Friday, October 25, 2013

The Persistence of the Closet

Just a tidbit: I'm traveling this weekend, so I have a television in front of me, tuned to Jimmy Kimmel's talk show.  One of his guests tonight is a young actress named Kerry Washington, who's very civic-minded and involved in anti-bullying organizations.  She mentioned that today is Spirit Day, an anti-bullying event, though she didn't mention it was sponsored by GLAAD or that its focus is on the bullying of GLBT youth. 

Then she mentioned that she's going to do an event with GLSEN, "another ... anti-bullying group."  There was a tiny hesitation in the middle of that phrase, which suggests to me that she knows better.  GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is concerned with bullying, but also with curriculum -- how to acknowledge that there are gay people, including students, in school and in the world at large, from the first years of school.  Washington's hesitation, indicating she knew she was talking about a gay organization but chose not to mention it.  I can understand that, I guess, but it's a sign of how far we still have to go that this small closeting still happens, on quasi-sophisticated late-
night television.