i'm not gay
but I kiss gay
While Sean Hayes was busy proving he can suck face with a girl (ironically the one girl any gay man would gladly suck face with), the season premiere of True Blood last night cashed in on television's obsessive "mock gay moment" trend with a male/male make-out dream sequence.
A lot of people complained about the recent (not to mention previous) MTV Movie Awards overuse of understandably straight celebrities kissing. This year we got Scarlett Johansson and Sandra Bullock and in 2003 it was Britney Spears and Madonna. Even Jason Bateman and Dustin Hoffman kissed at a Lakers Game.
Is it funny anymore? Is it shocking anymore? Does anyone really care?
The key component for the mock gay joke to work is that it's televised. It's a public display of homosexuality, but it's socially acceptable because both parties are "proven" heterosexuals. Should one of the two parties involved in the kissing be actually gay, the joke turns from amusing to awkward. Two gays kissing and it's no longer a joke to audiences. It's shocking, and perhaps even gross.
Personally, the mock gay moment is offensive and demeaning. It reduces being gay to what straight people perceive as an act. That gay is acting gay. Perceiving that it could "happen at any moment" and is possibly contagious. While the more common straight male fantasy of two girls making out is a comedy staple, two guys embracing then locking lips is reserved for the big laughs.
Understandably, comedy needs a level of unpredictability and irony to work, but we're getting past that point with the mock gay comedy staple. It's not ironic if you're gay - it's a common occurrence. It is nothing you "do" so much as a part of who you are. It's not meant to be laughed at, or mocked or shocking.
But until we grow past the concept that people's differences are the stuff of comedic exploitation (case in point Sex and the City 2 or any joke still being performed by Don Rickles), we're stuck with the nervous schoolgirl giggles of millions who need to grow-the-fuck-up.