Apparently I’m gay. At least that’s what the kids keep telling me on Xbox live. I don’t know if we’re facing a generation of unimaginative idiots or homophobic morons, but “You’re gay” is apparently the easy go-to insult for the average teen gamer.
Yes, that’s the insult that’ll really drive me to tears. I’m sitting around having a beer and murdering people on Call of Duty, and the best smack talk I can get is “You’re gay.” I usually give a variation of the same reply; “Yes, I enjoy sexual relations with a burly Tom Selleck look-alike,” and that usually keeps the tools at bay.
It’s hard for me to imagine tossing that out with the intent of actually trying to make somebody mad. It’s even harder for me to imagine somebody getting mad over something so trite. Our pop culture has taken the hurtful intent out of the word, but at the same time it’s been popularized as an off-the-cuff insult. A good example that comes to mind is the ever popular scene in The 40 Year-Old Virgin where Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen were riffing about how they knew the other was gay. Or you could torture yourself and watch any movie Kevin Smith has ever made.
In the real life that we all have live, not only do homosexuals face these stereotypes but also massive social barriers that many people can’t see as civil rights issues. Think about Proposition Eight on the ballot in California, supposedly the most liberal state in the U.S. Prop Eight restricted the definition of marriage to persons of the opposite sex and eliminated any hope of homosexuals having the right to marry. So in our land of the free you’re free to marry whomever you want as long as, you know . . . you’re not gay.
Supposedly the Mormon Church pumped in millions of dollars to help get Prop Eight passed. That’s very considerate of a religious group that was also once outcast and chased to Utah. Then again, without nutty beliefs, the Mormon Church wouldn’t exist at all.
Obama spokesman, Richard Gibbs, recently stated that Obama would do away with the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but the idea that homosexuals aren’t supposed to serve in the military is embarrassingly shameful. Not a single person reading this could tell me with a straight face that a homosexual has never fought and died for this country.
I think we’re slowly but surely moving from the childish perceptions of our past. There’ll always be speed bumps like the Mormon Church and eighth graders calling me “queer,” but like crotchety old racists, I think these perceptions are slowly withering. And if they’re not, you’ll still be able to find me on my couch fighting 15-year-olds.