leave your inhibitions at the door
Ever have one of those weeks where random events occur that, when taken individually, mean absolutely nothing but collectively all come together? It happened to me this week and it was a real eye-opener for me as a parent and as a blogger.
Last Saturday, Beowulf and I were watching the Final Four games at a bar. Next to us was a table full of women also enjoying the game. Using my keen sense of observation, I was able to accurately deduce that a bunch of them were coupled up. Ok, they were making out and groping two feet away from me. But my keen sense was a little hampered by several of these 24oz cans of PBR.
Yes, I’m definitely a hipster.
Beowulf asked the hypothetical question of what I’d do if one of my kids came to me one day and said he/she was homosexual. Without hesitation I said, “absolutely nothing. Except tell them to clean their fricking room and remember to flush the damn toilet.” See, nothing changes…
Fast forward to Wednesday, I decided to do some DVR cleaning. I noticed someone had recorded The Ellen Show from a couple weeks ago because it featured Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Macklemore supports marriage equality
I’m sure whoever did it was hoping to see “Thrift Shop” or “Can’t Hold Us,” two songs that are getting heavy play on the radio and on our iPods. Instead, they performed a live version of this song.
Musically, it’s terrific and I’ve already downloaded it. But his message of support for marriage equality is a game-changer. There was a couple lines in there that jumped out at me.
If I was gay
I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately
“Man that’s gay”
Gets dropped on the daily
We’ve become so numb to what we’re saying
Our culture founded from oppression
gay lesbian issues
Then just yesterday The Byronic Man came up with an absolutely KILLER post titled The 5 Situations In Which It Is Acceptable To Say “That’s So Gay”. If you haven’t followed his blog yet, carve out a few hours of your schedule this weekend for some really entertaining posts from one of the wittiest writers out there. In this particular post, he pretty much outlines that there are only VERY SPECIFIC cases where you can say that.
It got me thinking about a debate a friend and I had over which of us had the gayest music library. I won because I had Erasure, Cher, Carly Simon, Scissor Sisters, and George Michael on mine. It’s got the makings for great post and I know my gay friends would totally be cool with it. But…. they know me and wouldn’t be offended. If I were to go through with writing the post, there’s no way to avoid saying “That’s so gay.” And because there’s a whole interwebz of people who don’t know me that well, I know I’m going to come across as homophobic or insensitive. Even if I try to put in a disclaimer it would be seen as a cheap ploy. And it would drag down the post, too – kinda like how having to explain a joke makes it less funny.
Taken individually these events were interesting and certainly thought-provoking, but I probably would’ve filed them away somewhere in my brain and not given them much thought later. However when they all come together like that, it’s too hard to ignore.
So what’s it saying to me? Does it mean I need to be more tolerant of homosexuals and support marriage equality. HAHAHAHA! I’ve been all over that for YEARS. But it’s got me thinking about the words I use. I’ve prided myself on being non-politically correct. That just about anything was fair game for a good gag and that people would get the joke. It’s just words, right? But now I’m seeing that calling something “gay” is just as bad as the N-word and the R-word. Here’s another line from the Macklemore song:
A word rooted in hate
Yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
If I’m totally supportive of marriage equality and am truly fine if one of my kids were homosexual, I’ve gotta stop using that word in a derogatory way. You with me on this?