So What You're Gay...


A few months ago I started watching an American TV series called Empire, about a family who after escaping a life of crime at various costs, created a, well, empire, in the Hip-Hop and R'n'B music industry and now live the life of luxury and lies. It is only the second program in my life where I have ever been like "I have to watch every episode, in order, I can't miss it!" With a sweet, sweet soundtrack, a complex story line with plenty of twists and turns and characters that just suck you into their lives - ('Cookie Lyon' played by Taraji P. Henson is one of the greatest characters ever created, I just Love her!) - needless to say, I was hooked.

Another one of the characters whom I adore is Jamal, played by Jussie Smollett. Jamal is the middle son of the music industry mogul Lucious Lyon. Easily the most musically talented and the mommies boy of the sons, Jamal is also gay. So what right? Well, so plenty to his father who is still stuck in an archaic, warped mindset who thinks that that has a negative effect on who his son is as a person. Particularly, his sons reputation in the hip-hop industry.

Now the entire first series is about which son will inherit the Empire ~ SPOILER ALERT ~ despite many arguments and trials, Lucious picks Jamal. Yay for everyone! ( I would have picked him too!) All is relatively well as could be for this beautifully disaster bound family, until in the episode 'Who Am I', where the rapper, Black Rambo, who is signed with Empire, publicly challenges Jamal at a press conference and declares that himself along with others, will not follow Empire if a gay man leads it. And Jamal handled the situation in the Best. Way. Possible for those involved in the music industry.

Without causing a media scene, or even with the knowledge of his family, he traveled solo to where his bully was rap battling that night. And in disguise until the last minute, challenged him to a battle. So this rapper dude goes at him, dissing Jamal in the typical homophobic ways which you could expect with lines such as 'You rockin' pink tutus'. Yet when it comes to Jamal's turn, instead of taking Black Rambo to his knees with put downs in typical rap battle fashion, he sings at him. He sings at him some truth, some praise for God, and perfectly, whilst remaining classy and not a bully, puts Black Rambo in his place leaving him stunned and left to soak in Jamal's applause.

Check it out, this is 'So What':

So What I'm Gay
It don't matter
God ain't made you no better than me
When I pray
He Still Answers
Maybe you need to get on your knees
No weapon shall prosper
No weapon shall prosper
Your sin ain't no better than my sin
Your skin ain't no better than my skin
So point all the fingers you want...

This song spoke to me possibly more than any other song I have yet heard from the show. For many reasons, but mainly, because I am a Christian. 

Now as anybody with a religion, (or as with any quality which receives some focus in mainstream media), there are people who wish to stereotype based on a bit of bad press. They read a story painting the religion, no matter which one, in a negative light and they automatically assume that that is what everybody; anybody of the same religion, social status, race, origin, anything, all those who fit on some level in the label fit thinks as well. No. No they don't. They are just being cruelly stereotyped. With all the focus on gay marriage lately, as per to mainstream media which thrives off of creating witch hunts, the negative is searched for. It is found, it is exploited and exaggerated, and those who have nothing to do with it suffer.

The media controls our mindsets far more than any government ever can. Where do we search for our information... how do we know that everything that we are told is the whole story...?

Mainstream media has loved to post as many stories as they could find about people with a religion being against gay marriage - yet none seem to want to post the articles about the religious activists who have gone to Pride events or just those who support those who identify as LGBT+. Because happy stories don't sell, apparently. And apparently homophobia is exclusive to only those with a religion as well,..

Don't believe me? Well, I have saved you the trouble of looking further than what has been put in the big brand newspaper in front of you and I have dug a little deeper for you. Click on the following links for more information:

- Click Me!

- Me Too!

- I Want To Be Clicked!

- Don't Forget Me!

- And Me!

- Check Me Out!

And there are many more.

'God ain't made you no better than me/When I pray/He Still Answers...Your sin ain't no better than my sin/Your skin ain't no better than my skin.' Those lyrics, I just mean, Wow. Not to mention Jamal expertly throwing in Isaiah 54:17 "No weapon that is forged against you shall prosper, and every tongue that accuses you in judgement you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication is from me" declares the Lord.

Jamal knows what is right and where he stands with God and hes letting this homophobic character know that he is in the wrong and his cruel taunts can't hurt him. Because the standard answer to anybody being gay should be 'So What?'. It does not effect who you are as a person any more than your hair colour does. Only your actions can define you.

Jamal's character hits the nail of truth on its head perfectly. The true Christian message in regards to how we should each view each other. That we are all created with Love and our equal in the eyes of the Lord, that no bodies skin is better than anybody else's, and that if you aren't the Lord Almighty himself - Don't Judge! And of course since God views us as all his equal children, he answers prayers no matter what your sin or who is calling to him. Now that's Love.

Luke 6:31 Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Galatiana 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 65:2 You who answer prayer, to you all people will come.

John 8:7 ... Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw the stone at her!

Matthew 7:1 - 2 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

And there are many more.

See that's the thing about stereotypes - they have to come from somewhere right? But does the opinion of the few stand the same for the opinion of the rest? No. 

Whether you have faith in God or not, whether the song 'So What' hit you with lyrics that made you scream "Yes! Finally!", whether these Bible verses or verses from any religious text mean anything to you, whether or not you support LGBTQ+ rights or not - it is important to remember not to judge and create an opinion of billions of  people across the world, people who you will never even meet, based on your perception of a small few of them. Whether that be LGBTQ+ people, people with a religion, or anything else that makes them different from you. Would you hold the same stand point in anything else in life..? 

All blondes are dumb, all girls who wear short and tight outfits are sluts, everybody in the armed forces are there because they are dumb and they can't do anything else because their job is the easiest, anybody who went to Cambridge or Oxford University are so stuck up and boring, all Atheists hate all religions, anybody from an underprivileged area will lead a life of crime etc, etc, more lies, more judging, more misinformed assumptions, more stereotypes... How is making any of these statements any different then saying all Christians/all those will a religion are against LGBTQ+ rights...? Have you met All those billions of people who you are making an assumption about and actually asked them...? I didn't think so.

Jamal's song 'So What' reiterated that how you identify your sexuality has no merit on who you as a person, as a human being; we are all equal, And it was not just exactly what the character Black Rambo needed to hear; it was exactly what anybody who has judged upon or made assumptions about anybody with a religion or who identify as LGBTQ+, (or both!), needed to hear. Because if you small-mind-idly condemn all those of a faith regarding LGBTQ+ rights without first looking deeper than what the mainstream media trying to create a drama and controversy would have you look - than you are no better than the few people of faith who condemn those without first looking deeper than some misinterpreted passages. You are just judging different people, that's all. Its still judging. Its still discrimination. Its still wrong. 

So next time you are about to utter anything that sounds along the lines of:

"But don't all .. (insert religion/race/origin/etc) .. believe/do this .. (insert clearly-going-to-be-offensive-judgmental-stereotyping-misinformed-assumption-here).. ?

How about you just don't. How about you just stop and ask yourself... 

"How would I like to be judged upon like this..? How would I like to feel challenged and attacked because somebody else of my age/gender/race/religion/etc did something frowned upon..?"

My guess is that you wouldn't like it. And neither does anybody else.

To create a fairer, more understanding world, we need to be fairer and more understanding of each other, and to remember that the picture that is created for us by one story is not the story of the rest.

And go check out Empire - its an Awesome program!


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