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Friday, July 22, 2011

Why Aren't More Men Sharing Serious Kisses On TV?

          I was watching an episode of Glee with some of my friends - much to their dismay - and it was the episode where Kurt and Blane share their first kiss. Now, my friends are straight, not homophobic by any means (they don't  mind me doing the work that I do, which says a lot), but they are your typical run-of-the-mill 22 year old boys. They love and playing girls like it's their job. So when the kiss was coming, I didn't know how they would react but if I had to guess I would have said not at all. That's why it kind of discouraged me to see one of my buddies turn away in disgust at the sight of the kiss while another one asked "Can they show that on TV!?" My answer, "Come on, are you guys serious? You can't even look at it? And of course they can show that on TV, it's 2011!" I couldn't blame them, however, because I too had been caught off guard by how uncomfortable I was when I first saw two men kiss on TV (it was the same episode only months earlier). Nevertheless, they soon dropped their case and accepted that if they are okay with guys like myself being together, they also have to be okay with seeing it from time to time on TV. I mean come on! I see straight couples share passionate kisses on day-time TV all the time. I realize we are living in a straight man's world, but we're here, we're queer, and people gotta get used to us kissing on TV more often, because that is well within our rights. 
          I started reading a couple articles on gay men kissing on TV (because come on, we see women share kisses on TV all the time, although lacking deeper emotions). I came across this one ad for Heinz featuring their Deli Mayo. I thought it was hillarious, but because some conservative thinking parents were "offended" they took it of the air. I'm personally offended that I can't kiss a guy in a commercial on TV in the UK. I just wish Heinz in America had the balls to air this commercial, at least here we have the freedom of speech.
          I also came across a couple articles by Brent Hartinger on which I liked. The first one from 2008 discusses gay kisses on TV, serious kisses on soap operas and day-time drama's like As The World Turns and Greys Anatomy. The problem is that these were aired on ABC and CBS, which is why seeing two men kiss on FOX's Glee got me so excited the first time I saw it. Brent also has a more recent article from 2009 which is a bit more humorous and playful in that he rates kisses between straight guys on TV. But most of these kisses strive for more of a comic relief than an actual portrayal of LOVE. 
          In my opinion, it is every gay man's duty to not only see men kissing on TV for themselves, but also show straight people, friends, and family what two normal men kissing on national television looks like. Until we desensitize ourselves and our loved ones to the simple idea of two men kissing, we will continue to struggle against the ignorance in this country that is preventing loving same-sex couple from marrying and having a family.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Exodus International? WTF!?

So I just read this article about Alan Chamber's reaction to the Google Chrome commercial that showcases how it aided Dan Savage's "It Get's Better" campaign. That commercial, by the way, made me cry. Not out of sadness, but out of happiness that someone cared enough to program a computer generated Woody from Toy Story to tell little boys and girls everywhere, that it's okay to be gay. It's such a simple message, so beautiful and true, but one that I had to grapple with on my own. And even though my parents and friends were understanding, many aren't so lucky. For instance, Alan Chamber's kids. But at least their father used to be gay. Even more, he's justifying homophobic thinking, not to mention the thousands of parents who have abandoned their gay children at his pray-away-the-gay concentration camps, convincing them that he could "cure" homosexuality. Please note, the American Psychological Association concluded that homosexuality was not a disorder almost 40 years ago. There are homophobic misconceptions being spawned by the church and Exodus International isn't helping anymore than priests that privately practice pedophilia.