As someone who embodies several personality aspects and labels, I often find that I take issue with one of the cardinal rules of journalism: We are not to, under any circumstance, inject our own opinions into a story. Granted, I manage to do well enough in order to maintain the title of journalist, but occasionally, the other parts that make me who I am speak a lot louder than that particular one. But then, that’s why op-eds, like the one you’re reading now, exist.
Today, one of those particular facets is still up-in-arms regarding Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey. For those who are unaware, the young actor is currently embroiled in a bit of a controversy for taking to his Snapchat Friday night and, as noted by the Inquisitr, farcically coming out as a gay man.
After fans of Posey, most notably, LGBTQ+ fans, shared their understandable disregard of his act all over social media, he released an apology on his Twitter that was consecutively reported on by JustJared.
I am a big proponent of love over hate, and standing together during divisive times.— tyler posey (@tylergposey) July 30, 2016
[Part 2]: Although I'm not gay, I fully support the LGBTQ community. This was a moment intended to reflect that.— tyler posey (@tylergposey) July 30, 2016
And everyone, I am truly sorry to the people I've offended or lessened how big coming out is. I just want to spread love in this world.— tyler posey (@tylergposey) July 30, 2016
As much as I would love to accept his well-written apology — and trust me, I really would love to — there’s a huge part of me that simply just can’t right now. Before I get more in depth into why that is, let me first express something that might come off as a bit of a shock: I don’t think that Tyler Posey is that much of a bad guy. In spite of several interesting things that more knowledgeable Teen Wolf fans have shared with me since this occurred, there has to be some kind of hope that the 24-year-old who took to Snapchat to make light of such a serious instance in LGBTQ+ life, will not be the same person when he’s 34 (which is, ironically, my current age) or 44, or so on and so on.
For every positive outcome of coming out, there are so many negative ones that lead to shame, abuse, and far too often, death. Eighteen-year-old college student Tyler Clementi killed himself back in 2010 after his roommate attempted to secretly record him and a male suitor in their bedroom. It was revealed afterward in an Out report that Clementi’s mother more or less rejected him after he came out as a homosexual, which may have been a huge factor in his decision to take his life.
A transgender girl by the name of Leelah Alcorn wanted nothing more than to be accepted and loved by her parents. After coming out as trans* at 14, her mother and father refused to refer to Leelah by her chosen name and forcibly removed her from public school after she expressed her attraction to boys. According to the New York Daily News, on December 28, 2014, Leelah posted a suicide note to her Tumblr before purposefully walking into oncoming traffic on Interstate 71.
This is why I am so very disappointed with Tyler Posey at this moment. To him, joking about homosexuality on a New York street was no big whoop — and let’s not even get into the fact of where in New York he did this: On the corner of Gay and Christopher St., just steps away from the Stonewall Inn, the place where many believe the LGBT rights movement began. It pains me to think that someone who has worked with people who have actually come out (Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis, former co-stars Colton Haynes and Charlie Carver), and furthermore, appeared in a movie about a closeted gay teen who is killed before he has the chance to share his truth with his family (2012’s White Frog), would think that this kind of thing can be toyed with in such an immature way.
But then again, maybe I am putting too much of my own life into this. Perhaps I, too, should just let this slide as nothing more than a “joke,”one that has, in the past, led to people being targeted by those who also find this kind of lifestyle to be laughable. Actually, you guys, like Tyler Posey, I’m totally kidding about that. Sorry if you’re not laughing, though. Well, not really. It wasn’t as if I laughed at Tyler’s Snapchat story.
[Photo by Rich Polk/Stringer/Getty Images]