So you think you can be homophobic?

23 05 2009

Take a step back to—I don’t know–1980’s homophobia with this clip from the 2009 premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance?”

You know you’re in trouble from the get-go when the camera points to a “Mens” bathroom sign to say that a male dancer is waiting for his partner….pause…Mmmmiiiiitttch” (can you say “Bitch”?)

Then there’s Nigel Lithgowe (you know the Universe has a twisted sense of humor when this effete pompous ass has a name that begs a lisp!).  Nigel explains that he’s ok w/ the technique, but–gosh darn–“I think you’ll alienate a lot of our audience” (because, you know straight guys insecure with their masculinity are the ones who tune into “So You Think You Can Dance?”.  He then goes on to say that he likes to see “guys be guys and girls be girls…on stage” (off-stage, he says, “well I kick my legs up in the air like a Southern Baptist cheerleader!”)

I had hopes for Mary Murphy (after all, we gays are preternaturally drawn to anyone named “Mary”).  That’s why my jaw dropped when she squealed “Which one of you was the ‘girl’ part and which one the ‘guy’ part?”  Guess we can call her Missionary Mary from now on.

The whole thing would be silly and ridiculous (another exhibit of how un-reality Reality TV is) if it weren’t for any gay kid who watched Thursday’s show.  Maybe the kid has a loving home, maybe she lives in a really accepting community.  Maybe not.

Whatever the case, I bet she or he watched the show for the same reason a lot of people watch those shows…because they believe in the possibility—no matter how slight–that dreams can come true.  For the gay kid watching that show, that dream isn’t just to be a dancer, it’s to be yourself.

And what they saw on Thursday is that you can achieve the former…. if you compromise–if you suppress–the second.

Is that the lesson we want to teach our kids?   What happened to those happy little bluebirds??




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