The Media Should Try Asking Youth About Gay Marriage
The gay marriage debate is becoming incorrigibly annoying, and it’s starting to reveal just how completely out of touch mainstream media is with the broader populace. Poll after poll shows you that the country is becoming steadily more accepting of gay marriage, and this recent article from the Pew Research Center says that about half of Americans’ opinions of Obama didn’t really change after he made his
tepid controversial statement, with the rest being sort of split. And frankly, I can’t say I’m surprised. At the end of the day, people want jobs, they want to support their families, people want to end health disparities, over-crowded prisons etcetera etcetera etcetera. So, again to be frank, as much as I am for gay marriage, marriage is a privileged institution that would largely help more privileged mostly white, middle-class, gay couples. The fact that the media has so ardently embraced this discourse ultimately reveals that the media dictates the conversations it prioritizes and sensationalizes, rather than reflecting how the broader country actually feels about an issue.
Furthermore, the media discourse keeps projecting gay marriage as a black vs. white issue, or a liberal vs. conservative issue, but at the end of the day, it’s really an old folks vs. young folks issue. As Margaret Talbot lays out so eloquently in this article in the New Yorker, 70% percent of youth in general are actually for gay marriage. It’s actually a large and resounding “duh” to us, and therefore is a historical inevitably, because like most major movements in this country, the youth grow up in a changing world, adopt and adapt to changing ideologies, and what is controversial for our parents and grandparents are actually second nature to us. If the media would pay attention to what the future generations think about this issue, they could perhaps see how futile their sensationalizing is.
It’s no wonder that President Obama invoked his daughters’ sentiments in his little announcement. LGBTQ rights, though we still have a long way to go, will ultimately be realized in the hands of a generation that grew up around people who were openly gay and proudly gay. We’ve grown up watching LGBTQ representation on television, movies, and in books. Yes, we still have a long way to go. But youth are forerunners of this movement. And really, that’s what new generations do—move history forward. We sort of have a knack for these things. Call it a hunch.
When the country is trying to figure out how to progress, it needs to look to its youth. Because we actually are the future, no matter what the present would lead people to believe. It would be great if the media could focus more on our opinions for once, maybe then we’d actually get somewhere.
P.S It’s official, white births are no longer the majority in the U.S. The United States is getting browner and browner. #Winning. Can’t wait for those conversations.