Gay in 'ParaNorman'
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I just took my sister and her kids to see the fun 3D movie "ParaNorman." I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the likeable, if slightly dim-witted, jock was casually outed as gay near the movie's end.

Leaving the cineplex, I thought: Wow, with gay characters in kids' movies, we've come a long way; there must be controversy about this. From Google, I discovered conservatives are having a fit. They overwhelmed Chic-fil-A; now they're fuming at "ParaNorman."

William Bigelow at the conservative Breitbart website whines that the ending plot twist is a trick by nefarious gays: "It's a time-honored technique of the gay community to hide the fact that a character is gay until the audience has developed a real affinity for him/her, then catch the audience off-guard by divulging that the character is gay." So gay characters should only be pathological, never likeable?

Are conservatives really afraid of gays being portrayed as most really are — normal? All of us, including conservatives, need to see things as they really are, not as we want them to be.

Jeff Quinn

Salt Lake City