Thursday, June 26, 2008

[THO] Homosexuality on TV

I've been watching the Torchwood series online, a natural progression for a Doctor Who fan. Right from the get go there is a lot of ambiguity around Jack's sexual orientation. This just adds to the mystique of the show. I find Jack to be fairly unattractive too, which is odd because he is supposed to have this sex appeal. As the show unfolds we find out that this ambiguity has something to do with his origins in the 51st century where sexuality is a lot more fluid than we think of it today. Fair enough.

The last episode is a really good. Jack meets the real Captain Jack and his initial comment throws me, "I never thought he'd be so hot." It was like an aha moment. The series actually explores sexuality, but not very directly. In this episode there is a touching moment when these two men kiss. Yeah, you read that right, touching moment.

So I decided to do a little searching to see what folks were saying about this same-sex snog. One comment really hit the nail on the head (not sure where it was I looked at a bunch of blog entries). Basically it said that the american film/tv portrayal of same-sex acts of affection were distastefully executed, but that Torchwood was really tasteful. I must admit that even the kiss with James Marister didn't seem out of place - which is the way I would describe it. It seemed sort of a natural part of interplay with Jack's character - what I would expect Jack to be possibly do (will he kiss you or kill you? or both?)

But something about the sexuality of Torchwood does bug me, and it bugs me a lot.

As you can probably tell I'm not anti-gay. In fact I am quite comfortable with my own sexuality (I'm not gay myself) and with the sexuality of my gay and straight friends. Sexual orientation is something that doesn't throw me at all. I have my stance about what I think theologically about homosexuality, but what is important is that I'm not called to change or condemn anyone, but to love folks and reveal the love of God to them. Another discussion for another time perhaps - now back to my point. My problem is with promiscuity portrayed as a norm.

I think that Torchwood captures the promiscuity of our culture all too well. I am disappointed with any of my friends who treat sexual acts (including passionate kissing) like an easy commodity. I am convinced that promiscuity destroys the credibility of what should be positive events, like the gay pride parades. When my gay friend tells me that he is going to the gay bar where they "make out and shit" (his words) I get a sick feeling inside. It is not the idea of same sex partners kissing, but of random people "hooking up". I really want to see gay men and women who take pride in themselves and are not really just masking their hedonism with an excuse of sexual orientation. Promiscuity makes all gays look bad, and as a Christian I can't find any wiggle room in scripture on the issue of lust, either hetero or homosexual in nature.

This isn't a gay problem. I really am just as bothered when my heterosexual friends talk about casual sex (what the hell is casual about sex anyway?). It is a problem of not knowing how to deal, as adults, with our sexuality. I think we, as a North American society, are very immature in terms of sexuality. I could blame the puritans, but really it is up to our generation to decide if we are going to continue the madness. This isn't a gay problem, it is a people problem and it is a problem we need to face.

1 comment:

Drew said...

Stumbled here via the wacky world that is Jim West.

I recently posted a review (well my wife's) of the book Porn Nation and reached a lot of your conclusions. This observqation is spot on "who treat sexual acts (including passionate kissing) like an easy commodity" as is this, "This isn't a gay problem. I really am just as bothered when my heterosexual friends talk about casual sex (what the hell is casual about sex anyway?). It is a problem of not knowing how to deal, as adults, with our sexuality."

Sex is very much a taboo and perhaps even more so in the most respectable of situations even though the Bible is very explicit and vivid about sex. But sex is a a ubiquitous commodity so that if we are buying and selling it, it is acceptable, but if we discuss it in intimate and in earnest contexts, it goes back to being dirty. What a bizarre and destructive irony indeed.