Tag Archives: Modern Family

Celebrating LGBTQ History on Fathers’ Day: LGBT Parents

17 Jun

When I was growing up in the 70s the gay rights movement was just beginning. While it would occasionally surge onto the news, it was in many ways treated as secondary to other movements like the anti-war protests and Second Wave Feminism. Those early days truly changed the landscape, however, and set the stage for the broader progress we see today. Things really moved backwards in the 80s and 90s, when you consider how easily gay and lesbian references cropped up on 70s TV like Sonny and Cher and the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

One thing that would never get into the press or the programs was the idea of gay parents. Even as laws punishing gay sex slowly were repealed or went unenforced in many places, homosexuality was still used as a legal barrier to adoption or to custody. (Interesting how that shows how obsessed our opponents are with the sexual side of things…) While the legal landscape still has a way to go, LGBT parents are far more visible and that’s a very good thing. It’s hard to fear what you understand, and it’s easy to understand your neighbors.

Starting with famous books like Heather Has Two Mommies, the narrative of gay parents as part of the American fabric has slowly become clearer and clearer. Celebrity parents like Melissa Etheridge and Neil Patrick Harris opening their homes show loving, supportive families that look familiar to most people. Many more movies and TV show LGBT parents and adoptions just as a matter of course. Modern Family does a phenomenal job of normalizing same-sex parenting, and is far more about parenting than making a big deal that the parents just happen to be two dads.  The Kids Are All Right shows that LGBT families are just as normal (and messed up) as any other families – the fact that there are two moms is the least of their issues. JC Penney’s bold new brand is aggressively acknowledging that families come in all flavors with inclusive advertising images (much to the ire of One Million Moms). Even comic books get into the game, with DC’s Apollo and Midnighter adopting Jenny Quantum after their marriage.

Being a parent is hard and being a good parent in a complex world is even harder. We need kids to have strong families and good support; the orientations of the parents are irrelevant. No matter what Mark Regnerus and his funders would have you believe, LGBT folk make great parents, and all the good research supports that wholeheartedly. In fact, same-sex households can turn out kids as wonderful as Zach Wahls. So let’s take time this Fathers’ Day to celebrate the families that often require more intent and face challenges from the narrow-minded no matter how well they work.

P.S. – Let’s also celebrate the straight parents who love and accept their LGBT children unconditionally. Since bullying and abuse of these kids is still a significant problem, a loving home is often the saving grace. Three cheers to the Judy Shepards, Daphne’s Moms, and PFLAG moms and dads all over America.


Jane Lynch and Visibility

19 Sep

Cheers to Jane Lynch

While it is true that we don’t watch much television in our home, we actually did try to watch the Emmys last night. What motivated us to watch the show was that Modern Family received many nominations (the one show we do watch every Wednesday) and that openly gay Jane Lynch was hosting.

I have loved Jane Lynch since she starred in the Christopher Guest mocumentary, Best in Show.  I also loved her in the unfortunately very short lived Love Spring International, which was brilliantly done. While hosting the Emmys, Lynch made reference to her being lesbian no less than three times.  This is a huge deal and I was exceedingly proud of her. Any other host of any other award show is always presumed to be heterosexual, regardless if this is an accurate presumption or not.  Lynch’s openly talking about herself and her wife increases the visibility of the LGBT community and says to the millions of viewers that we are here, we look like and act like the rest of the population of the world, which I hope makes it much more difficult to continue to marginalize us.

Points to Lynch for showing great social courage and integrity for not only hosting the Emmys but putting herself out there for all to see. I also had to tip my hat to Ms. Lynch for her wit and calling out the Teahaddists:

Yesterday, my daughter had a tea party with her little friends, and it was so cute. They complained about taxes, called Obama a Communist, and wondered how the Latina kid got in.

For me, that was probably the best part of the entire show. However, I do worry some that Lynch revealed secrets about the Gay Agenda on national television.

Not only did Lynch help to show the world that us LGBT folk are just like everyone else, well perhaps we are a bit better dressed and a bit more witty, but the fact that Modern Family, picked up so many awards also helps to show fear-based bigots that we cannot and will not be as easily marginalized as we once were.  In an interview after the Emmys, Ty Burell, who won Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, said this:

…it feels very very good to be on a show that seems to be changing a lot of minds … it’s a great thing to peripherally go to events and talk to family and have people talk about the characters the same way they talk about other characters.

Julie Bowen, who won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, added:

To me, it’s absurd that it is an issue, but in that it is an issue, I’m glad that we’re helping to change minds.

These are the heterosexual allies we need!  Lynch and the cast of Modern Family help to show that LGBT people  really we are just like all other human beings.  We come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors, and religious backgrounds.

