I often think the state of a Country can be connected to the state of Prime Time Television. A stretch I know, but if your one of the few who reads the text along with the photos I post go with me for just a minute or two...
Prime Time is currently littered with violence. Between the CSI’s, The Law & Order’s, Criminal Minds and many other shows, Americans are being tortured, assaulted, raped and murdered every few minutes on tv. You add on top of that The Jersey Shore kids, Simon (I know he left) cutting down mentally unstable kids on American Idol and a barrage of talk and reality shows where the main goal is to get contestants to belittle each other for our entertainment. Bullying is not something tv is currently looking down upon, it is using it for profit.
My favorite show currently is probably Glee. That being said I am not ignorant to the fact that as a show set in High School bullying is part of it’s make up. Yes there are scenes where the Jocks bully the poor Glee Club Members, but oh those Glee Club Members (most notably Rachael, Kurt, Brittany and Santana) bully equally as much. We are expected to feel sorry for Kurt when he is bullied, yet are supposed to laugh when he bullies...
To top it off the television metaphor (again I know...a stretch), the highest paid actor on tv is Charlie Sheen. Sheen makes almost three times the money Oscar winners Glenn Close and Holly Hunter pull in. Yes I know it is all about ratings but there still something ironic about a medium where someone charged with domestic violence and third-degree assault is heading the top rated family sit-com on television.
Why is this possible? Well many reasons, but we are currently living in a world where money equal power and power is really the only thing that seems to count. It is one of the reasons there is such economic chaos.
Let me be clear. My heart broke reading about the recent suicide of Tyler Clementi and each subsequent story. Although I spend some of my spare time working on FH my day job is working with crime victims and I have a passion for facing cruelty head on. It is one of the main reasons I try to keep this blog as positive as I can. I know this may be a bit naive but there are far too many places you can go on the net if you want to tear others apart.
That being said, I have had mixed feelings about the way many in the gay community have reacted to the current attention on the issue of bullying. I say 'current attention' because I am not sure the issue is any bigger now than it ever was. The media is without a doubt giving it more attention but that means very little. Gay kids and adults have always been bullied. The difference I see now is that for the first time it seems cool to stand up against it. I have had this blog post written several times but have been hesitant to post it, but today after an email from a blog reader felt it was time.
I guess I am just not sure that bullying should become a ‘gay issue’. I say this for many reasons. For starters bullying is usually not about the victim (and do we again want to be seen as victims...) It is about the bully. Most bully’s are not concerned about the ‘why’ of the bullying they are simply needing to exert their false power. Gay kids are bullied sure, but so are ugly kids, over weight kids, skinny kids, smart kids, geeky kids, kids with physical and mental disabilities, kids who stutter, kids of other races, kids who are slow, kids who are fast, kids with braces, freckles, pimples, curly hair, red hair, no hair. You get my point.
Secondly, though not intentional, some of the videos I have seen would make it seem like the issue is about good and evil. Good gay victim vs bad big straight bullies. We all know the gay community has it’s share of bully’s. The biggest bully on the net bar none is PH who has bullied anyone and everyone at every possible opportunity. I am sickened that he is now trying to grab the lime light from the issue to shine back it on himself with his realization of his wrongs. Mark my words he will go where the audience is and he is losing readers by the thousands.
Thirdly, and correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t we fighting for equality? With Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and legalized marriage we are wanting the same rights as everyone else. Some of the videos I have seen of testimonials have brought tears to my eyes. Some have been cringe worthy and self serving.
I think it is time we, our community start looking at issues systemically. Of course it is normal to look at issues through one’s own eyes. But... Since we are begging the rest of the world to look at issues, marriage for example outside of their traditional way of viewing it and incorporate a perspective that includes gays don’t we need to do the same. I want the gay community to be as outraged at the bullying of anyone with the outrage we show when it is one of our own. If we want the rest of the world do so, we must begin. Some people’s need to grab this issue and make it ‘ours’ seems not only selfish but ultimately exactly what we are fighting against....