3 unexpected lessons Honey Boo Boo has to offer about acceptance.
I do my best to avoid it, but every so often, I find myself catching marathons and getting caught up in the chaotic storylines. In my head, I know these shows are crafted to exploit our voyeuristic tendencies and induce higher ratings but I just can't help myself.
This week, I was introduced to a little show called "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." I have heard people joke and make fun of the show but I had never taken time out to pay it any attention. Just hearing the title made me curious enough to ask: What the hell is a "Honey Boo Boo"?
I decided to tune into the season finale and it seems the show is centered around Honey Boo Boo, a.k.a. seven year-old Alana Thompson and her family, as they prep her to compete in the kiddy pageantry circuit.
At first glance, I was completely turned off. Why would anyone want to watch a show about some self-proclaimed "rednecks" and a kiddy pageant queen? Furthermore, why would TLC (The Learning Channel) put this on television?
I was really struggling to find the value and as I made up my mind to change the channel, I heard one of the characters say the word "gay." I thought to myself uh oh.. this can't be good!
To my surprise, it was just the opposite. In fact, it was freaking awesome! Honey Boo Boo apparently has a gay uncle that they affectionately refer to as "Uncle Poodle." It turns out, the family was awaiting his arrival and counting on him to help whip Honey Boo Boo into pageant-ready condition because "gay men know how to dance and make the moves."
As the family gushed over Uncle Poodle's gayness, I found myself laughing and liking them just a little bit more. They greeted him with so much love and genuine excitement that it caught me off guard. When asked about her uncle, Honey Boo Boo herself proclaimed "there ain't nothing wrong with being a little gay. Everyone's a little gay!" That was my aha moment.
As an openly gay black man, I never would have imagined that I would have anything in common with the Honey Boo Boo clan but I did. Shame on me! I had made my judgments before giving the show a chance and they were actually celebrating a character that I closely identified with, the gay uncle.
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