Monday, March 31, 2008

"Gay Day" @ Action Mountain

Since we've been focusing on representation in the media, I found the sitcom "Grounded for Life" to be a great example of a show that takes of sexual identity, and they don't seem to hold back. In one particular episode, the family takes a trip to Action Mountain on what just-s0-happens to be "Gay Day", a day in which once a year the gay community gets together at the amusement park. Henry, the youngest boy, is unaware of what it means to be gay, so when he sees two men holding hands he shouts, "Whoa! That ride must be really scary, those men are holding hands!" Sean, who plays the father, begins feeling uncomfortable as he looks around and notices that his outfit happens to match the outfit of every gay man at the park, a white t-shirt and jeans. Not only does Sean match the outfits of the gay community, but becomes really uncomfortable when he runs into his coworker, who he was unaware was gay. When Sean accidentally tells other people at work that their coworker is gay, he feels bad and invites the man over for dinner to confess. Even at dinner, the family cooks up coos coos, because they feel that coos coos is a "gay man's dish". At the end of the episode, the gay man grows upset when Sean tries to convince him to come out of the closet. After coming to a truce they beg the man to at least stay for dinner, which he accepts and says, "Well...I do love coos coos!" The show gives its viewers the idea of heteronormativity...the characters just assume that their friends and coworkers are straight and their reactions to those that aren't are that it is not normal.

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