Somehow Kirk Cameron (the cute guy from Growing Pains) became relevant enough last week to go on Piers Morgan and talk about his over-the-top Christian views about abortion and homosexuality. Because I’m in a rather good mood, I’m going to ignore that and let him fade into irrelevancy for another twenty years and move on to a more important topic that was overshadowed by his ignorance.
My faith in humanity was restored a little bit this past weekend thanks to a handful of brilliant actors. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Proposition 8. It’s basically just the bigwigs in California stripping away the rights of gay people by not letting them get married.
This past Saturday, American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact presented a stage reading for a play called “8”, written by Dustin Lance Black. The cast included Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Matt Bomer, and Jane Lynch. The reading was based on actual court transcripts and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families. It was performed in front of a sold out audience in Los Angeles and broadcasted all over the world on YouTube.
It was a combination of gay and straight actors, including my favorite Chris Colfer, who played a boy that was sent to conversion therapy. He was able to bring me to tears, just like his character in Glee always manages to do. There was also Jamie Lee Curtis, who played one of the lesbian mothers, along with Christine Lahti and the two young actors playing their sons.
It mattered so much to me because all of these big name celebrities wanted to speak out about something they believe in, even if it is something people are afraid to stand up for, or just ignore. I’ve been very vocal about my support for years, getting into arguments with friends and family who have opposite views, going to protests against the Westboro Baptist Church, and attending PRIDE meetings at my university. With this comes the frequent question, “Oh, so you’re a lesbian?” No, I’m not, but if I were then I would wear that label with pride. I’m a decent human being and want to see everyone treated as an equal, no matter their race, gender, or sexuality.
In a recent interview, George Clooney, who plays an attorney in the reading of “8”, spoke about his support.
“I’m not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing. My private life is private, and I’m very happy in it. Who does it hurt if someone thinks I’m gay? I’ll be long dead and there will still be people who say I was gay. I don’t give a sh*t.”
I could not agree with him more. Not too long ago I wanted to purchase a black hoodie with Lady Gaga’s lyrics ‘Born This Way’ written in big silver lettering on the back. My mother was fine with it until she realized that I was buying it from a website against Prop. 8. My house erupted into a huge battle with my parents saying, “If you wear that, people will think you’re a lesbian!” I failed to see their point. For them, sexuality is something to be private about, but for me it’s just who you are, and if people have a problem with that… screw ‘em.
So, thank you George Clooney, the cast of “8”, and all of the other allies in this world for being brave enough to speak up and not looking at sexuality like it’s something to be afraid of.