I so totally meant to post about this the night it happened, but life got in the way. I am working for a teaching theater and I have a great group of kids. Some have talent, some don't. My theater is not about bursting bubbles, though, so I treat them all like they're great. Real life will start to kick their butts soon enough.
Anywho, my male lead in our show has not yet embraced the fact that he is gay. Now, before you go "Hey, how judgmental is she?", wait! All my life I have been surrounded by gay men. My best friends in college were all a group of gay men who spent a lot of time together, too much time, if you get my meaning. I have learned the intricacies of gayness and I wholeheartedly applaud those who accept themselves.
But for this 14 year-old boy, his gayness stands in his way of his acting. It is not that he can't act because he's gay, it's because he hasn't come out and so when he does something really feminine, I can't call him on it because it is not my place. I want his character to be more like Barney on How I Met Your Mother (played by a gay actor) and he is playing it more like the guy who won the most recent Big Brother (or was he runner-up?).
He comes from a very religious family and I am not sure he will ever accept who he is. Which brings me to a Grey's Anatomy episode a while back. I have to say, I've been disappointed with the show this season. It has just seemed more like a soap opera than a drama. But the episode where Callie stood up to her religious father made Hubby and I cheer, actually cheer. I found a small clip here. Somewhere in that same episode Callie and her dad go head to head with bible verses about homosexuality. I think I should memorize her part for future interactions with religious homophobes.
But I wish all young kids going through their sexual identity crises could have someone who stands on a table top and screams "You can't pray away the gay!" Then adults like me, who want to hold open and honest conversations with kids could make a difference. This male-child could have an adult whom he doesn't have to hide around, doesn't have to worry about slipping around. He could realize his sexuality is just another part of him, like his hair color or his eye color. I can't be the person standing on the table top because that would make him run screaming from the room.
But instead he goes to a fundamentalist religious school everyday and hears that his "kind" are bad. He doesn't even know he is his "kind" and he will struggle for the next few years and experiment in dangerous ways because he is ashamed and lost. Shame on all the religious zealots who created this atomosphere.
YOU CAN'T PRAY AWAY THE GAY!!!!!