Good news! We're only two weeks in to “The New Normal” and already our two soon-to-be gay dads are dealing with the bigotry that gay parents often face, and it's really exciting to see that struggle on a primetime half hour comedy.
Everything gets real while shopping at an outlet mall. By the way, I am pretty sure it was a Loehmann's, and is Loehmann's actually considered an outlet store? I thought it was just a low-grade department store in the style of Sears or JC Penny, before they had their “We love the gays and Ellen” marketing overhaul. I'm not here to criticize Loehmann's or "The New Normal's" decision to set the scene there, but I guess I just feel like if we're setting up “outlet mall” I imagine a TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Ross, or even a Geoffrey Bean Factory Outlet Store. Whatever, I'm over it now, but it really got to me last night.
A dumb guy confronts David and Bryan and tells them they shouldn't kiss in front of his kid because he doesn't want to have to explain their crazy lifestyle to his little girl. Its really gross and upsetting, and you can imagine this really happening because it DOES really happen. Every day. To gay people who are brave enough to raise babies in a world where not every human being has that kind of guts.
Goldie overhears this and is heartbroken but doesn't do anything. (Have we talked about how much I like her name being Goldie? I only wish Goldie Hawn were playing the part but AS Goldie Hawn. And no one would ever refer to the fact that she's too old to have a baby and that she's a world famous beloved movie star known for cinematic greats like “Private Benjamin” and “The Banger Sisters.”) She has a lot of guilt about it because it's the first time we see her truly realize how much crap these magical little gay guys go through on a daily basis just to love who they love and be who they are.
The scene is really beautiful and you cringe at the thought of the kind of tension one would feel standing there in that outlet store, ahem... Loehmann's. When my boyfriend and I were in Hawaii in June, we were camping out on the Na Pali Coast, and we had walked back to the car to get something. (I would assume it was a hoodie or the hardback copy of Rosie O Donnell's “Celebrity Detox” that we bring pretty much every where we go.) As we walked across the beach, back to our tent, we stopped and shared a quiet moment taking in how beautiful it all was and how happy we were to be experiencing it together. Just then, a really loud drunk guy ran out of his own tent where he and a large group of family members were camping, and shouted at us to “Hug at the other end of the beach. We don't want to see your hugging here!”
There were so many things that were shocking about this. For one, I've never heard anyone get angry about hugging. Two, it had been so peaceful and it was shocking to hear such hostility in such a beautiful place. And three, he was with his family who laughed and cheered him on.
Patrick, my boyfriend, who is much braver than I am, shouted back for the guy to “Chill out”. The guy fired back with the ever effective “Oh yea?” and then, get this, pulled his pants down and MOONED us.
As if to, I guess, disgrace our little gay eyes. The only issue being that I think we can all agree that the last thing a gay guy is going to find offensive is the sight of another man's ass. I don't care who the man is. (Okay, maybe not Ed Asner's, but you know what I mean). It was all so shocking that we just kept walking, not knowing what to do. However, as we walked away a little girl (clearly his daughter) walked out and stared at us. She looked confused as to why her family was screaming at these two guys and then smiled and waved at us. It was so sweet and so innocent and gave you hope that maybe, just maybe, this crazy father's insane bigotry might stop there. Maybe, possibly, this little girl would grow up in a world that forces her to realize just how wrong her dad had been.
In last night's episode of “The New Normal”, we see a similar moment and the effects of this change actually taking place. As the bigot dad and his family walk away, their adorable little daughter looks up and smiles at David and Bryan. I'm not sure what the writers intended it, but for me, it was a sense of forgiveness. A sense that, perhaps, the future will be a little kinder and little smarter and open minded, and it really moved me.
All in all it was a really great episode, but before I wrap this up I have to discuss a VERY pressing issue. Where the HELL is Nene Leakes?! Don't put her on a billboard for your show if she's not going to be on at least 50 percent of every episode. Live up to your promise! Sorry. That is simply where I draw the line, NBC. Yes, we gays are excited to see our journey depicted in the half hour format, but (just speaking for myself here) I think we would ALL appreciate just a little bit more Nene to solidfy just how pro-gay you guys are. Know what I mean?