“You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I’m homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.”
Sure he has since apologized and been banned by the NBA*, but the damage was done.
Then, while watching “Ugly Betty,” I started to feel better. A lot better. Now my love for all things Bettylicious is well documented and unwavering. Last night it became transcendent. For all its camp and craziness, the show is really about heart. And, in a subtle way, changing people’s hearts and minds.
I can’t think of another primetime show right now that more deftly and effectively addresses gay issues. In last night’s episode, the parallel storylines of transgendered Alexis’ rejection and future-gay Justin’s acceptance were nothing short of magnificent. This is how change happens. It takes seeing someone you care about - even if only a fictional character - being hated or loved for who she or he is to challenge a person’s beliefs.
To quote Alexis: “People are kind of awful.” True, but sometimes they might just catch you off guard in a good way. When Justin’s father stood up for him finally, my God, I teared up. I really did. Can “Ugly Betty” save the world? No, of course not. But it can make it just a little bit better. Watch it for yourself and feel just a little better about the world, too.
*NOTE: For the record, I in no way forgive Hardaway. And yes I realize it was a half-ass apology and yes I realize the NBA banned him only from All-Star Weekend. I was trying to be brief since I linked to the full story. That man is a bigot without remorse and there is no excuse for that. Period. End of story.