Cross-posted on Gays.com
On Thursday, Tyra Banks interviewed a few sad young homos who hate the fact that they’re gay and even have a plan for “turning” themselves straight by the time they hit 30. The whole show is cleverly packaged and makes for great television but we have to ask if the confusion these kids are going through is anything new at all. Sure, growing up is not easy and coming out is difficult. But millions of young gay men and women coming out around the world in different socio-cultural and religious contexts have experienced the same confusion these kids are experiencing. Children aren’t born thinking homosexuals are disgusting, perverts, paedophiles and incapable of monogamy. These are all ideas taught to the kid as he grows up — in the family, in school, within the faith community. Kids are not born homophobic anymore than they can be born sexist, racist or ageist. And of course when a kid suddenly realises that he’s gay himself, his world comes crashing in and he can’t help but hate himself.
And let’s not even get me started on this idea that you can somehow turn off some switch somewhere so you can actually *stop* being gay. By the end of the show, it all becomes apparent where Shane and Marc get the idea that they can wave this magic wand and *become* straight again — it’s from their parents’ religious beliefs and the ex-gay conferences they’ve been attending.
What caught our attention though is the story of the third man Elian, who’s gay but actually fell in love with a woman, married her and had a daughter with her. His decision to marry her, as far as we can tell from the show, was not inspired by a desire to conform to some prescribed heteronormative model. Elian’s story goes to show that sexuality and gender identity is never as black-and-white as some people would like to have it, but having come full circle, his advice to Shane and Marc is to NOT choose the road that he took. We hope they take up his advice.Tags: gay, GLBT, LGBT, talkshows, television, Tyra Banks