While I haven’t watched much television over the course of the last year, one of my favorite shows of all to watch is Modern Family. My kids think I’m Phil Dunphy, funny enough I think they’re the Dunphy kids, and my wife is hotter than Claire (and now blonde, too). For the longest time I didn’t like to admit I watched the show because of Mitch and Cameron.
It was the fact that it was a homosexual couple on television. Enough to bristle my Christian upbringing. Then I realized it didn’t matter, the show is freaking hilarious (We are animal lovers!) and it has a great cast. The increasing number of TV shows with homosexuals in it is a bit of a sign of the times. Like the ever-present trope against gun ownership, it is just something that those who write include and believe that everyone should accept and enjoy. Social correctness overwhelming things is the norm, so that’s fine. However, I looked and decided that I don’t like the show because of Mitch and Cameron.
It was the fact that it was a homosexual couple on television acting in the stereotypical way that non-homosexuals believe that all homosexuals act. Ever gay man on the show is an over the top flaming homosexual. There are no “normal” gay men on the show. Flipping the channels doesn’t help much. I have yet to see a calm, normal homosexual man portrayed on television that does absolutely nothing to set off your internal, automatic gaydar. Not one.
My dislike for this stereotype is the same as my dislike for any stereotype. The writers, directors, and producers of the small screen only show us this side, yet there are homosexuals that don’t exude their homosexuality out of every pore. They don’t all force their orientation down your throat, except on television. It’s like portraying characters in blackface in the early part of last century. It isn’t a sign of true acceptance. It’s a parody of acceptance and I don’t like it.
It is like the way plantation owners used to treat the poor white people in the early 19th century. They would invite them to their parties, call them crackers and put them down both to their faces and in front of their other rich white friends. And the poor whites would accept it. They laughed it off and felt loved because the rich guy noticed them, they were validated by the attention without realizing the irony of simply being put in their places.
I don’t like homosexuality. It is a sin. It is the same sin as pre-martial fornication. It is exactly the same as adultery. But I love lots of homosexuals. When Jesus said to love others as yourself he didn’t stutter. He never said, only if they’re like you. He didn’t say if they’re your race, your age, your nationality. He didn’t say love them unless they’re Jews. He didn’t say love them if they love my Dad. He didn’t say except at all. He just said love them. Period, no qualifications, no exceptions, no ambiguities. He didn’t say love everyone except those that made bad choices, aren’t your political persuasion, or if they don’t love you back. Not a bit of vagueness in what he said. He said it more clearly than “don’t hate others because they sin differently than you.” More succinctly then “hate the sin love the sinner,” He just said love others as yourself.
At a ceremony earlier, one of the military guys I have been serving with here in Afghanistan received his end of tour award. The normal pattern is for the supervisor to speak, then the award is announced, followed by the awardee getting a few minutes to speak. While he had been planning on retiring as soon as he left, Dan recently was selected for promotion and will be staying in the reserves a little longer. As a part of his farewell he revealed that he had almost retired about 12 years ago but a trusted friend told him he wasn’t ready. Clearly he was right, but what Dan had never revealed to anyone before was what he couldn’t have revealed without being involuntarily retired. The man who counseled him to not retire was, and is, his husband.
Afterwords, I shook his hand and told him that no matter what army he served in that what he did took balls and not that I didn’t respect him before but I respected him even more now.
Dan hasn’t been portrayed on a television show. Men like Dan haven’t been portrayed on television. Maybe one day he will. When he is it could be a sign that rather than the farcical acceptance predicated now that we live in a world more like Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about.