Thursday, November 19, 2009

Best Line Ever

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.



Charli-tan said...

Interestingly, I have very mixed feelings about this. I agree completely, you can't pray away the gay, and you know how I feel about anyone who uses the bible as a weapon. Disgusting.

(Callies speech was great, but I LOVED what Arizona said when she told him off!)

But, unfortunately, at that age, the parents hold a lot of influence and even having an entire network of people to talk to often times won't negate the harm that the parents with their hateful attitudes. Nor will it make it easier when their parents put them out. Or say things to their grown children like "you lost your baby because god doesn't want a gay person raisin a kid".

I think it would be nice if there were a way for influential people to really interface with the parents or gay youth. It is sad to me that if an open minded clergy were to preach his open minded opinion, he would probably be removed. It is sad that the church does not allow those who could truly turn the hearts of these parents to do so.

If you 14 yr old is gay, I feel for him. His life is going to suck for a while.

I encourage everyone who really cares about this issue to watch "Prayers for Bobby". It's a based on real life story of a religious mom who's son is gay and her transformation after he kills himself. Extrememly moving.

Jeannie said...

I grew up with a boy who was gay from day 1 - we knew he was "different" before we knew what the difference was. We girls loved him to bits. The boys would beat him up. This happened before we even went to school.

Knowing this, I've always been torn on the bible's insistence that homosexuality is wrong. Is it "wrong" in the same sense as being born blind is wrong? Being a gentile is wrong? Or being a thief is wrong?
Perhaps homosexuality is wrong in a community where you need as much proliferation as possible? Strength in numbers?
We no longer need quite so many births on this planet. Many heterosexual couples are choosing to remain childless without regrets - are they wrong too?

Unfortunately, the Christian community - which is extremely strong in the States have closed themselves off. They are so afraid of Satan, of change, of the world that they remain ignorant and backward. If you read leviticus and so on with the idea that God or Moses is really trying to create a cohesive community, separate and distinguishable, healthy and numerous, special in as many ways possible, you can understand the need for such statutes. But point out to Christians, who believe tattoos are just as wrong as homosexuality, that it is just as wrong for men to cut their forelocks as get a tattoo - same verse sweetie - they get all pissy. Like pointing out to a old order Baptist that the bible says "let the poor have their beer".

It's time the bible was interpreted as it was meant at the time. Jesus did away with many of the "identifier" laws while retaining the crucial "law" of love. That's one law Christians in their self-righteousness and judgmentalism manage to screw up on a daily basis.

I feel for the child and for your own frustration.

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