I agree there are certain things you shouldn’t ask or tell about. My short list includes annual income, explicit sexual details, and common–yet disgusting–skin conditions that can easily be treated with over the counter products. The rest is fair game.
So, with asking and telling in mind, I recently set forth on the 16th Street Mall with a videographer, a producer (me), and The Real World‘s Mike Manning to interview total strangers on camera about gay rights for a project we were doing with the Human Rights Campaign. We had my girl Kailey on makeup and 303 Magazine’s Allegra on style to keep Mike looking fantastic (not that he needed much help). We also brought a very big guy along with us to keep things cool, in case someone decided to punch Mike in the face for asking provocative questions about gay marriage and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
But the oddest thing happened that day. We talked to people of various ages, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds–you name it. And almost everyone we stopped to interview had a gay friend or relative or parent or child. It was almost unbelievable. At the end of the shoot, Mike summarized on camera: “So we’re wrapping up today, and to be honest, I really didn’t find that many people who had a problem with the LGBT community. I think the moral of the story today is more of us are being honest and open with our lives and it’s really making a huge change.”
Gay has definitely become more than Will and Grace or Ernie and Bert (cute on television, but far removed from your life). I’m gonna say it right here and right now: Gay is the new left-handed. Both gays and lefties make up about 10% of the population. And just like with left-handedness, the general public seems to be finally catching on that being gay is a “tendency” you just can’t change.