While Neal deals with the lack of openly gay male celebrities in the entertainment industry….
In the game of ?Our Team Has More Out Celebrities,? the lesbians are kicking the gay guys? collective butts. With the hardships of Melissa, the days of Ellen?s life, and Rosie?s other world covered by the media and all those who consume their magazines, books, and newspapers, it?s easy for a gay man to develop a complex. Where are the faces making us more human? We love our out gals, but where are the guys?
He does make a very good point about someone outside the entertainment industry who could have been a gay role model, and why he wasn’t.
Being gay certainly seemed to be a liability, rather than a character trait, for poor ol? Jim McGreevey. He was certainly not the out celebrity the gay community was searching for. After he comes out as a ?gay American,? the former New Jersey governor resigns from his post and, soon after, exits his position in shame. Mr. McG didn?t come out because he was sick of lying and hiding; he was being blackmailed and run out of office. And he cheated on his wife. This is not the proud coming-out tale I envisioned our cause relishing.
So where are they? And who are they? And why aren’t they coming out. I mean you and I both know gay men are everywhere. As they say, you can’t swing a dead cat in your local supermarket without hitting one.
But no openly gay male sports figures, no openly gay male actors. The music industry has some as Neal mentions… but what exactly makes a “role model”? I’ve not been one to automatically assign role model status to a celebrity or sports figure, though it would be nice if a Major League Baseball player or NFL player with a good record would come out some day.
To me a role model should be someone who stands up for what they believe in, takes risks, goes against the norm, speaks out, leads others, and sets a good example for young people. We need a gay guy who Aunt Minnie in Red State, USA will say “you know, I don’t care if he is gay or not….. he’s a good person and a productive part of society.”
We naturally look to our elected officials for role models. Yes, there are politicians who are good and decent people. But not too many openly gay male ones. I’m not sure Barney Frank qualifies due to his checkered past, and Jim Kolbe is certainly worthy due to his battles within the Republican Party. But a gay role model shouldn’t be a loud, Bush-bashing, anti-capitalistic, meth-using anarchist. That may be the perfect role model for the gay left, but it is no role model of a gay man for the rest of America.
So what I’m getting at is, all of this negative energy being expended to “out” gay Republican Congressional staffers, or dig up every last bit of personal dirt on Jeff Gannon… well, it isn’t getting anyone anywhere. No minds are changing in our favor, no votes are changing in our favor. All it is doing is reinforcing gay stereotypes and making our potential role models go deeper in the closet.
Yet, this is the perfect atmosphere for “the real” gay role model to come out, isn’t it? Whether it is in sports, Hollywood, or Washington, DC… we really do need a hero to step up to the plate and put a positive face forward to highlight Gay America.
We need a hero
We’re holding out for a hero till the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong and he’s gotta be fast
and gotta be fresh from the fight
We need a hero
We’re holding out for a hero till the morning light
He’s gotta be sure and he’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life
Larger than life
And by “we” … I mean our up and coming-out gay youth.