Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gay Exorcisms? Really, Tyra?

According to this recap on Jezebel, today's Tyra Banks Show featured a sixteen-year-old boy who underwent an exorcism to have his gayness removed. She also gave significant air time to the (totally insane) priest who removed his "demon", and showed footage of the actual (terrifying) exorcism.

On the plus side: all the homophobic gay-demon-exorcising folks came off looking crazy. Tyra, clearly, thought they were crazy. The audience thought they were crazy. And maybe the point was to be all, hey, look at these crazy people.

But - BUT!- is it too much to ask for a pro-gay Christian to appear on a show like this? To present a worldview that moves beyond Gays Vs. Jesus? To show that poor, conflicted sixteen-year-old kid that he doesn't have to choose between love and faith?

Tyra also had a show in 2006 featuring the Phelps family - a.k.a. the Westboro Baptist church, a.k.a. the charming people who hold up "God hates fags" signs at the funerals of hate crime victims. And again, the crazy people came off looking crazy. But again - they were the show's only representation of what it means to be Christian. And if anyone has an unbelievably screwed-up idea of what it means to be Christian, it's the Phelps family.

People being loving and accepting don't get the big ratings. (Sweeps Week would be really boring if they did.) But here's the thing: Tyra herself is both clearly pro-gay and, by all evidence, a Christian. It's not a contradiction. Hopefully her viewers have caught on - but it would be great to see her drive that message home in lieu of another Jesus-fueled hatefest.