Last night I was staying up late watching the tube, and Larry King came on, interviewing Brandon Routh about his role in the new Superman movie. The original Superman was the first movie I ever saw as a kid and I am really keen on this new flick, so I decided to stay up a bit longer to watch. It was all the standard movie promo type chat, until from out of left field Larry asked Brandon what he thought of Superman's status as a gay icon. This shouldn't be a hard question to answer. He's a big muscular handsome guy in tights and a cape. Of course it's going to appeal to the gay crowd. Duh, Larry! But Routh got all squirmy and basically just said he didn't think there was anything gay about Superman, and if anyone did he was man enough to handle it. And oh, yeah, he has a girlfriend.
OK, he's just a kid who's new to the publicity machine and was caught off guard. Fair enough. But then Bryan Singer comes out, gets the same question, and handles it the same way. "Oh, Larry, that's silly. This is the most heterosexual movie I've ever made."
As we head into Pride weekend here in Toronto it occurs to me that we still have a long way to go. The rest of last night, watching TV, I noticed a lot of gay-phobic content, boiling just below the surface. Example: A bud light commercial-"Hey bro-don't toast with your bottles at the top-our saliva will touch-that's like kissing-eewwwww, just touch the bottoms. Oh no, touch bottoms? Ewwwww. hee hee hee)
With the Harper government about to re-open the same sex marriage debate (and the Americans getting nowhere with the same issue), this Pride weekend seems a good time to stop and reflect what we really think about gays. Is being gay some kind of yucky fetish, or simply a natural aspect of the human condition? If we believe the latter, tolerance is not adequate.
Let's show some genuine respect.