Culture

The Kiss that Launched a Thousand 'Sh*ts'

I don’t watch ABC’s teen drama The Fosters. I don’t watch much of anything at all on ABC Family Network except when they show a Disney classic as they occasionally do.

But I’m constantly amazed at the capacity of people to be offended by the most innocent of gestures. Either that, or some people are just professionals in the outrage business. They express their disapproval not because they care, but because it’s cool and makes them feel good to bash someone else. I think most internet bullying is like that.

Well, it seems The Fosters has aroused the Outrage Brigade because the show showed a kiss between two teenage male cast members — one of whom is apparently openly gay.

A couple of Twitter reactions:

“Gay kiddie porn”? Are you kidding me? If Barnhardt thinks that a kiss is pornography, she’d feel right at home in Iran or Saudi Arabia. Come to think of it, don’t they execute gays in those two countries?

 

Amazing. Equating homosexuality with child sexual abuse? (Sandusky was the Penn State coach who diddled little boys).

 

“Forced on us”? Is your TV remote broken? The storyline had been building to this moment for two years. Why watch it — unless you were waiting for the moment just so you could express your outrage about it?

No one likes to hear a lecture — and this one will almost certainly fall on deaf ears anyway. But I’m sure my thoughts represent the majority of conservatives — and good-hearted, patriotic Americans as well. Someone has to tell these loutish, ignorant, bigots off and I’m just the one to do it.

Gays are with us and aren’t going anywhere. Get used to it. They are your neighbors, your co-workers, the guy who rings up your groceries, and for many, many of you, your family members.

I don’t expect those who think every word in the Bible is holy writ to change their views. But can you at least keep them to yourself? Not buying the “Hate the sin, love the sinner” BS your selling. You hate and fear the sinner and sin equally. Denying it only makes you a hypocrite in the eyes of your god.

It may surprise some of you to learn that gay people are human beings. As such, they are afflicted with every human emotion: hate, envy, joy, sorrow…and love. There are many ways to express that love. One way is by kissing. The kiss in The Fosters was so innocent, so chaste, that to get outraged about it shows a total lack of perspective on your part. Needless to say, with the rampant portrayal of full-on, nude heterosexual sex on TV, a single same-sex kiss — brief, and intelligently handled by the actors and director — should be celebrated as a sign of restraint on the part of the producers.

Gays are with us. Get used to it. And as Americans, you better decide fairly quickly whether you want a two-tiered society with heterosexuals enjoying all the rights and privileges due an American citizen while gays are denied some of those same rights. Is that the America envisioned by the Founders, all you “Constitutional Conservatives”?

Gays are with us. They aren’t going anywhere. Get used to it. Homosexuality is not a disease. You can’t catch it by breathing the same air as a gay person. You certainly can’t get it by watching two boys share a tender moment. This notion that no overt expressions of gay love can be shown on TV or portrayed in a young adult book is crazy. What are you going to do when gay kissing is as commonplace on TV as black-white kissing is today? I’m old enough to remember the huge blow-up over the kiss between Captain Kirk and Uhuru in the Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren.” How silly is it to object to that sort of thing today?

The nauseating bigotry expressed by so many on the right who see gays as second-class citizens to be shunned and thrown back in the closet is making those of us in the majority who disagree look just as hateful and ignorant as the bigots. From now on, keep your “outrage” to yourselves and try practicing that most conservative of principles…

Tolerance.