From ‘No Homo’ To ‘Yeah, Bro': How Gen-Y Became So Cool With Their Gay Friends

From ‘No Homo’ To ‘Yeah, Bro': How Gen-Y Became So Cool With Their Gay Friends
Life
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Think of your ten best guy friends: the dudes you grab a beer with, play ball with, get high with, and who have been there for some of the best nights of your life. You’ve probably known some of them since middle school and probably had sleepovers with when you were kids – and well, the truth is, at least one of them is gay. If you were our age and reading this ten years ago, that would have probably hit you like a ton of bricks and less like the gentle shock you probably just felt.

You know you know gay people. You realize by now that they’re all around. You’ve been on baseball teams and in locker rooms and rushed frats together. Whatever your religious take on them, we – the impossible-to-define bunch known as Gen-Y – have become increasingly cool with our gay brothers and friends. We’ve ditched “no homo” for “yeah, bro” when hanging with our openly gay friends, and we’re civilized enough to know that the “F” word makes us look even more absurd than when your crazy uncle throws the “N” word around after three drinks at Thanksgiving.

How did we get here? The answer is one that is only going to make our high school English teachers continue to curse our love of shiny things over books: TV and movies.

When we were kids, the only gay people we saw on a daily basis were on reruns of “Will and Grace.” You had the self-loathing, totally harmless and well-to-do lawyer in Will (the kind of guy your mom would be so proud of you for knowing), and you had Jack, the cartoon queen we’ve all gotten drunk and pretended to be, as we made fun of someone we all thought was “almost too gay too function,” which is a “Mean Girls” reference – just ask your girlfriend.

Those weren’t exactly the best role models for you to learn about the kinds of guys you were inevitably going to live with when you made it in the big city. And it didn’t even come close to giving you a clue about the kind of guy sitting next to you in class, who was going through more sh*t in his head than you could possibly imagine.

h7B65BAC6

What it did do was bring gay people out of the shadows and right next to our favorite “Friends” – Monica and Chandler. We started to see that all the crap we were fed from people older and more uptight than us was crap. Gay people aren’t all pedophiles and monsters. They’re real – and often, pretty damn hilarious and awesome. They’re our friends, our neighbors, our teachers and even our relatives. Gay people stopped being referred to as “them” and started being part of “us.”

At the risk of typing the gayest sentence of my career, thank goodness for “Glee.” Say what you want about show tunes on primetime, but that show gives it to you how it is – and doesn’t once apologize for it. Not the singing and dancing part, but the teenage angst part that goes with trying to figure out who the hell you are. “Glee,” which is on Fox – among the most uptight, ass-backwards networks on air – puts a boy in a dress right next to the straight couple fighting a pregnancy scare. It may seem a bit ridiculous when they sing, but the situations are real and happening in schools all over the country right now. Probably even in yours.

Whether you’re gay or straight (or anywhere else on the spectrum), high school and college are times of incredible change and growth. Even the coolest jock among us questioned all the weird sh*t we felt inside. Whether it was hormones, harassment, or horniness, we all went through some rough times fitting in. Take that lowest low you ever felt and add the fear of being kicked out of your home, expelled from your private school, and all the stories of burning in hell thrown at you day after day. The kind of compassion you just felt in the split-second you thought about how damned hard it is for that kid is exactly what’s made Gen-Y so accepting of ‘the whole gay thing.’

Our parents grew up in a time when gay actors in movies were giggled at for playing ‘those guys.’ But now, Zach Quinto is kicking ass in outer space in “Star Trek,” and Wentworth Miller was such the ultimate bad ass in “Prison Break” – and no one cares who they’re sleeping with. It’s certainly not hurting their popularity. It’s all because we care about content and character – the way we should – in both the shows we catch and the people we care about bringing into our lives.

tumblr_me6q90E4C91qdlh1io1_r1_400

We’re a generation so over labels we could spit them out and stomp on them. It seems like everyone is experimenting with everything, and the last thing we want is to be put into neat little boxes for the purpose of someone else’s statistics – which takes us back to your ten best bros. Like I said, one of them is statistically gay.

The thing that makes you, and the rest of Gen-Y, so damn great is that we don’t care. We know there’s a lot more to him to care about. So, yeah, he’s gay – he’s also funny as hell, a killer Candy Crush player, your girlfriend’s best friend (which probably can’t hurt your sex life to know what she really wants), and he’s just plain cool to be around.

With guys coming out every day in pro sports, from the NBA to WWE, these sports don’t get any less great to cheer for – and neither do your friends. If anything, they’re just a little bit more awesome because you have a friend who has chosen to be completely real with you and doesn’t need to keep any front up, like we felt we had to for so long.

So, as one of your gay brothers who loves college football and playing Wii as much as he loves a good show tune, thanks for being awesome, my fellow Gen-Y’ers. Thanks for making “no homo” no more.

Jonathan D. Lovitz | Elite 

Photo courtesy Tumblr 

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Jonathan Lovitz

Jonathan D. Lovitz is a born communicator. Having come to New York after years of touring with some of Broadway's biggest musicals, he then began a career in television and hosting work that has changed him forever. Using his public profile to work with the causes he cherishes most, he has advocated and emceed for The Trevor Project, Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Arts for America, and more. Jonathan has traveled the country, speaking everywhere from colleges and universities to packed ballrooms of business and political leaders, inspiring crowds to make a difference. While LGBT youth causes are his primary focus, Jonathan looks for any chance to serve any community in need of a voice. Twitter: @jdlovitz

More In Life

Life WildSpiceMag

How Self-Care Has Become An Act Of Rebellion For This Generation

At some point between work, chores, laundry and unreturned emails, it dawns on me that I no longer remember what it feels like to not be overwhelmed. The way the perpetual “next thing” nips at my heels and the steady rhythm of “to-dos” pound through my head, is part of the fabric of the day. […]

Motivation Joshua Eferighe

We All Have A Gift: How To Cultivate The Genius Inside You

When Mozart was 14, he transcribed a coral setting of Psalm 50 composed in the early 1600s. A feat worth mentioning not only for his youth, but because this piece in particular was previously never written down. It was forbidden to transcribe, and it was allowed to be performed only at particular services; meaning, after […]

Life Leonardo Faria

New You, New Life: 4 Steps To Reinventing The Person In The Mirror

You look at yourself in the mirror and don’t recognize the person in the reflection. You do not like the person you are today and shudder at the mere thought of your past self. Often feeling depressed, frustrated or angry, you feel like you’re wasting your life. It’s time for a reinvention! Grab three pieces […]

Motivation Derek Neumeier

The Key To Handling Negative Circumstances Lies Within Your Reaction

We’ve all had something negative happen in our lives. You’re feeling stressed, depressed, lonely or maybe even experiencing a revolving door of these and other debilitating emotions. You normally don’t have much of an affinity towards ice cream, but all of a sudden, you’re craving some Ben & Jerry’s. Maybe you’ll pick up a couple of […]

Also On Elite

World

WiFi Network ‘Al-Quida’ Causes 15-Hour American Airlines Flight Delay

An American Airlines flight was delayed for over 15 hours when a passenger came upon a particularly alarming WiFi network. According to ABC-7, Flight 136 from Los Angeles to London was ready for takeoff on Sunday night before a passenger noticed a hotspot connection by the name of “Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork.” The passenger showed the network […]

Humor

Jim Carrey Hilariously Spoofs McConaughey’s New Lincoln Commercials (Video)

When Jim Carrey is hosting “Saturday Night Live,” there’s one thing you can depend on for sure: It’s going to be a memorable night. One of Carrey’s reoccurring bits throughout the episode was a parody of Matthew McConaughey’s new set of commercials for Lincoln’s MKC sport utility vehicle. Much like how McConaughey ponders life’s biggest questions […]

World

Teeny, Tiny 4-Day-Old Hedgehog Being Fed Is Too Adorable (Video)

Have you ever seen a baby hedgehog? No? Well, then it’s about damn time, because they are freakin’ adorable. Last week, the Wildlife Aid Foundation, a UK-based charity, posted a video on its website of a 4-day-old hedgehog (hoglet!) being hand-fed a mixture of milk and chamomile tea mix from a pipette. The little guy […]

Envision

Guy Turns Sign Spinning Into An Insane Dancing Sport (Video)

We’ve all seen sign spinning maniacs standing on the side of the road and we’ve always wondered, how do they do that? Believe it or not, skill and a dab of athleticism go into sign spinning! In a recent video uploaded to YouTube, we’re introduced to a sign-twirling maniac who’s found a way to incorporate […]

Film

James Franco Created A Bizarre Mashup Of ‘Batman’ And ‘Beetlejuice’

James Franco is an interesting cat. He pretty much does exactly what he wants these days — even if his projects end up being mediocre messes. Well, Franco has a new Web series called “Making a Scene,” which airs on AOL. As part of the series, Franco has been making mashups of famous film scenes. […]