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The Importance of Being Ernest(ly Gay)

Every time I see a gay character on tv, read about one in a book, or hear one on the radio, the first emotion I have is anger. Well, okay first I grin a little. Then the anger swoops in. I have this anger because I know- I KNOW- someone out there is rolling their eyes and commenting that “they put this gay stuff in everything these days”. Thing is, THANK GOD THEY DO. When I was at a young impressionable age, not knowing how to cope with being gay, I got one heaping spoonful after the other of intensely unhealthy examples of what it meant to exist as a gay woman. For example, I spent my Friday nights reading the back of every independent film case at Hastings hoping to find a hint of a gay relationship contained inside. When I was lucky enough to find one, can you guess how these movies went? Usually it was an incredibly destructive relationship (if you could even call it a "relationship") that ended in drug addiction, death, shame, jail, etc. That stuck in my mind. As a baby gay, I thought those were the options. When you begin to form bonds and interact with others in a romantic setting those aren’t the greatest things to have living in the back of your mind. Destruction, hate, pain, depression, abuse- this was what we get? I never knew a healthy relationship was even an option. I became Paulie Oster from Lost and Delirious. I only knew to love fiercely and then completely fall apart if it didn't go as planned. Not exactly storybook love material.

Today, as I watched a music video from Pvris, Heaven, it hit me like a ton of rainbow bricks. Young gay kids actually have positive role models who just live their lives. They simply... exist. Knowing this is a reality for kids these days is absolutely stunning to me. For instance, in Deadpool 2 where Negasonic Teenage Warhead gets a girlfriend, the articles written about it deal with the fact that her girlfriend "isn't the mutant you thought", instead of "ohh the controversy" [Not that kids should see Deadpool, fyi]. Or when I was reading the book series Changers where a teenage boy learns he will become 4 different people over the course of his high school run. In the midst of this he realizes that loving someone has nothing to do with what gender you or the other person are, just that there's a connection and genuine care for one another. (There are obviously other takeaways, but it was a nice one.) I remember recently hearing about the possibility of a gay kid on a Disney channel show and thinking, "I can't imagine how amazing that would have made me feel to know I'm not alone at that age", but I realize some people think it's just part of the Gay Agenda to turn their kids gay. If the petition hasn't already circulated, I'm sure it will. I promise, "gay" is not as contagious as you think. It's only like 17% contagious. So, yeah, when I see two dudes just existing as boyfriends on some random tv show you bet the tiny gay inside me is doing back flips and fast claps. I mean, just think of all the kids who will grow up knowing there is an actual future for them. Just as they are. Happiness, creation, love, companionship, laughter, marriage. They won’t think they were only meant to suffer because of what they've seen in the media, they'll actually have hope. The more representation that's out there, the more gay kids will live healthier lives. Let's make "happy gay kids" a redundant statement instead of an outlier.

Now, let's go eat cake.

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