Kevin Smith unknowingly hurts the gay community  

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Although it's been years since I first heard it, I'm haunted (in a good way) by a comment from a lesbian student during An Evening With Kevin Smith. Her complaint was that Chasing Amy promotes an idea that a lesbian just hasn't met the right man yet and that the movie feeds into negative stereotypes regarding the gay community.

Kevin sincerely responded, but missed the point completely. He essentially patted himself on the back for having a lead character be gay, and that he (Kevin) had a gay brother, etc etc etc....He didn't go so far as to say "and I even had one at my wedding!" but one can infer that his brother got an invitation.

Having a gay character....a MAIN character, is a step in the right direction, but what's the point if the character is just going to fall into the same cliches and negative stereotypes? The character, a life long lesbian, "falls" for her best male friend. This plot only makes sense if you presume that gay people can be turned "back" to being straight. That their default is straight.

Riddle me this: would anyone buy a plot where a straight guy "turns" gay because he gets along with his best friend so well? Of course not. Because straight people "are" straight. But Kevin doesn't afford the same dignity to his gay character.

Later in the response (and throughout every conversation he's ever had), Kevin goes for his repetitive "humor" of implying that he does gay acts. He's attempting (poorly, I may add) to show that he's comfortable enough in his own sexuality to not be afraid of homosexual behavior.

He would probably claim that "It's funny because i'm NOT gay". But if you deconstruct the joke, you'll realize that the humor is based on the belief that the gay act is somehow "wrong" or something that should be laughed at. "tee hee, i said i would perform a gay act, but i'm not gay. wocka wocka!!".

There needs to be more to a joke than just saying you are something that you are not. If he kept joking that he was Canadian (when he's really from Jersey), nobody would laugh. But he's as Canadian as he is Gay. So why is the latter "funny"? Because in the end, Kevin is feeding off the subconscious idea that homosexuality is something that should be laughed at. And he's wrong.

But Clerks II was awesome.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 03, 2009 at Wednesday, June 03, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 comments

Then how do you explain Holden's roommate Banky? Isn't he just he same story from a different direction? He likes lesbians, he's homophobic toward gays, then he decides to let himself out of the closet and admit he's gay. It's even followed up in J&SBSB when he's seen with Hooper coming out of the theater.

I think you also miss the point Kevin tries to make with his character Alyssa. It doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, per se. She makes the point that "you don't know where you're going to find love. Why limit yourself to just one sex?" or something along those lines.

It's not beyond the realm of possibility that this presumed "gay" character could find true love in a "straight" person. The point was that love knows no bounds, to sound like a cliche.

When I was in high school, a close friend of mine who was always chasing women discovered in college that he was attracted to men. He had relationships with men for many years. Then much later in life he fell in love with a woman and married her. They're actually quite happy together.

But your point is well-taken. I do think the better example of this is to look at was was not put into J&SBSS. Apparently, the comment that Justice makes to Elisa Dushku's character outside the diamond exchange "you're so gay" builds on a deleted scene where we find out that the four girls are in a "loving" relationship, for lack of a better description. But then all of a sudden Justice is falling in love with Jay.

Then again, maybe this just reinforces his belief that people are sexually open, and that who they love is how they become what they are. Does that make sense? Sorry, I'm tired and I may have rambled, but I'm not in the mood to proofread.

June 3, 2009 at 10:19 AM

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