Friday, 25 May 2012

A Brief Comment...

On Jim Parson's decision to come out.  I got into a conversation about celebrities choosing to reveal their sexualities when Zachary Quinto made this choice at the end of last year.  There can be a temptation to respond to this news with a shrug of the shoulders and a comment along the lines of "So, who cares?" 

I'd suggest this isn't actually a good response.  If I can be permitted to speculate for a moment, I think a lot of people react this way because they're not a fan of the kind of micro-study of celebrities every act, finding (as I do) the obsession with such gossip a distraction at best, and unhealthy at worst.  There's also the fact that suggesting learning of Parson's sexual orientation makes any difference to you could be interpreted by others as homophobic.

There is nothing wrong, of course, with thinking Parson's announcement makes no real difference to you.  But let's not forget the people for who it might make a difference to: young gay people for whom the normalisation of homosexuality is a pressing concern, and for whom - particularly in America - the knowledge that respected, high-profile people can discuss their sexuality without their world collapsing around them.  We've come a long way from the 80s, when I grew up, in which the choice of role-models for young gay men wasn't too wide, or as impressive as it is now (I'm ashamed to admit that this was pointed out to me by a gay acquaintance of mine; I was far too busy staring at Pamle Anderson et al to notice), but there's still plenty of work to be done.

Quinto himself said he'd chosen to come out because he'd felt he'd done as much as he could to advance the cause of gay rights without pinning his own colours to the mast.  Whilst knowing the actor who plays Sheldon is gay will be a supreme irrelevance the next time I watch Big Bang Theory, I congratulate Parsons on his decision, and hope that it will make the lives of those suffering from unreasoning bigotry that little bit easier.

Update: I think I should have been clearer, actually.  I'm trying to say that public stating this news isn't worthy of consideration is a bad idea.


BigHead said...

You shouldn't be watching the Big Bang Theory anyway. You're letting the side down.

SpaceSquid said...

A bunch of physicists doing stupid things whilst thinking they're brilliant? Works for me.

Now if they tried to write "The Big Bayes Theory..."

BigHead said...

It gives totally the wrong impression of nerds. For instance, that you could make sitcoms about them. A realistic portrayal would either be incredibly boring or too funny for anyone to understand.

SpaceSquid said...

See, I always just assumed they were nerds like me; basically useless but somehow scraping through in between gaming sessions and failing to get laid.