Parenting

Media Reaction to Elena Kagan Turns Lesbians Into Caricatures

| by The Next Family

By: Brandy Black

Sometimes I forget that I’m a lesbian. I’m so busy going about my own life as a mom, a wife and the many other hats that I wear that I don’t realize how incredibly important it is to some people that I’m gay. I was sitting outside on Saturday morning, reading the LA Times while my daughter built sandcastles in her water table, and I read an article about Supreme Court Justice designate Elena Kagan and her sexuality. The article centered around whether we have a right to know if she is gay and went on to tout that the mainstream media, including the LA Times, chooses to “resist the temptation to join the feeding frenzy.” I thought it quite funny that the journalist would write an article about that which he claims to not be covering. To his credit he did comment on this by saying “with the exception of media criticism like this.” I digress, as this was not the big “oh yeah I’m a lesbian” moment; the comment that really brought my life back to the cold harsh reality was “tabloids insist she is either a lesbian or an inexplicably single 50-year old, which to some seems to be the same thing.”  Now let’s just stop here- was it really necessary for him to make that last comment?

I pondered this as I sat with my beautiful daughter and my sweet fluffy dog in the front yard while we waited for my wife to come home and take us all out to breakfast. How quickly one little sentence –from a guy who thinks he’s being so politically correct –can offend the many of us out there who are real people behind the masks that “the media” chooses to put on us: short hair- yep, lesbian- baseball bat: yep, lesbian. I just don’t get it. I wonder if he would have made a comment like that if Elena had long beautiful wispy blonde hair and was rumored to be gay? I understand there is truth in what he printed; I’m aware that there are many people out there that don’t see gay people as deserving of having families, but what was his point? Did he realize that he was offending two different groups of people in those 9 little words?  What about people who are single? Choose to be single at, god-forbid, 50?

As I sat boiling in the shade in my front yard, I remembered that I am gay. I always will be, and as soon as I start to forget that, and live my life like the “normal” person that I am with the “normal” family that I have, I will always be reminded by someone, somewhere, that I am gay.

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