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Recognizing Pain

May 15, 2009

I’ve always found Tyra Banks to be rather annoying, and thought she was as shallow as you have to be to host a show like “America’s Next Top Model” (no offense to my many friends who watch religiously).  However, she’s done several shows on gay rights, including one on marriage equality.  I just watched one of these episodes on YouTube and was quite surprised by something she said.  Despite everything I’ve thought about her, she really articulated a perspective I haven’t heard often.

“I respect everybody for their beliefs…but one thing that is important to me is realizing pain in a human being.  And whatever you believe, whether you don’t approve of how somebody lives their life…But to me what hurts is the lack of empathy for people in pain.  Not gay, not straight, but pain.  And Sandy, when I was looking at you and seeing this young man in pain, I didn’t feel that.”

Here’s the clip.  She says this around minute 7:30.

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