Bil Browning

Real World DC's Mike talks LGBT issues with mom

Filed By Bil Browning | February 19, 2010 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: bisexual Mike, coming out of the closet, Ellen DeGeneres, HRC, Human Rights Campaign, LGBT issues, Real World DC, Will & Grace

I know it makes me seem old every time I mention it, but I'm still amazed sometimes at how far popular culture has gone in its mike-manning.jpgdepiction of LGBT people and issues. I can remember when anything remotely queer was a reason to tune into some TV drama or another and how big of a deal it was when Ellen came out or Will & Grace launched. A sitcom about gay people? No way!

Now TV shows are chock-full of our tribe. You can't flip the channels without finding one or another of us on the tube - competing on a reality show, making us laugh, or reading the news. Real World DC's openly bisexual Mike got a job with HRC while the show was filming and in this segment, he talks with him mom about LGBT issues. Her response still makes me choke up a bit as I remember how my own mom took the news and her complete and utter lack of interest in our fight for justice that continues till this day.

Video after the jump.

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This is so powerful and true!!! I don't usually watch The Real World but I wish every straight person who does not realize all of this would watch this clip. There are so many people who do not even know what GLBT people lose or don't get by being who they are. Many don't even know gay people can be tossed out of the military! My partner's son who is living with us now and is an adult thought that was something that used to be true but is not now. He is 22.

I wish more people watched Real World - especially old people. This contribution to the cultural conversation does a lot more than lobbying politicians immutable beliefs.

We DO have evidence that lobbying our friends, co-workers and neighbors does work. Who wants to move to Oklahoma? For the cause?

It makes we wonder why GLAAD just continues to police the media and entertainment, instead of seeding music, film and television programs. They are trying to appear relevant, perhaps they should change their focus. Blogs do a fine job of exposing anti-gay rhetoric, in fact, much better than GLAAD.

With the millions we spend on political efforts ($50 million a year to HRC) and orgs like GLAAD - it seems to make much more sense to focus on the cultural conversation.

Young people get it, why don't we?

I'm old 76 and I watch it. I also have twin gay nephews this age as cute as Mike, and they are proud of their bisexual Uncle. Mike's mother made an interesting point and her not knowing what LGBT meant. That is HRC's fault. Human Rights is not the same as LGBT rights. It's an umbrella term for all oppressed people in the world. A polite way for political people to recognize us LGBT's but still not recognizing us. John McCain also didn't know what the LGBT community was. When Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State says we have to help improve human rights, she is not talking about us queers. She is talking about underage women being circumcised in Africa, helping earthquake victims in Haiti, and tsunami victims in Thailand. The sad part is that LGBT's think that she is talking about us. "Human Rights" to describe our struggle fails for us as it would have for the Civil Rights struggle of 1960's. They need to rename their organization "Civil Rights for LGBT's". I am tired of the smoke and mirrors.

Well, I'm only 37 but I've never seen an episode of it. As much as I love reality shows, the MTV ones have always seemed so silly that I've passed them up. Apparently I should reconsider.

Charles - I couldn't agree with you more about the smoke and mirrors of "We're supporting human rights so obviously you're included!" Bah. No we're not. Obviously.

I don't know why our media has not given coverage to this show, and why (perhaps I just don't know where) GLAAD has not listed it where members of the community/movement will know about it.

And there is a reason we use the word human rights-as recent columns in newspapers have said, young people might understand our problem as they are being punished more than older people for the same crime, including sex crimes and even texting while driving, much less not allowed to drink while risking their lives in the military, etc.

Not until the U.N. includes sexual orientation in it's list of those discriminated against will Human Rights be relevant to our cause. United Nations Human Rights Council avoids including sexual orientation in their language prohibiting discrimination. They have discussions about homosexuality, but that's as far as it goes. Delegates from Muslims and Catholic countries can't admit homosexuality is acceptable due to their religious teachings. Uganda's "anti-homosexuality bill" reflects a pattern of state-sponsored homophobia spreading across the African continent.
However, the Catholic Church did make a statement that we shouldn't be killed. I suppose that is a step forward.