I don't watch much television. That being said, I am a little behind the 8 ball in terms of what's new and shocking.
Last weekend on the facebook, I noticed friends commenting on the American Music Awards and a performance by American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert. Until this week, all I really knew of Lambert was that he was clearly gay and wore an abundance of eye-liner. The show itself never caught my eye, but the typical media chaos that surrounds Idol at season's end educated me on who Adam Lambert was.
Knowing that a great deal of viewership comes from the more conservative households in America, I was also pleased to see a level of acceptance of a talented gay man from a place least expected. But with Lambert performing at the AMAs came a chilling truth that smacks the faces of gays across America: we are separate, and not so equal.
Lambert's performance came with a hearty sprinkling of controversy. It was just enough attention to call to question the ever-evolving double standard in the entertainment industry of gay performers being asked to shutter blatant shows of their form of sexuality away from the eyes of the generally heterosexual public. Granted, it is hard to debate that there is no censorship issue with Lambert's grinding of a man's head into his crotch, but the on-camera kiss between him and another man certainly should not raise eyebrows for the reasons it did.
Perhaps the issue of Lambert's man-on-man lock of the lips was a packaged deal, accompanied by the attention given, well, to his own package. But the fact still remains that pundits abound see the act of Adam Lambert flaunting his homosexuality on live television preposterous.
Out recently wrote a brief, yet to-the-point portrayal of the incident as a hurdle in the fight for gay equality. The uproar over a display of same-sex lust on national television caused a ruckus whereas a similar heterosexual act would be seen as typical fanfare to get eyes glued to the tube. The end result seems to be society being afraid of embracing the young, the progressive, the minorities. A similar debacle occurred some 55-plus years ago when Elvis Presley girated his hips to the tune of thousands of screaming teenage girls on the new venue of television.
So, what is the Adam Lambert issue teaching us?
Most likely, we are all in the middle of a lesson on where we are on the path to being integrated and equal. Though we may only represent 1 in 10 people, we still represent 1 in 10 people. As the struggle continues, we will see that some people will stand up and act unapologetically in order to advance the GLBT sector further into inclusion. Until that act is complete, maybe we can just suspect Adam Lambert will be the Elvis Presley of today's gay generation.