When our LGBT youth watch television and movies, we want them to see characters they would be proud of, not tragic figures who are surrounded by negative circumstances. They deserve to see normal, everyday characters who happen to be gay.
Velvet Goldmine was the first time I had seen people like that onscreen, people like me. From my seat in small-town America, the film served as a moment of recognition that I wasn't alone. There were other people out there who felt and desired the same things I was keeping to myself.
America is ready for more than just gay best friends, gay assistants, gay relatives and gay hairstylists. It's time for a world where we're more than todays' version of Carla on Cheers, but the Sams and the Dianes, or even the Rebeccas.
We now have a generation of gay kids who have always known they are not alone, and they can't go back into the closet; they were never there to begin with. Even before dealing with their own sexual orientation, they knew there were others.