Closet Case

Searching for queer clues and a tv producer who can pick them up

Mr. Producer's dismissal of my story because it didn't line up with the others was exclusionary, frustrating, and offensive. I know he wasn't working on a PBS documentary on being gay in high school, but a silly package of soundbites and video clips. Maybe my experience is not ideal for TV—it's not archetypal, stereotypical, or simple. It's not easily distilled into a few images, some chirpy words, and a cool, retro graphic treatment. But it's still fucking valid. I know, I know, it's just empty, fill-the-time-slot TV. But shows like his contribute to telling the same story over and over, one in which there is never room for other experiences, identities, and people whose stories are nuanced, complex, or real.

There are plenty of potential lesbians in high school right now who are not on the field hockey team, don't want their hair to look like Johnny Depp's circa 21 Jump Street, and aren't being called bull dykes behind their backs. For these girls, I think it's important to show how different we queers can be. There is not one typical high school narrative or one coming-out story that they must identify with in order to join the club. They just have to dig girls.


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