Actress Jane Lynch, who plays bullying teacher Sue Sylvester on the Fox show Glee, joined Rachel Maddow Wednesday to talk about how television has helped evolve public opinion on homosexuality.
“People are tied to their televisions,” said Lynch on The Rachel Maddow Show. “People come up to me like they know me, they think we’re friends.”
Lynch argues that the familiarity of the medium has introduced more Americans to gay characters. “If the characters are flawed, [viewers learn] it has nothing to do with our orientation. It’s because we’re flawed. We’re full human beings.”
“Joe Biden said you have to put us out in the culture,” says Lynch, referring to Vice President Biden’s Meet the Press interview where he announced he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage and where he credited shows like Will and Grace for educating Americans.
Lynch shared that before President Obama announced his support of gay marriage, she thought she was unemotional about the issue. When she heard the president’s words, Lynch found herself moved. “For the first time, I realized that I’d been kind of distanced from it emotionally, but that [moment] really kind of broke it open for me. It made me very very happy.”
“I don’t know if it will change history or if it was political calculus on his part, but I think President Obama does believe in the dignity of our relationships and in our right to exist. I think there are people we aren’t going to convince in this lifetime, but I think there are changeable folks. A lot of people change when they’re in the presence of one of us, when they get to know us, when they get to know our families. That’s why being out is important for me, and why I appear in public with my family. Not hiding it is very important.”
Lynch also subbed for Maddow for one segment, reporting on “The Best New Thing in the World.” And while she seemed to enjoy delivering the news— she even came up with the topic herself— she said TV punditry is not in her future.
"I'm a political junkie, and I'd love to play a cable news host. I don't know that I'd want to do that day in and day out."
More stories from Lean Forward: