MCN Columnists
Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

The Color Purple

So today is “wear purple in support of LGBT teens” day, courtesy of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). All across the mighty land of Facebook, people have changed their profile pics to purple in support of the day. I’m not seeing a lot of purple around the homeschool center today, except on little kids whose parents probably dressed them not knowing that today is “purple day” anyhow. I don’t own anything purple, oddly enough, or I suppose I would have worn purple just because.

But the thing is, while I am not opposed in theory to things like “wear purple” day, what I am more in favor of is the idea of LGBT people living their lives in ways that set an example, that show LGBT teens that there are people “like them” in all walks of life, that you can live openly as who you are and have a happy, meaningful and fulfilling life.

We can do better by encouraging people to be aware of the people in their life who are LGBT. If you are not LGBT yourself, do you have a friend or family member who is openly gay? Do you like that person? You can help support LGBT teens by being vocal about your support of them and gay rights. By joining them at marches. By putting a pro-tolerance bumper stickers on your car. By supporting the rights of gay people to get married and serve their country in the military. By coming out to pride parades, and not caring if the tv camera “catches” you being there and your co-workers seeing it on the news and judging you. And by speaking up when you overhear someone gay-bashing, mocking gay people, using words like “gay” or “faggot” in derogatory ways.

Are you LGBT yourself, or a straight person who supports gay rights? Are you open about it, even at places like work or church or around your uptight Mormon/Catholic/Southern Baptist family members or friends who might be uncomfortable with that? Do you set an example for the world that you support gay rights, or that you are LGBT yourself, and you are also just a normal person who works hard, raises a family, pays his or her bills and taxes, goes to movies, eats out at restaurants, enjoys life?

The “It Gets Better” videos, IMO, do a lot more to support LGBT teens than wearing a purple t-shirt for a day; they give hurting teens a message of hope that might just help them hang on through the hard times. Being open about your sexuality, expecting that people will accept you as “normal” or “okay” and not living your life cowering to the bullies is, in the end, a far more effective way of supporting LGBT teens than wearing a purple t-shirt for one day. Set an example. Live your life. Don’t be complacent about bullying. Don’t be afraid to stand up and make your voice heard, even if — especially if — the situation is one that makes you uncomfortable. Even if — especially if — it might make others uncomfortable.

The thing about gayness is that unlike skin color, your sexuality is something you can, if you choose, “hide” in public. You can tuck it away like a dirty little secret, to be brought out only in certain kinds of company. But if you do that, honestly? You are a part of the problem, not a part of the solution. LGBT people, especially LGBT adults, need to be leading the way for our teens by living the example of bravery and courage and acceptance FOR them. We need to light the way for them, make it easier for them, be the voice speaking out that says “You are OK.” And as parents, whether we are LGBT or straight, we need to teach our kids love and tolerance, not hate and bigotry and fear.

We can do better for our LGBT youth than just wearing a color for a day. We have to do better, or we will never get there.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon