The new animated flick ParaNorman is a’bunching some Wingnut panties due to its ostensibly gay subtext. Nancy French, who is perhaps best known for co-writing Bristol Palin’s book, highlights ParaNorman‘s offending scene:
Norman’s sister has a crush on a kid she tries desperately to impress throughout the movie. After she fails to turn his head, she finally asks him out.
“Sure,” he responds. “You’re gonna love my boyfriend. He’s like a total chick-flick nut.”
Not that Nancy French could be bothered to actually see the movie before slagging it; she relates the experience of her “red-state” friend, who reports that there were “gasps” in the audience after this line, which in liberal talk can be translated as “laughs.” Her point is that the film normalizes (or “Normanalizes”) homosexuality for young children.
To which I say: finally something we can agree on. Because she’s right to be afraid. As described, the scene presents homosexuality as just one not-particularly-remarkable aspect of the character’s personality, which qualifies as a powerful and dangerous act for someone like Nancy French, who actively seeks to delegitimatize gay people and gay relationships.
But it may already be too late, even for Nancy French. Earlier in the review, she relates this anecdote:
When we lived in Philadelphia, one of my daughter’s acquaintances was being raised by two women in a lesbian relationship. My friend explained the girl had two mothers and – essentially – two fathers, due to the circumstances surrounding the insemination. It was a bit much for my kindergartner to properly process, so I didn’t address the issue with my daughter. After all, I wasn’t going to tell her that “all families are the same” which was the message the public schools in Philadelphia were pushing. Instead my family’s Christian faith informs how we view sex, marriage, and parenthood, so I figured I’d answer questions only as they came up. At the time, I wasn’t ready to talk to her about heterosexual romance and definitely wasn’t ready to explain our position on homosexual relationships.
Did you catch it? She writes, “I figured I’d answer questions only as they came up.” But apparently no questions came up. So her kindergarten-age daughter simply accepted the fact that her friend had two mothers, which in my experience is how kids react to gay couples. If you don’t tell them there’s something weird about it then they think nothing of it at all.
And that is Nancy French’s greatest fear.