A 20-year-old Savannah State University student and cheerleader named Desiree was profiled on last night's episode of MTV's True Life, which was titled "I'm a Gay Athlete." In it, Desiree ostensibly came out to her mom Michelle and aunt Deena over lunch. It did not go well. This is about as worst-case scenario as it gets (I suppose only violence and/or outright rejection could make it worse).

Neither Desiree's mom nor aunt initially wanted to believe that Desiree is gay, and the way this played out was almost absurd—when Desiree told them that her significant other is named Kim, Deena decided that Desiree must be dating an Asian man. Deena also told her that being gay is a "fad" and "not normal." Her mother asked her if she was "the boy" or "the girl." To Desiree's great credit, she snorted back, "Do I look like a boy?" Touché.

The result was about six excruciating minutes of airtime. It got better for Desiree, though. Her mom started to come around—by the end of the episode she was getting a manicure with her daughter, and Desiree expressed faith that her mother was close to fully accepting her.


But then, weirdly, Desiree was apparently kicked off her cheerleading team, as we found out in a on-screen graphic at the end of her storyline. That story could have been fascinating, could have really gotten to the specific difficulties of being a gay athlete (assuming that she was kicked off the squad for something related to her sexuality). That MTV didn't explain that aspect of Desiree's story further (was it gay-related dismissal?) is bizarre.