"What Would You Do?", ABC's show about real-life ethical dilemmas, features an affectionate gay couple in a New Jersey sports bar and the reactions of patrons. The show, which airs Wednesday, at 10 p.m. EDT, is fairly affirming in the reactions of both straight men and women to homophobes who insult the couple.
In the course of our two-day ethical dilemma, we saw a diverse suburban community stand up for a gay couple who was being verbally harassed.
The show used two gay actors (Dusty St. Amand and Dominic Benevento), themselves in a real-life committed relationship, along with other actors who made homophobic comments in an attempt to rile up the bar's customers. A three-minute video shows what happened at lunchtime when one homophobic actor offended by the gay couple's public display of affection is told to get out by a burly customer seated at the counter. "You don't have to go, you didn't do anything wrong," the customer tells the couple. "I think you're beautiful."
In scenes shot at night, one non-actor customer shows his disgust when the couple kisses, but totally does a 180 when the cameras appears; he is then the paragon of tolerance. It's a pretty stark example of what people say in private and public
I thought it was a cool concept to set the events in a sports bar and wonder what the reaction would be in different parts of the country. The 200+ comments on the story at ABC News contain the usual amount of religious nonsense this type of story attracts, but also emotional posts like the one from a 17-year-old who says: "I'm an open gay 17 year old and I know what it's like to be harrassed for being me. I know what it's like to have to be conciencious(spelling?) every day of what I say,what I wear, and how I act. I fear every day I live. I wake up in the morning not knowing whether I'm going live to see tomorrow. It's a horrible way for a teen to have to live, and most of you will never understand it."
I would love to hear how you feel an affectionate gay couple would be received in a sports bar where you live.