The New Millennial Gay Experience
|Posted on March 1, 2014 at 11:40 PM|
By Dennis Stone
Will I Be Watching SNL because Jim Parsons Is the Host? Jim Parsons, the star of “The Big Bang Theory,” is hosting Saturday Night Live tonight. Jim came out as gay last year, one of the more notable celebrities to use the newly fashionable “low-key casual” methodology of taking that step. When he was announced as an upcoming SNL host it became news on gay sites. If a gay celebrity does anything notable it’s news in the gay world. Lots of gay people will be watching the show with special interest and anticipation – many of whom wouldn’t have watched otherwise – and Ed Kennedy of the Backlot will have a special recap of the show in his morning Meme. All because he’s gay.
So will you be watching for the same reason? Does Parsons being “one of us” make him automatically worth following, worth special attention? Is his success our success in some way? Personally, I don’t feel that way. Yes, I’ll watch the show, but it will be because I usually watch the show, though there’s the added allure that Parsons is a very funny guy in a rather unique way. It will be interesting to see what the show does with him. I’ll be aware that he’s gay, of course, and that does give me some level of connection with him. But the fact that he shares that with me doesn’t make him so special to me that I would watch the show for that reason.
I don’t want to criticize those who do follow celebrities simply because they are gay. We share kinship with others on all sorts of levels: family members, of course, but also people from our city or state, people with similar nationality origins (go Norwegians!), people who work in the same industry as we do, people who follow the same sports teams we do, etc. Each person has to decide which of these connections will be the most important to them, and if any will dominate. For many gay people the gay connection is by far the most dominant one in their lives. For me, though, it’s just one of many connections I have with people, and it’s just not something that’s extraordinary.
I think that difference in outlook is one of the big demarcations between younger “new millennial” gays and older gays. Though there are many younger people who do focus a lot of their attention on their sexuality and on gay celebrities. But as social evolution continues I think the movement will be more and more toward the new millennial outlook.