Comments

  1. Sam says

    I didn’t get annoyed until the end when that bitch made it known that she was disgusted. Who cares?

  2. brian says

    If you watch the last few seconds closely, it looks like she’s “disgusted” at the bigot, not the gays. She clearly caught looking at the bigot for a second of the clip.

  3. crispy says

    Why did they need to hire an actor to play a bigot? Were all the real ones at a meeting or something?

  4. Gregus says

    Would be interesting to see the whole thing, though I’m sure very uncomfortable at times.

    Got to love the guys who stood up for them in the lunchtime setting. Especially the one who said ‘I think you’re beautiful’. That was nice :)

  5. says

    Yeah, the woman at the end is addressing the actor playing the bigot. The gay couple is on the other side of the bar. (Look at the wide shot right before she leaves.)

  6. Derek in Madison says

    Kids on here aren’t very observant. She’s disgusted at the bigot, clearly. She chose her words, “Nobody else in here is making me uncomfortable besides you” very carefully. Now, if I end up being wrong, I’ll bite my tongue.

    I’ll be intrigued to see this segment. I truly do believe the tides are beginning to shift with regard to how the public treats us–based specifically on the small towns and cities I’m from and have spent time in during the past four years in the midwest.

    Sportbars are my favorite venue–I go with my gay friends all the time. We don’t change our behavior much, granted I haven’t been there for an anniversary or been wasted and all over a boyfriend at one–but I’ve found the crowds to be, for the most part, fairly apathetic and if anything, curiously intrigued.

    Who knows.

  7. Jason says

    Where are the bevvy of queens ignoring the issue and commenting on how hot the two guys are?

  8. Sam says

    Damn, my mistake. I didn’t notice she was talking to the bigot. I also thought the idea of hiring a loudmouth-bigot actor would just invite peer pressure into the situation, but it was nice and reassuring to see him be put down.

  9. CitizenGeek says

    Well, it’s in New Jersey so I can’t imagine homophobia is any way prominent in such a blue state. Likewise, the setting makes me doubt woman at the end of the clip was getting angry at the couple.

    I’m really looking forward to this, actually.

  10. Sargon Bighorn says

    Maybe the “gay bashing” is being created? If left to themselves with out any actor as bait, would the other patrons really DO anything? I suspect not. They might SAY something, but I say things all the time about other people. Like, “look at those SHOES girlfriend!” or “WHERE did you get that lip gloss? It’s to DIE for!” Okay okay just kidding, I never use lip gloss anymore….

  11. Michael says

    Leave it to 20/20 to put a “gay basher” in there to stir the pot. Was that really necessary? Do they think people really need help with their hatred? If the point was to prove that straight people are inherently homophobic, then this was a horribly misguided and underhanded way of proving it.

  12. KFLO says

    I live in Indiana. I’d love to be able to hold a guy’s hand anywhere I want but I’ve come to realize it won’t happen in my lifetime. The set up is a little unrealistic b/c i don’t know any guys who would be comfortable enough to do that in a bar like that. It’s literally dangerous.

  13. TANK says

    Yeah, 20/20 is bigot central when it comes to lgbt issues (viz., the matthew shepard report with that vargas chick). It’s a sideshow. For a brief second, I thought it was beau breedlove.

    Now, for a real test, they should replace that couple with two average looking to ugly fat old mos.

  14. BC says

    Just watched the entire part on 20/20. AWESOME! They found so many supportive people and some people who just didn’t care. Lets hope that this spreads and people see how stupid ignorance looks. I can say that in a relatively smaller town, me and my bf can go to the local restaurants/bars and there is no problem. Granted, we don’t make out (I never did that when I dated a girl either) but its clear that we are together.

  15. kplg says

    So I just finished watching the ABC segment and while feeling good about most of it, I was frustrated with Quinones’ question about “the gay lifestyle”. I hate that – just feeds into all the nonsense about choosing a lifestyle…

  16. Paul R says

    They instructed the couple to act way more flamboyant and attention getting than they were in the pre-bar interview. Not sure that does favors for anyone. I dated someone for 15 years and it never occurred to me to feed him, no matter where we were. And does anyone honestly take a white rose and bump it against their partner’s nose? In public? PDAs, straight or gay, just remind me of junior high school. And this just reminds me of stereotypes.

    That said, how many flamboyant gay couples celebrate their anniversaries or other special occasions at the bar of a sports bar? Wouldn’t you at least get a table?

