In an episode of Family Guy I watched recently, Glen Quagmire receives a visit from his “war hero” father and ultimately discovers some shocking news about him that changes his entire perspective of him.
In this episode, Glen raves to his friends about the war hero his dad was and all of the awards he had won for his efforts in combat. Upon his fathers arrival, Glen senses something odd about his father in that he seems to really like being around men and almost comes off as what society would view as gay. Being that Glen is known for being the sexual deviant of the show and is seen with a different woman almost every episode, he will not acknowledge these traits his dad possesses and tells all of his friends that his dad is perfectly normal. Towards the end of the episode, Glen, his friends, and his father attend an award ceremony for his father in which his father also comes out to Glen as liking men. Glen cannot believe his father is gay and when he confronts him about it, his father says that he is not the slightest bit gay but that he is transgendered and is actually a woman trapped in a mans’ body. Glen acts as if his whole world crashes down and is completely humiliated about his father. He no longer feels that his dad is the “hero” he was once before and is now just embarrassed at the mere thought of his father.
As bad as it sounds, I would have acted the same way Glen did in that situation. I view my father as somewhat of “macho” figure in that he played hockey his whole life, joined the marines, and became a cop for thirty years of his life. I am proud of what my dad has done and openly show this to friends. However, if my dad broke the same news to me that Glen’s dad did, I would probably be just as embarrassed and I probably would want my friends to know as little about it as possible.
The weird thing about this is that I don’t have a problem with transgendered people, in general, in society. If I saw a transgendered individual in public, I would not treat them any differently than any other person, being that I was raised not to judge people before I know them. However, when it comes to someone close to me, such as a family member or close friend, it then becomes a huge deal to me, and would somewhat embarrass or bring shame to me. I think it is weird that there is such a double standard in my mind along with what I believe to be in the minds of most people in society. Hopefully someday, having a transgendered person close to you won’t be a big deal, but I feel that we are still fairly distant from that point.
Below is a clip from the Family Guy episode.