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Scrolling through social media, I came across an Instagram post of a woman that went viral for her Facebook rant about the reboot of the cartoon, The Proud Family:Louder and Prouder, for having “too much gay in it”.
Sis — and I use that term loosely — was talking about new gay cartoon characters, Barry and Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins, who are a gay, interracial couple and the parents of adopted children. And then there’s Penny Proud’s childhood friend Michael Collins who now identifies as gay and gender non-conforming.
I found the woman, JuJu Israel, on Facebook and immediately noticed that she’s a hardcore holy roller. From experience, they’re usually the first in line to come for the gays. It always amazes me how these super religious people are so concerned about the life others are living instead of making sure they’re prepared for Jehovah’s return.
Anyway, JuJu’s claim to “wokeness” is that media is “coming for” kids, we’re living in Babylon and parents should not allow their children to watch Disney Plus unsupervised. She even references Michael wearing colors such as pink and purple as if it’s a bad influence.
One person commented saying this type of thinking is why they don’t go to church anymore. And as the world grows more liberal, we’re seeing more and more people distance themselves from organized religion.
Homophobia is hypocritical ignorance
Some highlighted the fact, and speaking from experience, that people don’t choose to be gay. Like honestly, who actually desires to be socially outcast or judged because of who they’re attracted to or love? Nobody!
There were also comments that countered and challenged Israel’s claim on influence. If many of us grew up watching heterosexual couples on television and are still gay, that means we weren’t influenced by that exposure. So, the same rule of thumb should apply to heterosexual youth.
All in all, the general consensus was this is the world today, let people live, be great and represented. This is the polite summation by the way. The LGBTQ+ community and allies did indeed read madam Israel for filth.
Aside from JuJu and other sinners using their religion as a reason to judge and condemn people, what’s really bothering me is the double-standards used against LBTQ+ people–especially when it comes to youth being influenced by the media.
People are so pressed about their kids seeing images of gay cartoon characters or gay people living and loving in their truth but not so much about the hypersexualized entertainment industry, crime and violence being promoted in music, or the rapidly growing popularity of drug culture.
Gay cartoon characters aren’t the problem
A few weeks ago, a video went viral of former B2K band member Lil Fizz masturbating. Right before that, another video of rapper Nelly receiving oral sex gained mass attention on social media. And in the past few days, music producer and reality tv star Stevie J gave a live interview while he was receiving fellatio from a woman.
No outrage materialized in any of these cases, but had they been gay men, all hell would’ve broken loose.
On the flip side, singer Lil Nas X has been attacked at all angles for expressing his sexual identity. At one point, the entertainer prayed that being gay was just a phase. He’s since been out and proud. As a result, he’s been trolled by rappers DaBaby, Lil Boosie and Christians.
Speaking of DaBaby (who I can’t stand) and Lil Boosie, more than half of their music talks about sex, drugs, murder and violence. When you see kids, nine times out of 10, they have headphones in their ears listening to and internalizing this music.
They idolize these people. So if anything has a strong and probably even negative influence on young people, it’s the actions and song lyrics of these artists.
Gay people have always been here
I remember back in the day when you had to have premium cable channels to watch R-rated content, especially those with sex.
Music was filtered on radio stations and videos with explicit images or lyrics were played after hours. Nowadays, kids can look on TV or social media and see the entire human body and sex acts at any given moment. They can listen to anything on streaming services. Apparently, that all seems to be OK, as long as it ain’t gay.
So for those that wanna be homophobic against gay cartoon characters in 2022, go ahead–us gays are going to live our lives fabulously regardless.
But what you’re not going to do is try to mask your hate with a false concern for the well-being of youth.
If that were truly the case, your outrage would be directed towards any and everything that encourages destruction of their mind, body, spirit and community and not what actually promotes love, positive representation and living freely.