    Finally, as someone else noted, this is New Jersey. Nearly every state resident has been to New York City at some point in their lives. Gay couples aren’t exactly a rare species to them. I’m glad that people seemed to respond positively, but it’s so contrived that I don’t see the point.

  17. Steve says

    Sweet Jesus. The point of the setup was to see if people would step in to defend a gay couple if faced with a homophobe. The homophobe wasn’t there to “stir the pot:” the homophobe was the entire point of the “test”

  18. dave says

    As a tv producer, I found it interesting that ABC did not promote this story at the top of the episode and they buried the segment at the end of the episode.

  19. nic says

    you know what? in my many trips to mexico, i see guys in cantinas crying on each others’ shoulders about how a woman let them down. seeing two men holding hands or hugging or being affectionate makes no never mind to them. it is all like rain washing off a duck’s back, whether the duck looks like a gay duck or quacks like a gay duck….

    there is something perverse about americanism that lets people think that they can get up in every body’s bidness. i may make a point more relevant to the topic, but not right now.

  20. David in Houston says

    Just finished watching on Tivo. I also thought it was odd that ABC didn’t promote the story at the beginning of the episode, then stuck it at the end. Sounds like they might be dealing with some internal homophobia at the network. Perhaps they should film themselves secretly?

    I was quite impressed how the majority of the patrons defended the gay couple. I also understand why they used an actor to play a bigot. If they didn’t do that, most people wouldn’t have the nerve to speak up even if they were extremely disturbed by what they saw. As manipulative as it was, I do think it was necessary.

  21. Bill says

    First, ABC didn’t even preview this segment at the beginning of the show. Every other segment had a preview clip except the gay one.

    Second, I am happy most kept to themselves or were supportive. That is great.

    Third, almost all gay bashings are at the hands of HETEROSEXUALS (usually males) under the age of thirty. The crowd in this bar was older than thirty. The most vocal anti-gay bigot was around thirty years old.

    Fourth, anti-gay bigotry is often subtle. They might not have acted like bigots but behind a curtain they might just take away your rights.

    Fifth, I really liked the gay couple and that girl that got all emotional at the anti-gay bigotry. There are good heterosexuals out there.

  22. Andrew in DC says

    The angry lady recognized in the bigot not only his hatred of gay people, but his distain for females as equals, as well,in his contempt for feelings and expressions strictly defined in his mind as girly, and therefore beneath him and his self-perceived place at the top of the societal Type A hetero-male pecking order. Or in other words, why are men like that so fat and dumb?

  23. Paul R says

    Wow, Bill, this is the first time I’ve seen you not use HATEROSEXUALS, write out the actual term lower-case, and admit that not all of them are evil. I guess this is real progress!

  24. Rick says

    I saw the segment as well and I tend to agree with most of the comments on here. I’ve been to many sports bars with my husband (yes, I am a gay man) and while we have shared a kiss and are not afraid to do so in public, I for one (and this is my opinion) feel like people whether gay or straight need to use common sense and realize that there is a time and a place for everything. And who really cares whether ABC aired the segment 1st or last? With a preview clip or not? The fact that they actually showed it at all is progress enough for me. Baby steps people. Baby steps.

  25. Jersey says

    This makes me so proud of the people of my state. Linden is a small beach town in South Jersey, nowhere near NYC and on the other side of the state from Philly. My partner and I are looking to buy a farm and have been struggling between land in PA, DE or NJ. This segment makes me want to stay in Jersey, besides we’ll probably have marriage rights here soon and I don’t see that happening in PA for a while. Jersey is such a progressive state.

  26. JerzeeMike says

    Linden, NJ is up NORTH near Rahway and Newark! I live on the Jersey shore so I don’t know where you’re thinking of, JERSEY, but I do share you’re pride in NJ though.

    This is definitely NOT the same New Jersey I left 25 years ago when I went into the Air Force to get away from here. I live in a really blue-collar neighborhood and if I kiss my boyfriend on the front lawn when he gets home from work no one even bats an eye. People wave hello and we get tons of kids for Halloween people ask us questions when “gay-related” issues arise in conversation. I’m pretty confident that if put to a vote in NJ we’d pass gay marriage by a large majority.

    Yes, indeed, NJ sure has changed for the better and, JERSEY, I hope you and your partner stay with us. I’m looking for a nice organic farm to buy from so keep me informed and good luck!

  27. Lexxvs says

    There’s something that a bigot –this kind at least- can not stand, and it is isolation. They need to feel that they’re haters like them supporting their puke. So, little by little, this kind of bigots gets angrier, but lonelier too. At the end of the day, you saw it, they are COWARDS. Well, not talking about the religious people that live in their own world, though.

  28. rick in robbinsville, nj says

    a couple of years ago i saw a young gay male couple making out during a long line for a ride at Six Flags in central jersey. i was afraid for them, but i didn’t see or hear any problems.

    would love to see abc do similar experiments in other parts of the country.

    Congrats to the woman and the others who stood up to the bigots!

  29. KL says

    What a nice feel good piece. What I got out of this presentation is the knowledge that there are still a lot of really good people out there who will stand up for what is right. Hearing various patrons of the bar advocate for the gay couple is a generous and brave gesture that I think represents some progress for the LGBT community.

    When I see progress through tolerance and acceptance of LGBT groups, I am reminded that I should be thankful to the pioneers and friends of the LGBT before me. As a member of the LGBT community here in Toronto, I am aware that more work needs to be done to raise awareness about and promote acceptance of the LGBT community here in Canada and around the world. The acceptance displayed by the subjects in this presentation did not happen overnight. So if I am to draw anything negative about this piece, it is that I am not being proactive enough to help further the LGBT cause. By watching this, I hope people will be motivated to act by carrying on with the courageous and positive message this piece is trying to inspire.

  30. Tyler says

    I came across this last night while randomly flipping through channels and stopped to watch. It was absolutely cool the way the bar patrons reacted. In almost every case but one, they came to the defense of the gay guys…in a straight sports bar…in New Jersey. It gives me hope. Maybe things really are changing….

  31. Chris says

    I know Dusty and Dominic personally; they have not been a “real-life” couple for three years. I’m sadden that they choose to act out in a very stereotypical manner to represent a gay couple…they would never displayed their relationship aggressively or flaunted effeminate acting. Sad, that this is the way the media wanted to represent “Acting Gay” or a “Gay Couple”.

    Over all this subject matter seems like a very, very touchy issue anyway you put it. For a violence driven society; it’s going to take a lot of hard word to deconstruct the fear and anxiety that burdens and weighs down the so called “Progressive Nation of the World.”

  32. Chris says

    I know Dusty and Dominic personally; they have not been a “real-life” couple for three years. I’m sadden that they choose to act out in a very stereotypical manner to represent a gay couple…they would never displayed their relationship aggressively or flaunted effeminate acting. Sad, that this is the way the media wanted to represent “Acting Gay” or a “Gay Couple”.

    Over all this subject matter seems like a very, very touchy issue anyway you put it. For a violence driven society; it’s going to take a lot of hard word to deconstruct the fear and anxiety that burdens and weighs down the so called “Progressive Nation of the World.”

  33. says

    I’m always a bit dismayed by the internalized homophobia within our own community. Stereotypes exist for reasons and are not in and of themselves bad things. Not everyone conforms to a stereotype, and that’s wonderful, but our own community should not bash those who may have somewhat stereoptypical mannerisms.

    The fact of the matter is that not everyone in our community is butch, masculine, or “str8 acting” (as so many of you love to say); nor should they (we) be. Yes, we could entertain an entire conversation about flamboyancy as a “performance” in order to protect oneself and feign confidence in a society that has placed us as second class citizens. However, some of us are more effete than others (which, by the way, is not the same as flamboyant), and we just simply are. And, for the record, they’re in a bar, which means they’d be drinking; I’ve seen more than my fair share of you “str8 acting dudes” turn into over-the-top flaming martini-sipping Marys after a cocktail or two.

    Why “act out” in a stereotypical manner to represent a gay couple? Because those of us who may be somewhat more stereotypical (since birth, by the way) are much more likely to be the subject of taunting, teasing, and gay-bashing. They were not being over the top. They weren’t groping each other and making out on the bar table. They were doing exactly what many blinded-by-love couples (gay and straight alike) do, and they weren’t excessive in their affection. However, the fact that they may have “acted gay” is exactly the point of this test. If they were two butch, macho guys who were just out, hanging out, and happened to be gay, the bigots would hardly notice them. The point of the test is to expose bigotry.

    AND, some of the comments on this blog have exposed our community’s own bigotry, hypocrisy, and self-hating homophobia.

  34. anon says

    Linden is a working class town with lots of very big employers that no-doubt have done plenty of diversity training for their workers. This has probably put the fear of God into them that any incidents will kill their careers. The hidden thing here also is that this bar was overwhelmingly white in a town that’s 50% black. Also missing are the Polish immigrants that live in town.

  35. Bobby says

    I’m pleasantly surprised and moved that so many of the heterosexuals were so cool. I agree the “gay lifestyle” from the reporter was a little insensitive, but I chalk that up to ignorance.

    Great piece, great result.

  36. BC says

    They were instructed to “act more affectionate” as part of the experiment AFTER they were told to downplay their relationship a bit too. Remember they only showed about 8 minutes of a full day at this bar. I think it was great to show that regardless of how they “acted” the majority of people treated them like anyone else. So they played out a wide range of behaviors to see what would happen.

    Remember people, this was an experiment! Stop trying to find tons of homophobia where there might only be a little bit. There will always be a little bit. Again, if we look for hate, we will find it anywhere. If we look for love…

  37. The Contrarian says

    For the record, the “sports bar” is not in Linden, NJ, but in Garwood, about 5 or 6 miles west of Linden.

  38. Jersey says

    Its actually a shame because now I’m not quite as impressed. It really would have been something had people in Linwood acted so supportive. Damn, guess I won’t cross property in PA off my list yet.

  39. Brian says

    We can nitpick this to death (and I agree, the fact that the couple was “beautiful” — I loved that a burly straight guy said that! — may have had an impact on people’s reactions), but let’s not miss the point. The reactions were extremely encouraging. We are going to win the battle for tolerance state by state, neighborhood by neighorhood, and whether it’s New Jersey or Alabama, it’s heartening to see most of the attitudes portrayed here.

    It doesn’t mean we don’t have a long way to go — just like having an African-American president doesn’t mean we’ve defeated racism. But sweet Jesus, let’s put aside the cynicism for just a minute and allow ourselves a little bit of encouragement!

  40. RJ says

    First off, I think we hit the nail on the head. This is Jersey, not middle of nowhere red state, depending where in Jersey this bar could literally be right across the GW Bridge within sights of NYC.

    More importantly, I found it weird that they made such a big deal that they “planted” a hetero couple, but they weren’t instructed to be affectionate. The dichotomy in the setup was supposed to be if homo-pda is not ok, while hetero-pda is. Instead they turned this into a homo-bashing experiment.

  41. greenman says

    In order for a clip of someone to be shown on the program, don’t people have to sign a release? I think they do. My point is that you could see people shooting the gay couple “dirty looks” but if they had to sign a release before their homophobic comments were shown and they declined, the program would give a false impression that everyone behaved positively. (Except the guy who later denied he had a problem with it after making negative comments.)

  42. RP says

    For anyone that watched the full episode and saw the segment on the racist store clerk, did anyone else notice when John Quinones approached the white customers each time he told them they were doing a “social experiment” but when he approached the black guy he said “we’re doing an experiment on racism.” Just thought that was of interest. Seemed to me like subconscious racism on John Quinones’ part.

  43. Jaan says

    I’m troubled by this kind of experiment because there are so many influencing factors… would the crowd have reacted differently if they were two far less attractive gay guys (the boys were both young and cute, which is important in a culture that is obsessed by looks and youth)? Food for thought…

  44. Jesus Christ says

    Jesus Christ I am sick of the people overreacting- oh noooo so they didn’t preview the fucking clip, so what!? That does not make internal homophobia at ABC, it makes you a paranoid loser.

    or a conspiracy theorist……………

    You’re the type of gay that has rainbow flags everywhere, wash your hands with Gay soap, and your dog’s name is Cinnamon.
    You come across like a gay that just came out, wayyyyyyyy out surrounded by Lucky fucking Charms.

    Every cut eye and bad incident in life that happens to you is not because you’re gay…… It’s because you’re an idiot.

    Stop looking at the world like it’s out to get you because you’re gay….

  45. Yuki says

    I kinda get the feeling that the reason they had the guy “stir up” anti-gay stuff is simply to get people’s reactions a little more obvious, rather than because people might not react…

  46. Glenn Rivera says

    I still wake up very sad – this world is so cruel at times.

    We have a long-long way to go.

    If it even happens.