Sunday, July 17, 2011

MTV's True Life: I Want To Be Straight

I watched an interesting episode of MTV's True Life. It featured two formerly gay people who were working towards being straight.

This episode was so strange. We met Melanie, who was a lesbian until her mother found out and scared her into trying to be straight. She then started dating many guys, but not finding the right one for her since she still wanted to be with women. While many friends and family members were supportive of Melanie's desire to date women, she was still afraid that she'd lose her mother if she chose to date women.

Melanie's struggle was evident - she didn't even know if she wanted to be with a woman or a man. When she hung out with a lesbian friend, she realized her desires were still alive. She finally decided to talk to her mother. Unfortunately, her mother told her that something was broken about her and it needed to be fixed. Her mother also said she wants what's best for Melanie, which Melanie disputed by asking how her mother knew what was best for her. Melanie realized that she'd never have her mom's approval (although her mom handled this discussion much better than the original confrontation they had when Melanie was younger), but she needed to live her life in the way she wants to live it.

Melanie met a lesbian named Tiffany, who seemed to make her life a lot better. She and Melanie were just friends at the time of True Life's taping, but she helped Melanie come to terms with herself. Melanie even admitted that she didn't want to deny her true feelings anymore. She said she isn't sure if she will end up with a man or woman, but she's going to go with the flow.

The other featured person, Kevin, hit rock bottom at a time when he was having gay relationships. After that, he decided to find God and become straight. At the point the show was filmed, Kevin seemed to believe that he was straight, but was open about telling people about his 'gay past.'

Kevin noted that he and his family were very distant when he was gay - and now that he's not, his family is close again. Kevin told his parents that he is finding his maturity by being straight, and God is setting him in the right direction because as a gay person, he was missing something and wasn't doing what was right for himself.

Kevin genuinely believed that he can go from gay to straight, which is fine if that's truly his goal. That being said, it seems like his change comes from a place of pressure, like his dad telling him how proud he is that he's straight. In the closing captions, we learn that Kevin still struggles because he has feeling towards men. He also stated that he's not going to date a woman until he's emotionally ready. The question is, will Kevin ever be emotionally ready to date a woman when he truly wants to date men?

It's sad that people aren't able to embrace themselves and their sexuality. Sexuality does not make people good or bad; it's simply a part of a whole person. And really, was Melanie really in a better place when she was dating multiple men, rather than being happy with a woman? Is Kevin looking to blame something that isn't to blame (homosexuality) for the fact that he was hurt when an ex-boyfriend cheated on him? Women cheat too...and Kevin may find himself being the cheater one day if he pursues a heterosexual relationship that he doesn't want to be in.

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