While same-sex unions are old news, the recent overturning of the ban in California was still a big deal. Legalizing gay marriage in a state as large and high-profile as California was sure to spark new conversation.
Turns out I was wrong. I was surprised at how little attention was given to the overturning of the ban. The news that Ellen was marrying Portia De Rossi caused a bigger stir.
Great news for equality; when North America shrugs at something like this, it’s a sign that our culture has become more inclusive and allows more people to be treated like everyone else.
Legally speaking, homosexuals and heterosexuals are largely on equal ground. There’s still a lot of progress to be made in society, especially the media.
There was a mild shockwave when John Amaechi, a former NBA player, outed himself. When he did the media rounds, it was clear that the public had a lot of trouble reconciling the fact that a macho pro athlete was also a homosexual.
But that’s just because it was the first time anyone had ever spoken out about it on that scale. Similarly, when same-sex unions were legalized in Massachusetts, it was the first time in the USA that it was a national headline. This second round in California didn’t have nearly the same hoopla.
Inevitably, another pro athlete in a major sport will come out and it will not have the same impact.
The Final Frontier
Hip-hop is one of the most homophobic industries in society. Combine this with the fact that nearly every song by a male hip-hop artist makes reference to his sexual proficiency with women and you’ve got a culture where homosexuals are not allowed to succeed.
You call another rapper weak by saying he is gay. In a world where aggression and bravado win, systemic discrimination runs deep.
It’s highly possible that some high-profile rappers are gay, and are leading a different life in front of the camera for the sake of their careers. In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about a large homosexual subculture in hip-hop.
If a successful hip-hop artist were to come out, it would likely be in the style of John Amaechi, speaking out ex vivo once his career was already finished. The first homosexual rapper to make the big time from the start will need to be a Jackie Robinson. Someone who is so innately gifted that any negativity is deflected simply by skill and ability.
It’s simply a matter of time. Rock music was once an industry where only macho, skirt-chasing men succeeded. Then people like Freddie Mercury and Elton John came along and forced people to rethink the roles and identities of rockstars. The industry is a much richer place for it.
Does Gen Y — a generation where equality is championed — have what it takes to stamp out homophobia?
Thanks to superflow for the pic.