I’m sure most if not all of you are keenly aware of just how extreme the right wing has gotten. The religious right has always stood strong against LGBTQ people and their civil rights, but it seemed to me like in recent years they had sort of backed off a bit. The paradigm shift in America on LGBTQ freedom made me think that maybe they would soften on that particular issue. If the majority of the people aren’t with you on a cultural issue then it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to double and even triple down on your unpopular take. But apparently the majority of conservatives don’t care that the culture has become a lot more accepting of the LGBTQ community. My assumption they would soften was flat wrong because what we’re seeing right now is a defiant hardening.
One of the worst and most dishonest narratives that the extreme right has used against gay people in particular for decades is the idea that they’re groomers and child predators. I was hoping that that unbelievably ridiculous and bigoted narrative had kind of burned out and they wouldn’t use it any longer but boy has that one made a comeback. This disgusting talking point is now one of the main things that far right politicians and conservative media figures use against LGBTQ people. It’s just another intellectually false tool that they have ready to pull out of their box of hatred.
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Now I realize that the majority of Americans do not buy into this crazy lie but what worries me is how this could very well further radicalize the already extreme conservative base. This endangers the safety of gay men in particular and it greatly damages the overall fight for equality for the entire community. On top of that, there are the incorrect gross narratives about transgender folks like myself and then drag queens.
Among the right wing religious community, there is this wild belief that people are trying to indoctrinate kids to be transgender. They do not believe that people like myself are simply born that way, instead they choose to ignore truth and science and believe that liberals make kids trans. This sounds totally insane and way out of touch with reality to most of us but what’s so frightening is the way that this cuckoo narrative has spread.
Not long ago the Governor of Texas tried to make his justice department go after parents of trans kids. This is unfortunately real and needs to be addressed head on. And then the whole crazy thing they have about drag queens is actually a similar situation where they peddle the falsehood that drag queens wanna groom kids.
Hollywood can and should play a vital role is this. There are many ways both us in the LGBTQ community and our allies can counteract these constant attacks. Representation in film and television in a general sense is always great, but something the entertainment industry really needs to do more of is include LGBTQ representation specifically in family oriented content.
I’m extremely happy that Disney and Pixar decided to include a lesbian character in the recent film, Lightyear. We need more of that. If we truly believe in equality then featuring a character who just happens to be LGBTQ in a family film shouldn’t be an issue. The right wing bigots will flood the studios with messages of hate and will claim the LGBTQ community is attempting to “groom” their children. We have to push forward with our fight for true equality despite their loud hatred. Hollywood must be brave and meet this moment.
The TRUTH of the matter is that it is not possible to instill gayness in a child. It’s just not. Gay people are not taught to be that way, just like straight people aren’t. ‘Born This Way’ isn’t just a Lady Gaga song, it’s the truth. You can’t make someone have a certain sexuality, we just are what we are. And here’s the other crucially important truth: LGBTQ kids are in need of visibility. We all need to be able to see others who are like us, especially if you’re in a not so welcoming environment. Imagine a kid who feels different and isn’t sure if what they naturally are is alright or not. Seeing an LGBTQ character in a film or show thriving and treated just like everyone else will at least show them that they are not “abnormal” and that there is a place for them in this world.
I sincerely hope studios and actors both push for further inclusion in family and kids entertainment because it really can be lifesaving. Yes, the bigots will scream and bitch and moan about it but we must push them to do it anyways. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy but it must be done. LGBTQ people are not “inappropriate for kids” and to push that dangerous narrative is to join in on the push to dehumanize our community. Heterosexual couple have always been featured in family films, so gay and lesbian couples should be as well. Again, if you truly believe in equality then this notion should not be offensive or bother you in any way.
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