I was sitting down to watch TV the other night when the 7-year-old hurricane boy looked me straight in the eye and said, “Daddy, is Justin Bieber gay?”
Well, this question obviously caught me by surprise.
First of all, what in God’s name does the 7-year-old hurricane know about anyone being gay? Secondly, how in the world do I know whether or not Justin Bieber is gay? I suppose I could take a stab at guessing, but in today’s world, I really can’t read much into the fact that a guy wears makeup, earrings, prances around, and likes to go shopping. Besides, from what little I’ve read about Justin Bieber, he has a girlfriend, which may or may not mean he is not gay.
In reality, I couldn’t care less whether Justin Bieber is gay and I’m not sure why the 7-year-old hurricane is worried about this issue either. I simply said I don’t know and I don’t care and that he didn’t need to worry about it. This seemed to satisfy the hurricane, as soon he was back to making machine gun noises and discussing whether an Abram tank or a Sherman tank had the thickest armament protection.
Poor Justin Bieber. Not only is my 7-year-old son questioning his sexual orientation, but I also see where a Los Angeles photographer complained that Bieber had roughed him up and was complaining of pain in his chest from the incident. The photographer tried to take pictures of Bieber and his girlfriend, Selena Gomez; ha, I told you he wasn’t gay, and apparently Bieber roughed him up. News reports indicate Bieber is wanted for questioning by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators.
Let me say I don’t know a thing about the incident that occurred. I also don’t know a thing about the photographer who is complaining about chest injuries. I do, however, know a little bit about Justin Bieber. The 8-year-old princess daughter has a t-shirt with his picture on it and I have seen videos of him singing his kiddie songs.
I would not admit Justin Bieber beat me up if I was tied up and threatened with a blow torch. If by some strange set of circumstances Bieber injured me, I’d lie and say I fell down the stairs, got kicked by my horse or got drunk and fell off the front porch. What self-respecting man could ever claim that Justin Bieber, for God’s sakes, beat him up? If I came home and told my father that Justin Bieber beat me up, he’d whip my you-know-what, and he’s 77 years old.
Of course, if Bieber could whip my you-know-what, I guess a 77-year-old man could, too.
This gay question, however, got me to thinking about how a word can be highjacked and never be the same. There was a time in America when people sang about being gay. When they sang about being gay they did not mean their sexual preference. In fact, just the other day I was singing a song, “... it seems like only yesterday I was cheerful, bright and gay, alone again naturally.”
Of course, when I got to the part that said I was cheerful, bright and gay, I had to pause. I don’t believe there has ever been a time in my life when I was gay, and I don’t think the writer of the song meant that he was either. If the song were written today, I suppose the writer would have to come up with some other word to rhyme with yesterday, something like “... it seems like only yesterday, I was cheerful, bright, they say ...” I doubt the song would have been as big of a hit, but at least sexual orientation would not be in question.
I even think about history. They often refer to the 1890s, as the gay ol’ ‘90s. Boy, if only we’d known what was going on back in the 1890s. And how about poor old Gay, Ga.? Let’s face it. There is probably never a time when a resident of Gay answers the question where are you from, by saying, “I am from Gay, Georgia,” that someone doesn’t either snicker, make a snide remark or at least have the thought run through their mind. I suppose when the founding fathers of the town named it Gay, they thought it would conjure thoughts of happiness and good times. Now, you wonder if you’ll go there and find Elton John and half of San Francisco.
Oh, well, I’m of the opinion that people spend way too much time worrying about whatever it is that other people are worrying about. Justin Bieber was with his girlfriend, so I guess that answers the question, but who cares anyway? Now, about that photographer, I’m not quite so sure.
Contact columnist T. Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.