Saturday, March 01, 2008

I Am Not A Second Class Citizen.

I had read about Ellen Degeneres' emotional speech the other day at the beginning of her show, about the hate-crime murder of a 15-year-old California boy, but I just watched it today. Beautiful.

For those opposed to profanity, stop here.

What is so fucking difficult to grasp about this whole concept?? Why do so many people think that the fact that some people are born gay - and yes, that's how it works, kids - means that they are meant to be objects of jokes, ridicule, tauntings, abuse, and murder? That they are second class citizens? That they - WE - aren't people, but something akin to insects that should be brushed aside, tortured for someone's amusement, then forgotten? That the idea that someone being attracted to a member of the same sex - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually - is so worthy of contempt and disgust that ending their life is a logical conclusion?

If any of y'all just don't get it yet - and I know I'm preaching to the choir - here it is.

Simple. Anyone with a few working brain cells should be able to grasp it:


Lewis said...

I am less and less shy or embarassed to say "He's my husband" or "I'm gay" or whatever else it is that everyone else says with pride. By god, we're absolutlely more than worthy of being prideful too! Thanks for the reminder. And I always believe that WE need to go to THEM....cause they sure as hell ain't coming over to find us! So I will go....gladly. Right into the thick of it.

sue said...


Paul said...

Yes, the message needs -- and must be -- changed.

"Being gay" has been been the butt of jokes, an expression of ridicule, and a "simple" derogatory phrase on TV and in the movies for years. As long as I can remember.

Until recently -- within the past couple of years -- it never really bothered me. I just accepted it. And I probably laughed right along with everybody else. Now however, every time I hear it I think, "They didn't really have to say that. Surely the copywriters could have thought of something else."

My favorite TV show is Two and a Half Men. I find every episode intensely funny. Unfortunately, Jake, the 14-year old, has a habit of expressing himself saying "that's gay." And I cringe every time I hear him say it. "Being gay" is obviously negative to Jake, even if he isn't referencing anything sexually. (And, yes, sometimes he is.)

But, Matt, what do we do about it? Talking to the choir doesn't help at all. It doesn't really help if your straight friends/associates don't say "gay things" around you in an attempt to be sensitive to you. They must not say it at all. Anywhere. And, believe it.

I commend Ellen for her monologue. But she needs to go on David Letterman and/or Jay Leno and make the same speech. Perhaps she could change THEIR monologues.

Ellen, and Rosie, and a few others, have a lot of influence in Hollywood and New York. I hope they use it.

I'd like to hear Chad Darnell's perspective on this. Do writers cater to their own beliefs, or the popular opinion of potential viewers? Would a show really lose ratings if derogatory "gay" comments were deleted? (Maybe you should forward my comment to him.)

OK, I'm over it.

Paul said...

So, I’ve been thinking about your post for a few hours.

Maybe talking to the choir isn’t such a bad idea.

While I can’t change what others do, I do need to change what I do.

I frequently say, “he’s too gay,” referring to a current HGTV host that I don’t like to watch. And, “he’s just too fuckin’ gay,” referring to a cross-dresser that hangs out frequently at one of the same places I sometimes hang out.

The reality is that I’m very judgmental. It’s not just “too gay.” But “too fat.” “Too ugly.” “Too stupid.” “Too tall.” “Too short.” “Too weird.” …

I’m not sure if it’s hatred, but it’s definitely not right.

Nobody should be a second-class citizen.

(Am I in the choir?)


Anonymous said...

Effing "A"!

Michael said...

Ellen's comments and your post are well timed for me personally. I've not had a good week.