There is a sort of homophobia in the ritual of coming out in the media, which seemingly so liberal and tolerant.
The news anchor grinned to Pines , who promoted his show on the national news (“Good Evening with Guy Pines” is the Israeli equivalent of “Entertainment Tonight”). The news anchor said he understood that Pines’ show will also deal with “the new play by Ran Danker.” Sensational vibration shook the screen. Pines chuckled condescendingly, with a thick layer of coarse insinuation, when he confirmed that Ran Danker will be discussed later on the show.
They made a big deal out of it there, Danker’s coming out. “With much ceremony in the bottom”, stressed Pines sarcastically, as if he’s jabbing an elbow in the ribs of all of us. The build-up was massive. This was the most important topic of the program that day.
What happened? Ran Danker stated that he was bisexual, and currently in a relationship with a man. It’s good. In a healthy society he’s supposed to live openly and not hide. The coming out of celebrities is supposed to normalize same-sex, legitimize it and facilitate ordinary people to follow them. But when something is normal and legitimate there’s no need to make a big issue about it. Why then did Guy Pines declare that “Ran Danker dropped a bomb and decided to come out” ?. A bomb? What exactly did he blow up? Danker’s queerness is a bomb? Why? Why is it not a usual and natural phenomenon?
The story of Danker’s coming out was scheduled last on the show, as close as possible to the night edition of the news, as the ratings peak. And this story was intended to increase ratings. So they waved with it from the start. They didn’t stop speaking about it, in order to draw more viewers, and for the simple reason that the fact that Danker is in a gay relationship, and it’s really a sensation. “What ??? Ran Danker came out ???” Fashion Police section host Dorin Atias screamed several times in her segment. It was a kind of a laugh, but it was intended to build the sensation, the “unbelieveable” element.
“We’re in 2015 and why make a fuss or a solemn ceremony of it?” Pines said innocently. It was hard, even for him, to ignore the irony inherent in this homophobic ceremony that he himself runs. Why, really? He didn’t answer his own question. He has no good answer. The answer is that even in the summer of 2015 the mainstream media reflects fear of homosexuality. Fear expressed in the solemn ceremony.
Who makes it a big deal? Who makes a solemn ceremony from the fact that Ran came out? It was Pines himself. No one forced him to refer to the fact of Danker’s coming out as big news, or to report about it extensively. And Pines even got angry that the timing of Danker’s big exposure is a part of the PR for his new play. For him you don’t need a reason to come out. The mere fact that Danker is in a gay relationship is shaking enough. It’s weird enough, new, exciting, unusual. A bomb.
This is how gay people are treated in a conservative, dark, prejudiced community. Pointing at the gay, talking about him, agitated from his existence. He represents an unusual phenomenon. This is homophobia. Danker’s coming out has only one response that is not homophobic: indifference.