Knowing that I live in a blue state and work in the entertainment industry, one might conclude that I tend to lean to the left politically and socially. You would be correct. Growing up in L.A. I knew that certain celebrities were gay and assumed that the rest of the country knew it as well, only to be stunned over the scandal created after that celebrity came out. Especially Liberace. Come on, how could you not know? But I’d like to make a pragmatic observation. I, like many of my friends, both gay and straight, were surprised to hear that on election day voters in 11 states (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah and Oregon) approved constitutional amendments limiting marriage to a man and a woman. When you look at the ratings for shows like "Will and Grace", "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and to a smaller extent "The L Word", "Queer as Folk" and "Six Feet Under", one would think that our collective tolerances have evolved over the last few years.
Some conservatives will blame the "Liberal Media" (by the way I believe that the media is only as liberal as the corporations who own it) for undermining family values by presenting an immoral life style as acceptable. Well, somebody was watching these shows and I tend to believe the Nielsen TV Ratings more than I believe the pollsters. Is it morality or hypocrisy when people are in essence saying, "Sure I like seeing them on TV, but I don’t want them getting married and moving into my neighborhood".
There have been times when I’ve used the word "Homophobic" to describe people’s behavior, only to hear in response, "I don’t like that word". Hey, I don’t like "Couch Potato" but if the shoe fits...
Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines homophobia: ho·mo·pho·bia
Function: noun: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals
There is a fear that same-sex unions will weaken the institution marriage (would someone please tell me how?). People have used the so-called liberal media to scare citizens with stock footage of the most outrageous moments from Gay Pride parades and say, "This can happen in our town". Instead of trying to find ways to overcome their fear, they just prefer that I just not to use the word "Homophobic" in describing them. Fine, I’ll stop using the word "Homophobic" when you stop using the word... Actually there are several words and I don’t want to dignify them in this column.
Let us all live by The Golden Rule "Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you."
To quote Jerry Sienfeld, "Not that there's anything wrong with that".