The very last post of 2023 was all about Barbie and the #WomenSupportingWomen social media movement. And just like I mentioned in the previous blog, sexism isn’t the only problem in our society that needs attention. Homophobia, for one, is another great example of that stigma. I’d been thinking about that a lot, actually. It’s especially true since I’m a bisexual woman. I keep asking myself whether or not my life would be any different if I were to end up with a woman. I certainly wouldn’t have my son. Furthermore, I keep asking myself time and time again whether I would’ve been accepted in the real world by my family and the outside world. I want to say that I would’ve, and I WILL say that.
I’ve previously said this about family in my previous posts since I opened up about my sexuality on this blog, and I will continue to do so for as long as the blog shall live. The outside world, though, can be somewhat cruel. I got a glimpse of that before I was ever comfortable to admit, even to myself, that I was anything but straight. Back in 2012, someone hacked into my Facebook account and posted on my profile, ‘I’m a lesbian.’ The password was changed, and I couldn’t log in to my account anymore. It was made to look like I’d posted it. It was made to turn into a frenzy. The person who, I’m 99.9% certain, did it was going around gossiping to my friends about me being a lesbian. The reason why I say I’m 99.9% that the person in question did it what they did is that I blocked this person, along with their spouse, from all social media platforms, so how would they even know about it in the first place?
The person who did it probably wanted to ruin my life. Instead the person showed me what a supportive group of people I had in my life. Every time this person attempted to gossip about the matter of me being a lesbian, my friends’ response was, ‘Why do you care and why should we care? The only person that SHOULD actually care is (my husband).’ I was so happy to know that I was supported in such a big way. No one knew what that meant to me. To them, it was simply the right thing to do. But to me, it was literally everything. Not everyone who’s queer is so lucky to have the amount of support that I did.
I was recently reminded of Fran Drescher. She’d been in the media news quite a lot in the past year, with Hollywood actors going on strike, as she’s the president of SAG-AFTRA. In my eyes, she’s practically a comedy sitcom legend. ‘The Nanny’, a show that she co-created with her then-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, as well as starred in, was one of my favourite shows. It was funny and witty just like her in real life. It was a very different show, especially considering the fact that it was a 90’s show. It was a time that wasn’t so accepting of people who were different than the norm. The characters that were minorities, specifically queer characters, were seen as the punchline for a joke, or even two. ‘The Nanny’ was different. It was a show that didn’t make fun of queerness at all. Instead, it embraced it, and time and time again, put a positive emphasis on it. There was one story-line where Fran’s fictional character was happy, and even flattered, that she had a lesbian woman interested in her, which was a VERY big deal for a 90’s show. Drescher continued bringing that same awareness to queerness when she developed another show with her ex-husband, ‘Happily Divorced’, in 2011. The show was based on the real-life divorce of Drescher and her ex-husband, who came out as gay in the 2000’s. Almost 30 years after their divorce, Drescher still maintains a close relationship with her ex, and is a big advocate for gay rights.
Another show that was ahead of its time was ‘The Golden Girls’. It was a show was that was developed in the 80’s, and starred legendary old-Hollywood actresses such as Betty White and Bea Arthur. It showcased the story of four older women living together and navigating the newly independent lives in their 50’s. The show wasn’t just ahead of its time when it comes to the topic of queerness, but other important taboo topics as well, such as infertility and the stigma of a woman using other means to have a baby. For the sake of this blog post, however, we’ll be talking about how the show pushed boundaries for queerness. It was a specific story-line on the show that was groundbreaking. Blanche, played by Rue McClanahan, has a brother who comes to visit her to bravely tell her that he’s a gay man and that he’s getting married. Blanch doesn’t respond to this new revelation well, and it pushes their close sibling bond away. Sophia, played by Estelle Getty, who is also Dorothy’s mother, has a gay son of her own. When Blanche goes to Sophia for comfort, she reminds Blanche that love is love no matter what, and the only thing that’s different about her brother is his choice of a partner. A story-line such as this is considered groundbreaking. No other show did such a thing. When Ellen Degeneres brought in her personal life to her own sitcom in the 90’s and had her character come out as a lesbian, her show was cancelled and her career was practically over for years, as well as Laura Dern’s, who guest starred on Ellen’s sitcom in that specific episode where Ellen comes out.
The most recent groundbreaking show that aired on TV was ‘Schitt’s Creek’. The show ran between 2015 and 2020 and was developed by father and son duo, Eugene and Dan Levy. It also starred the two in the lead roles, as well as Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy. Unlike the previous shows that I mentioned on this blog post, ‘Schitt’s Creek didn’t just mention queerness, it centred around queerness, and it did so in such a unique, tender way. On the show, David, played by Dan Levy, is pansexual. In reality, Dan is gay. The support he gets from his family in real life is mirrored on the show. The support Dan Levy received from his family was the same exact support david received on the show. There was one moment on the show that really always gets me choked up, especially now that I’m a mother myself, is when David gets serenaded by his boyfriend, Patrick, who later became his husband, and David’s mother looks at him lovingly and gets teary-eyed. In a world filled with judgment, hate, and sadness if you’re not someone who fits society’s norm, David’s mom saw that her son was accepted, loved, and happy. As a mother, that’s all you want for your child.
And lastly, I wanted to include what Brian Austin Green, who starred in ‘90210’ back in the 90’s, in this conversation. His oldest son, Kassius, is openly gay, and he opened up about what it was like raising him during a conversation with Lance Bass back in October on his podcast, ‘Frosted Tips with Lance Bass’.
“I would get into these conversations with Kash where it was like I really wanted to understand the things that seemed so different to me at first. And then you realize, ‘Oh, this isn’t different at all.’ It’s just your choice of partner. It doesn’t affect me at all. And that’s the thing I’m always trying to beat into people now — it does not affect you. Why do you care so much? And why are you trying to somehow bully your feelings and your opinion into something that literally does not affect you at all? think a lot of people are afraid of the unknown, whereas I’m not. To me, it’s intriguing. And I want to learn about it.”
Bass, who’s a gay man himself and only opened up about his sexuality in 2006, which was long after his NSYNC days, praised Green for the way he saw his son’s sexuality. “He was so lucky to be able to be in your family because so many kids out there don’t get that. And even if their parents accept them, there’s a lot of times when the kid still knows that they still disagree with it.”
I guess I had a point to make in all of this. Queer people are just like anyone else in the world. If I were to end up with a woman instead of my husband, my life wouldn’t be any different than it is now. I might not have had my son, obviously. But that’s not to say that I wouldn’t be able to have children. In a world that’s filled with judgment, hate, and sadness, we must learn to let people just be; let ALL people just be; not just the queer. It may seem like a tough thing to do, but it’s really not. In order to do that, the only thing we need to do is focus on ourselves instead of other people. It’s really that simple.