I'm going out on a limb by writing this.
I know the wrath I might incur from fandom.
There was a time in my life when I was not comfortable with the idea homosexuality. I was raised Christian, I still identify as Christian, and as we all know, Christianity is notorious for being against homosexuality. To that, I say, "We kinda have the go forth and multiply thing covered. Let's chill and focus on loving each other." As children, we are not accountable for virtually anything. We pay for our mistakes (oh, do we pay), but the price is low before the age of accountability. When is the age of accountability? If I could name one, we'd know it already, stupidity would be a crime, and I'd be in law enforcement.
As I started coming into my own, I questioned this particular prejudice, among others, and couldn't fathom what was "wrong" with it. It took me a while to become comfortable with the idea, and a little longer to become comfortable with the whole package.
"Well, what does it matter if you're comfortable with it or not?"
I'd rather not be a bigot, and I'd rather nobody have reason to think of me as such. My aunt is married to a wonderful woman (which the state of Washington needs to recognize) and one of my best friends is engaged, and I love them all to pieces. I would hate to do anything that would disappoint them, or make them ashamed of me.
"Oh, so you're only conforming because you don't want to be ridiculed?" <= Yes, someone has tried to use this "argument" against me. I trust that, if you're taking the time to read this, you either know me infinitely better, or you're just infinitely wiser.
I was crazy about Buffy the Vampire Slayer in high school (a few seasons, anyway). I loved Willow, and, when she was introduced, I adored Tara. Their relationship to each other, however, felt off. I was afraid to say much about it, because I was afraid of being called a homophobe or bigot. After meeting more Buffy fans during my university years, a few more helped me articulate the problem: their relationship did not feel authentic.
A number of friends have come out over the years, and when asked about it, they all have said, "I've always known. I just wasn't sure if it was what I thought it was..." or something similar to that. With Willow, it felt as though someone just flipped a switch. I picture one of the writers deciding, "We need to reach another demographic! Let's make Willow a lesbian!" Because sexuality can just be made and unmade, I suppose.
Please note the sarcasm in that last sentence.
I was introduced to BBC's Sherlock around Christmas 2010. Actually, I think it was precisely Christmas. My little-brother-in-law saw it and wanted to share. A couple of us couldn't sit still long enough for the story to unfold, but I was virtually glued to my seat. I'll stop there before I digress (I'll fangirl some other time).
Apparently, Sherlock and John's sexuality has been questioned and theorized for decades (even though one of them ends up marrying a woman). I haven't looked into this; I'm only going by what I've heard or read in second-hand accounts. I'm sorry (not really) but I can't help rolling my eyes. I realize that homosexuality is shied away from in the media (to put it nicely), and that this version of Sherlock is something of a re-imagining, but this is something I cannot accept. Why? At first, I couldn't articulate the problem. No quotation marks; this is a serious problem. Then I saw Brave.
If you still haven't seen Brave, there will be spoilers. Merida does not marry anyone at the end of the movie.
Sorry, did you need more forewarning than that? My apologies. There's just nothing else in the story that's relevant for this blog.
Since Merida does not marry, the internet went wild: SHE MIGHT BE A LESBIAN!!!
No. Just, no. For one thing, don't give Hollywood so much credit; they're not as open-minded as all that. For another, this is not progressive thinking. Here's the problem: Since she's single at the end of the movie, there seems to be this idea that something must be "wrong" with her (even though she's a frak'n teenager). The masses need some explanation for why a young woman is not married off, or at least attached, by the end of a feature film. So what's "wrong" with her? SHE MIGHT BE A LESBIAN!!!
Thanks to this movie, I can articulate the problem I have with "JohnLock": Romance and marriage are ridiculously overrated, and friendship is criminally underrated. Yes, for those of you who know me, this is a happily married woman, who loves being married, saying that marriage is overrated. My husband agrees. It is not for everyone, and it is not a decision to be made lightly in Vegas. I strongly believe that, by comparison, marriage should be difficult to obtain and divorce easy, but this only leads to a ramble.
A friend of mine is a Human Development major. He's the youngest in our merry band, and thusly, the last to graduate. Makes for a lonely existence. He was chatting with his fellow HumDev'ers about what makes someone a good friend. In a friend, he's looking for someone he can talk to about anything without fear of being misunderstood, misjudged, or ridiculed. Sure, it happens sometimes, but it shouldn't be a constant concern. If he says something wrong, he wants to be able to trust that his friend will try to understand what he meant, and at least ask him to clarify. If you're his friend, he can drop in on you at all times of day or night if he's in trouble, and you'll be there for him; the reverse is also expected.
"Dude, why don't you just get married?"
Ouch. Can we really not expect the highest decency from those whom we choose to call "friend"? Is a "friend" only someone who might hold your hair for you when you're vomiting cheap beer all over the pavement? Is this the most we can expect from each other?
I am tired of romance being the focal point for every show on television. I am tired of the idea that there must be something "wrong" with someone if they've gone through their twenties without getting married. I am tired of "friend" being an insult:
"Oh, look at that, Sven's in the friend zone." Cue humiliating laughter.
I understand that the media needs to catch up with the times and start recognizing homosexual relationships as normal instead of just movie flair. Before that can happen, I think we need them to recognize women as people instead of prizes. Why? Because if a strong, competent heterosexual woman is not "normal", how can we expect Hollywood to recognize a "devious" sexuality as normal and healthy? I'm surmising that lesbians have it worse because if women are supposed to be the prize, and if the movie is about "them", what do movie producers default to? "PORN! The women get to fuck each other and the men get to ogle. Everybody wins!"
This is a round-about way of saying that I have very little respect for Hollywood, at this point in time.
I'm tired of friendship – real friendship – being something that characters and people settle for when they can't find something to fuck in their spare time. I'm sorry (no, I'm not), but if this is how we measure characters and relationships in media and life, we need to raise our standards. This is why I can't stand "JohnLock".
ETA for shiggles: