Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Free to be you and me

Clearly I'm a bit behind the times because only now (a week later) am I hearing about this speech from Ellen. I heard about it through one of my weekly podcasts The Daily Purge - hilariously hosted by two gays from Chicago - and it was referenced to during a discussion of the Ben Affleck / Jimmy Kimmel video that came out recently. Admittedly, I projectile laughed at that video and have watched it several times since but I get where Ellen is coming from. I find the whole issue a little difficult to process and I don't know if being straight has anything to do with it.

I know that as a woman I get queasy watching the rape and violence storyline's of Law & Order SUV, I had to leave the room during "Boys Don't Cry" and I didn't get a full nights sleep for weeks after seeing that Farrah Fawcett movie The Burning Bed - don't even get me started on the book.

But I also know that I laugh during the terribly politically incorrect moments of Family Guy and South Park. I have the ability - or at least I hope I do - to have a sense of humour about some of these issues without diminishing their importance or seriousness. And while I might not be able to articulate it, I know when my throat starts to close and my stomach drops that something has crossed the line.

I'm not sure if laughing at Ben Affleck and Jimmy Kimmel is an offense to the gay community but I do know that a kid getting killed for a valentine should be an offense to the whole world.
I don't think Jimmy Kimmel is the one that made an 8th grade boy so afraid of a gay person that he felt he needed to kill. So maybe we should ask his parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings what they think.

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