THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO SEASONS OF THE ORIGINAL NBC SHOW WILL & GRACE
I recently started watching a show from the late 90s on Hulu called Will & Grace. I chose it because the episodes are bite-sized at around 20 minutes, and it looked interesting. The story is centered on two best friends in their 30s who live in New York. Will also has a younger friend named Jack. Both Will and Jack are gay.
As a Christian, I am fundamentally opposed to homosexuality. So, you may wonder why I decided to watch the show in the first place. One, I was desperate. Two, gay characters are usually entertaining. And three, I figured it was harmless since it was just a TV show. So, I watched the show for a while with minimal issues.
Will is single and rarely goes on dates. When he does, they usually aren't shown. Plus, he doesn't act like a stereotypical gay guy. He's a level-headed, down-to-earth lawyer.
On the other hand, Jack is flamboyant and way more out there. He talks a lot about his dates and other encounters with guys, but they are rarely shown.
As I suspected, the gay characters, especially Jack, are entertaining. Even to the point where I could let some disturbing things pass and keep watching. While Will usually manages not to offend me, Jack makes a habit of it.
An example was when Jack wanted to do a couples' costume for Halloween as Adam and Steve. It was obviously supposed to be funny, but it bothered me. When I first heard Adam and Steve, I was in youth group and my pastor was discussing homosexuality. He said that if God meant for men to be together, He would've made Adam and Steve instead of Adam and Eve. While it was funny, it also had a purpose. It showed that God's design is for men and women to be together. He created woman as the perfect companion for man. That's why I didn't appreciate the Adam and Steve joke. It's an unforgivable distorting of the Bible that turns sin into the norm.
Along those lines, Jack repeatedly refers to God as a woman. There's nothing in the Bible to support that. In fact, God is not human, so He has no gender. However, He is referred to with masculine pronouns because it makes sense to our tiny minds. When I hear Jack talk about God, it makes me happy that he believes in God. But when he calls Him a woman, it makes me wonder if we're talking about the same God.
Those are some things that I let slide. However, Jack doesn't know where to draw the line so he has crossed it in my mind. There are two times that stand out to me as incredibly offensive and upsetting. They made my blood boil with anger and my eyes brim with tears.
Let me preface them by saying that Jack seems to live in his own little world where gay is the norm and straight is deviant. He only has two straight friends who are both women. I'm pretty sure he doesn't have many encounters with straight guys that don't involve him flirting with them. That no doubt contributes to his misconception that the default is gay. He has a tendency to assume all men are gay, whether openly or not. In reality, only about 2% of American men are gay, both now and then.
What if straight people assumed everyone else was straight and that gay people were lying because no one could possibly be gay? I can tell you that would not go over well. We'd be called narrow-minded bigots. Yet, when Jack does it, it's cute and endearing.
In the first disturbing episode, Jack is talking about how he believes being straight is wrong. I have never heard anyone say that before. But, as I said, Jack is pretty much heterophobic (again, how is that a thing?). I was shocked when I heard him say that. But I was absolutely appalled by what he said next.
He argued that if men and women were meant to be together, God would've given them both penises.
Go ahead and let that sink in. Then file it into the part of your brain labeled ABSOLUTELY WRONG.
First of all, that's blasphemy. In Biblical times, you'd be stoned for that. Second of all, it's just plain untrue. God meant for men and women to be together. He created women for man. They are able to reproduce. If people of the same sex were meant to be together, they'd be able to reproduce. As far as reproductive parts go, a man and women literally fit together. It's easy because it's natural.
WARNING: DESCRIPTIONS OF GAY SEX
Men aren't meant to be together, which is why their parts don't fit together. They clash. Gay men's idea of sex is exclusively anal. They think that's normal because it feels good. The pleasure comes from the prostate gland. Do you know what that does? It protects and aids sperm! Remind me what sperm is for. Oh, yeah. Making babies! The thing that makes gay sex pleasurable is the very thing that makes reproduction possible. Unlike the clitoris on women, the prostate isn't there for pleasure. It serves a (heterosexual) purpose.
Also, gay sex involves insertion, just like straight sex. Gay men have to stick to that since their sticks can't work together. If straight sex is so wrong and gross, then why do gay men mimic it? When gay men have sex, only one of them is using their sex organ. In straight sex, both people are using theirs because they work together. If gay sex were natural, there'd be a way to do it where both men use their penises with each other. As far as I know, there isn't. But I haven't done extensive research.
I think I've said enough about that to make my point and disprove Jack's statement.
In the second disturbing episode, Jack meets a guy at a gay bar who gives him a flyer. Jack is too busy admiring the guy's face to realize that the flyer is for gay men who want to get back on the straight and narrow. Typically, the kind of men who feel that way have some religious or moral reason for believing that being gay is wrong and they shouldn't give into it.
Jack is upset when he finds out that the cute guy is straight. So, what does he do? He decides to go to the meeting to flirt with the guy and try to undo all the hard work he's gone through to get to a better place. He goes with a straight female friend and they pretend to be a married couple that used to be gay.
Jack flirts with the leader of the group while trying to make it believable that he's straight. He wants to convert the straight man back to being gay and convince him to make a move. Once the guy catches onto this and realizes that Jack was never straight or even trying to be, he addresses the group as a whole. He says that anyone who is using the group as a place to pick up someone should leave. They all do.
Let me pause here. These people were taking advantage of a group that was designed to help them by using it in a way directly opposed to its purpose. That's messed up in any group. That's like if people only went to an AA meeting to get alcohol from each other.
Anyway, it gets worse. When the man who created the group sees it fall apart, he gives up. He realizes he wasn't helping people, so he reverts back to his old ways and takes Jack up on his offer to "platonically" shower together.
Jack single-handedly ruined a group designed to help people. He sabotaged and took advantage of its leader. To use the AA analogy, he walked into the meeting and handed everyone alcohol. No matter how you feel about homosexuality, Jack's behavior was despicable. I found it even more disgusting since I don't support homosexuality.
Has Jack's behavior caused me to stop watching the show? No. Does that make me weak and hypocritical? I don't know. Maybe. But this isn't Jack's show. It's Will and Grace's show. And they are the ones that give it its redeeming qualities. I'm wary now whenever Jack walks onscreen because I don't know if he's going to offend me. When he does, I'll sometimes take a break. While I haven't stopped watching the show, I do watch it less frequently and I'm less prone to binge it. Although I have become invested in the characters and their stories, Jack's continued inappropriate and offensive behavior might convince me that it's just not worth watching the show anymore.