say anything he wants. That censoring him IS NOT the way to fix this problem. That if he wanted to call one of his characters a fag or a nigger that he could do that if his intent was to hold that proverbial mirror up to our stupidity?
If we're really going to have equality in this country then let's have it. Let's hear what people say that's stupid and hateful, let's see how they demonstrate their true opinions. Only then can we really learn how to deal with the hatred, the racism, the complete lack of logic that inspire such ideas.
Yesterday I listened to Dr. Phil (Gods help me) on CNN talking with Anderson Cooper about Clint McCance, the Arkansas Board of Ed member who spouted off on facebook that we all need to kill ourselves before he'd wear purple for us. And though Phil made sense, he was wrong in his conclusions. He says this guy is wrong and needs to shut up. I say that though he is wrong he needs to say more.
If this is the way people really feel then we need to hear it. We need to know what they're thinking, because then and only then can we even begin to understand how to change those ignorant notions. We can't deal with the problem until we know the truth. And demanding that people hide their true feelings does us no service.
That mirror has two sides and we need to look at them so we don't only see our own reflection.
And so it goes: