C. Baptiste-Williams at 10:43 AM Labels: gay, social commentary
So a week ago Monday, Washington Post staff writer Theresa Vargas wrote a very interesting article entitled, Owning His Gay Identity -- at 15 years old. The article covers several stories of kids coming out in middle and high school but particular focuses on a local boy Saro Harvey and his struggles of being openly gay in high school. The article does a good job showing the discrimination and bullying the young man goes through however for me the underlying issue in the article and in life is not Saro being gay, but the prevalence for young homosexuals (or confused kids) thinking being gay is carrying a purse, talking with a lisp, or any other feminine characteristics.
While I usually read the Post everyday, I somehow missed this article and it wasn't brought to my attention until I was reading Rod 2.0 and was surprised when reading the comment section and how everyone was so proud of how courageous this young man was. Which you will get no argument from me. But the piece goes into how Saro's family is concerned that his self expression and choice of wearing girl's clothes may make him a target for violence.
While we are focusing on tolerance for others we should also focus on giving young homosexual men positive depictions of masculine gay men. There are very few on TV and in movies (sorry I don't quite think Omar from the Wire would classify as positive) and in the media in general. While there are several in the community, it is unfortunate that these are the daily images they see or strive to be like.
I think Vargas did a good job on the article but it pains me that I walk away from it upset about what young homosexuals think being gay really is.