It's getting a little tiring to hear of people who are homophobic bigots, and it's also tiring to hear of people who think these bigots don’t exist.
With the turn of the tide in California, where gay folks can now be legally married, a slew of pundits have risen to the surface. Much of it is so gross that I just stare at the videos and try not to cry. How much work we have, but what message do we have to convey in order to shake the naysayers?
The talk show Ellen had John McCain on the other day and the message was humanity. She asked him to see that we are all just people at the core, and similar to the marginalization of black people and women in this country, there has to be a time where we recognize this humanity – even if the proposal for change appears on paper; meaning while the Civil Rights era proved successful legislatively, reality does not always reflect the ant-discrimination laws that were drafted and enacted. McCain’s answer is just so mind-blowingly sad because he totally dehumanizes queer folks, while attesting to such an unfair ideology:
“I think that people should be able to enter in to legal agreements, and I think that is something that we should encourage, particularly in the case with insurance, and other areas. Um, decisions that have to be made. I just believe in the unique status of marriage between man and woman.”
In another California-related incident, in which Hollywood star Lindsey Lohan has been spotted holding hands with her gay DJ friend, the New York Post decided that it be OK to include homophobic antics in the article’s title: “Lindsey to Sam: Les Be Friends.”
Seriously? A reputable paper is really going to perpetuate such grossness? Clearly, as noted in the web site’s reader comments, lesbian women are still seen as a product of a male desire. Post after post asks Lohan, “Damn Lindsey, that sexy bod and you get a dyke like that? Come on! Give us some better candy to look at!”
Women making out? Must be for men. People getting married? Must be soley in support of the patriarchal economic design of our country. Not love. Not natural attraction. Nope. Only for attention and for the reasons such as insurance and sexiness.
These are just two examples of hundreds, if not thousands of homophobic misogynistic stories that infiltrate our media. On the one hand I think that it is important to show because society at large gets the chance to disentangle the difference between real life and societal expectations. However, at the end of the day the sting felt by comments made by these folks seriously effect and, sometimes damage, those who are absorbing these messages. Queer folks across the world may continue to wonder what is wrong with them for wanting to take an oath of love with their same-sex partner, or if (for example) they are a pretty enough lesbian.
Allies and queer communities need to continue to rise up and fight this madness, remind the mainstream media that it is not ok. Do it. Right now.