Sean Penn points out that anti-gay parents leave a terrible legacy for generations
Sean Penn had some insightful things to say about the legacy of homophobia.
It made me think about the grandchildren of anti-gay politicians and preachers who will be so ashamed of some of the things being said and done.
Penn, who won an Oscar in 2009 for playing gay rights icon Harvey Milk, says he’s surprised at how ‘slowly’ attitudes are changing in American culture despite the legal and political gains.
‘We all have to work hard and be patient with how fast you can move with certain things relative to the backlash it’s going to take,’ the actor told HuffPost Live this week.
And the longer it takes for attitudes to shift, he warns the more destruction of young lives homophobia will cause.
He fears things will change ‘not before children in this generation are going to have children and they’re going to look back at (their parents) and say, “My parents are responsible for the suicides of 13 and 14 year old boys and girls.” The sooner we change it, the better our kids are going to feel about us.’
Penn, 54, said it was in his 20s when he became acutely aware of the damaging impact homophobia has on the lives of gays and lesbians.
‘You have friendships with people who are experiencing oppression and the prejudice of it or the violence of it – the isolation. Your brain starts to realize, “What is up with this?” Your first thing is to say, “This has to change yesterday. So I’m glad it’s changing.’