Hallelujah! Real World has finally done something right. No longer is the “queer character” simply there to get sloppy and hook up with the same sex to spark TV ratings. I don’t know if anyone else saw Wednesday night’s Real World episode, but it was truly one of the best episodes ever.
The episode mostly centered on Mike, the self-identified bi-sexual of the group. For quite some time, this 22 year old has been struggling with his identity and unsure of how to communicate it to those around him. However, on this episode Mike found the words, after working with HRC, to say “You know what! This is who I am! I don’t need to be one thing or another! I just need to be me!” and came out to his family while they visited him in D.C. Snaps to him! (No really. I and my TV partners literally snapped our fingers when we saw this)
Finally there is a positive queer role model on TV today. Mike must have really inspired a lot of questioning and queer individuals last night to speak out and not worry so much about labels. As a “mostly-out” self-identified queer individual myself, he sure inspired me to speak out and share a little more with those I haven’t told the whole truth to.
But this episode wasn’t all snaps and smiles. Mike’s roommates really frustrated me with their biphobia. Throughout the episode they kept trying to equate his bi behavior as nothing more than clinging desperately to the closet door. Once again, those who identify themselves as bisexual find their lifestyle to be viewed as invalid and merely on the fence of being either straight or gay. Mike, however, spoke up declaring he doesn’t have to be in one “box” or another. Kudos Mike!