It’s simple, really. I want people to be happy.
Basically, we’re introduced to a lot of gay self-haters. These are the poor folks that those cruel Ex-Gay Camps try to recruit to drain all their money and traumatize their emotions.
The basic problem is this: society sucks. We have a long way to go in terms of all kinds of equality, respect, and appreciation. But the problem isn’t any person’s identity.
You should be able to be yourself, be happy, and have meaningful relationships. The guy in the third clip, Elian, who had been married for five years is a great example. While part of me feels like he is just tapping heterosexual privilege, I also respect that he’s found some happiness outside of the norm. He knows he is gay, but he’s happy with his wife. He knows he doesn’t have to be, and ultimately he doesn’t recommend it. It was a special circumstance, he went with it, and he’s happy.
Being gay means I know what kind of relationship will bring me the most happiness: one with a guy. It means life is harder. It means I will spend my whole life defending my family from prejudice. It means being scared to hold my partner’s hand in public. It means a lot of things, but the most important thing it means is being HONEST with myself about who I am.
I think the guy in the second clip (Gregg) is the best example of what so many young gay people need to see. Your sexual orientation does not have to define who you are, how you act, who you spend time with, or any other stereotypical nonsense. I think I’m pretty lucky to be gay, because by overcoming the challenge of coming out, I can be more open and honest about who I want to be without feeling so compelled to conform to the gender binary. Many times I do, but I do for the sake of being me, not of being “straight-acting.”
I also understand how challenging it is to find monogamy in the gay community. I don’t think percentage-wise it’s any harder than the straight community; it’s just that our numbers are a lot smaller and we have a lot more negative media messages to fight against. Here I am: I’m 23 and gay and single… and I want commitment! I know that scares away a lot of gay men, but I don’t care, because I don’t have to conform to a hook-up culture to be happy. I have to find someone who is confident enough to resist those gay cultural pressures the same way I and so many others do.
It was my college experience that helped me find comfort with myself, and the confidence to be myself in the face of an adversarial society. I look forward to the opportunity to help young people like Shane (clip 1) realize that they don’t need to change who they are, only how they feel about themselves.
We should all be free to be ourselves. What is gained by not?