So recently some friends of mine got their boy shorts in a bunch over a Bill O’Reilly video where he does his usual shtick and whines about the “maintreamization” of gay culture. He seems to enjoy calling people “provocateurs” for being gay while picking at issues that provoke his base like his classic OMFG!!!l! Dumbledore is Gay! episode (Link to Media Matter and I also recommend Keith Olbermann’s cool segment on the topic).
Bill caters to a group of people that is slowly dwindling:
– The moral majority (formerly known as the Bible Belt) and just about as truthfully descriptive as “The Clean Air Act” or “The No-Spin Zone”.
– Old people who haven’t been out of the house since 1982.
– People like me who will watch for a laugh when he is interviewing someone who is about to POWN him.
– People who really like hearing about gays but must protect their heterosexual house of cards or who don’t have LOGO or Bravo in The Heartland.
He still calls them the 50% of America that agrees with him (they are suppesedly also Bush’s base.) Bill works at Fox, a television network that reads from talking points and rarely looks out the window. He is sort of like Howard Stern but on the other side of the medal… actually I shouldn’t say that because they have the same guests on!
Through his choice of topics he tries to provoke a knee jerk reaction in his viewers whom he recognizes are mostly made up who people who are afraid of gays!
I often feel dismissed by my gay friends when the topic of homophobia comes up. Like my little straight self couldn’t possibly have an expertise on the topic. Excuse-me but this is a subject I KNOW A LOT about as I have spent countless hours in conversation with homophobes. These people fall into many categories most of which are quite benign and that is why I never get my boy shorts in a bunch when I encounter one.
Am I really bad for dismissing homophobes? I mean there are worst things to be in life than a poor sheltered soul who is afraid of gays. And I certainly don’t think homophobe = Hilter. I am grown up and witnessed the emergence of “gay” in mainstream as early as 1985 when Rock Hudson died of illness related to Aids. Then people had “longtime companions” and the closet door started to open. I still have a VHS tape with Ellen’s coming out episode around here somewhere. Watching every step of “gay” becoming mainstream certainly didn’t make me gay.
I don’t watch EVERY gay and lesbian themed show on TV. I admit I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw “A shot at Love with Tile Tequila“.
In my own little straight world I had access to how straight people REALLY feel about gay people… And I ask… a lot! And around me there are people who are totally afraid of gays like they are some kind of vampires with magical powers!
Really my opinion on the matter is not going to change their view on the topic and what I have noticed is that people generally calm down about homosexuality when they realize that someone close to them is gay. They realize that everything will be fine because the world didn’t end when aunt Patricia brought her girlfriend to the Christmas party.
Unfortunately there is probably no cure for that poor woman on Maury who is deftly afraid of pickles.
I have edited down a clip from Big Brother Australia (Season 5) which illustrates various people’s feelings about homosexuality. What Kate will reveal is a common fear amongst people I have talked to (mostly male.) When you consider that 10% of the population is gay, the chances of this happening to you over your lifetime is quite high and Kate is certainly not alone in her fears and it is usually why I do not immediately pass judgment on people who appear homophobic. Homophobia is a knee jerk reaction that comes from people who have little self control or lack maturity and insight into the world around them. I am fascinated at the stories I hear from people I poke on the matter and I have other clips like this that I can analyze.
In this clip, Houseguests are asked to perform their own dare for the rest of the group. Kate reads the instructions. Tim’s dare is to mock the twins in the house (Greg and David) by kissing one and talking to the other. This was obviously intended for the girls. Tim and Greg’s kiss elicits squeals of horror from Kate who then explains she is homophobic. This situation turns into an interesting windows into homophobia.
This is rarely seen footage from a canceled Big Brother roundup show called Uncut (then Adults Only.) That was a truly awesome look into the secret lives of young adults (be it young adults who are cooped up in a house for 100 days) and unfortunately it was too much to handle for the general Australian public and has not been produced for two years.