Sofia Vergara and Social Justice

16 Sep

Civil Rights Champion

Sofia Vergara is more than just another pretty face. The star of ABC’s smash sitcom, Modern Family, is also an outspoken champion of social justice and gay rights. Recently, Vergara released a public service announcement for GLAAD  as part of their Be an Ally and a Friend campaign. She has a long-standing relationship with GLAAd, having presented at their 2010 awards ceremony and participated in a number of their outreach activities.

Understanding the dual pressures of being LGBT and hispanic, she recorded the PSA in Spanish. When asked about that decision, she responded:

imagine how hard it is for Latin guys and Latin kids to be gay. Most of us are raised very Catholic, and the macho figure is very strong in our culture, so it’s still more taboo and a million times more dramatic to come out. Many gay friends have told me how hard it was for them to be open in the Latin community. Nothing’s going to change from one day to the other, so it’s a matter of doing things little by little.

She also sat down for an interview with the LGBTQ news magazine The Advocate recently to discuss the PSA and her support for the gay community. The whole interview is delightful, showing Vergara’s elegance, wit, and charm. One quote nails the issue of LGBT equality and civil rights:

We have to appreciate each other’s differences and accept people who have the courage to accept themselves. That’s beautiful.

So are you, Sofia, inside and out. Thank you for your wonderful work on the screen and in the lives of the LGBTQ community. Okay, so maybe I would cross the road for both Sofia Vergara and Helen Mirren.

More on the Gay Agenda (Caution for readers)

11 Jul

I take my role as a gay man quite seriously and I know I have to abide by the “Gay Agenda” I signed up for when I “chose” to be gay.  It is a very ambitious day today and I only hope I can accomplish all that needs my attention.  (I feel rather bad for fierce LGBT allies like Jennifer Carey, and many of my other heterosexual friends, for I know my actions today may cause the demise of many a heterosexual marriage).

Monday, 6:20 am: Reveal the “Master Plan” on SJFA and delineate point by point the weapons of mass destruction from the Big Wheel at Homo Headquarters.

Here it is folks.  What you will read next is not for the faint of heart!

6:45:  Feed all four cats.  Oscar and Oliver both get surly if they are not fed in the morning, while Max will just get grumpy and Earnest decides to jump on countertops.

6:50: Go downstairs to wash all the breakfast dishes and then clean countertops and stove top. I will then proceed to go back upstairs and brush my teeth.  This is a complicated process. I like to brush first with a regular tooth brush. I then brush again with my electronic toothbrush which is followed by a thorough flossing.  Remember, flossing regularly  can add seven years to your life expectancy. After flossing I like to then use my waterpik.  I like to get all my toiletries out of the way before I shower.

8:00: Shave and then shower.  I like to moisturize after showering, so I put on sun screen on my face.  Then comes the blow drying and straightening of my hair, which starts at 8:25.

9:30: My hair is now somewhat straight and I’m ready to conquer the day, with every move I make I realize I am terrorizing and threatening heterosexual marriages everywhere.

Most of my morning will be talking with financial aid for school next year and running errands preparing for the school year.  Later this afternoon, I need to run to the grocery store and buy turkey and swiss cheese for dinners this week.

Upon returning home from my errands, I shall water all of our flowering plants and retrieve the mail.  I also need to clean out the shower basin and scrub the bathroom countertop. Vacuum all the cat hair from the runner downstairs. Change the litter box. Clean the refrigerator. Pick the basil from the garden for dinner tonight. Hopefully there will be time left in the day so I can get caught up on some reading.  I also need to return phone calls and write a couple of thank you notes. I’m trying to finish Jean Auel’s Shelters of Stone.  

When my husband returns from work, I shall make us dinner and then we will clean up after.  We may just throw caution to the wind this evening and watch the tv.  Yes, I’m feeling rather dare-devilish. I think we will watch a repeat of Modern Family (The Show of our people).

As the day progresses and I find that I have attended to other tasks, I shall update SJFA readers.  I suspect many of you have clutched your pearls after reading this rather aggressive diary. Alas, I cannot rest until we have full marriage equality and there is peace in our time.

What You Need to Know About Suzanne Whang

18 Feb

Brilliant Beautiful LGBT Ally

Okay, I will start this story with a confession. While most of you already know my husband and I don’t watch much television, we do watch two shows. We watch Modern Family and we watch the HGTV.  One of our favorite shows on HGTV is House Hunters. Lately, we have been missing Suzanne Whang and wondered what happened to her. Of course, I did some investigating on the internet and discovered that HGTV had now done a voice over rather than have our Suzanne as a host. However, the real point I want to underscore here, the real gem I discovered about Suzanne is how pro-gay she is.  What a lovely treat to discover she is such a great ally and supporter of equality for the LGBT community.  Now, I am in love with our Suzanne. Please take the time to watch this quick video of our Suzanne as she talks about equal rights.

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