A funny thing has happened over the past few months – America seems to magically have become much more tolerant, if not outright accepting, of homosexuality.
From the most visible parts of pop culture to the halls of government throughout our nation, the visibility and acceptance of gays and lesbians is at an all-time high.
Take, for example, the current season of American Idol. The current frontrunner, Adam Lambert, stands out for more than his unique musical style. The singer, who previously was a castmember in a touring production of Wicked, comes across on stage like a 21st-century David Bowie.
In the past, American Idol contestants who did not fit into the standard, safe confines of what was acceptable to middle America were the most likely to be booted, regardless of talent. That threat was multiplied if “scandalous” materials came out, such as nude photos of second season contestant Frenchie Davis in the middle of the season’s run.
With Lambert, though, there finally seems to be a recognition of talent over potential scandal – in this case, photos of the singer making out with other men while dressed in drag and videos of some of Lambert’s more provocative performances (which can all be found through a quick YouTube search).
What does this say about America? Clearly, some still worry about Adam Lambert’s sexuality; Bill O’Reilly, the most popular of Fox News’ conservative pundits, featured the aforementioned photos on his show – and made a point to cut off any “offensive” portions of the photographs (read: anything involving mouths and/or tongues).
Still, the photos – which have been in circulation for over a month at this point – have done nothing to ding Lambert’s chances of winning. In fact, he’s pulled away as the frontrunner among this year’s group of contestants.
Meanwhile, in the past two weeks, the number of states where gay and lesbian couples can marry has doubled, with Iowa and Vermont joining Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Additionally, Washington, DC has opted to recognize same-sex marriages from other states, and is currently considering legalizing same-sex marriage inside the district. New York will also be voting in the near future on the issue, and California’s Supreme Court will be making its final decision on whether or not to overturn the much-derided Proposition 8.
This change, of course, is not one that’s sweeping over all of our country with the greatest of ease.
Following the decision in Iowa, the National Organization for Marriage released a video set to run in multiple states and launched a campaign against same-sex marriage called “2 Million for Marriage,” or “2M4M.”
The irony of this campaign is that campaign organizers were unaware that “2M4M” is a part of gay slang for couples seeking a third partner. This gaffe has brought significant ridicule to the organization from the media.
So maybe this is, in fact, the future of the LGBT community in our country – gradually growing acceptance by the majority of society, with only a few (admittedly vocal) dissenters.
I do find it comforting, though, that the signs are starting to show more people siding now with the LGBT community rather than against it.