ABC News correspondent John Quiñones has been showcasing interesting “What Would You Do?” segments for 5 years now but this is one that fell through the cracks on us.
Imagine you were a teenage athlete coming Out to your best friends and teammates in the middle of a sneaker store. Now imagine that their reaction was far from positive, downright homophobic even. Imagine it was the gay teen athlete’s own coach being homophobic. This is what young actors reenacted in this segment. This fear is what keeps many masculine gay men of color closeted for years, even decades, after they’ve accepted that they were gay or bisexual.
John Quiñones’ experiment on this scenario aimed to test the reaction to the strangers around this situation. How would they react to hearing a teen coming Out to his friends only to be rejected and ridiculed. Would that join in? Would they laugh to themselves? Would they try to distance themselves? Or would they come to the teenagers defense?
It turns out the reaction was that latter. Most people who observed the made up scene reacted admirably. If you’re in the closet or living in paranoia about your sexuality, there’s NO WAY you don’t come away from this video feeling a little less fearful.
Or….this could all be made up bullshit. Are these good-hearted strangers actually actors themselves? Or were they coached? Did they know about the “hidden cameras” and pretended to support they “gay teen” so they could have 15 minutes of fame? Am I over-thinking it? Possibly.
What I do know is this video was pretty cool regardless.