Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 8th, 2012
If you missed the news this week, Finding Bigfoot is big news again.
You can’t turn around without finding a new interview or story about the series. Animal Planet appears to have funded a few publicity treks, here and there, for various members of the crew to talk to all sorts of radio, print, and television news folks.
For example, I heard from Lee Speigel, who said: “I thought about you today as I sat in the Huffington Post TV studio interviewing Matt Moneymaker and Ranae Holland of ‘Finding Bigfoot’ fame. They were in NYC doing some publicity for the new season of their Animal Planet show and came by to see me so I could write up a story about them…very nice folks.”
Amazingly, in the midst of all of these media moments, it is obvious that an entirely unexpected result may be a broader tolerance for lesbians.
Ranae Holland, an out lesbian, is going on the record during her interviews about tolerance, and I applaud her for using her opportunities to do this.
For example, in “Lesbian biologist on cult hit ‘Finding Bigfoot’ spills the beans,” Ben Cartwright, for San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, writes, quoting Holland:
“”People need to be able to respectfully disagree about the concept and remember that it’s all about tolerance,” she said.
On the subject of tolerance, Holland said that she has not encountered much intolerance within the scientific community, recognizing that it does exist.
“I don’t find it necessary to discuss [being a lesbian] as I have matured and developed a competent sense of self,” said Holland, who noted that she tries not to concern herself with societal norms.
She did say, however, that people should be able to live openly and freely and not have to hide who they are. “We live in a society that still has an intolerant community and dragging people into the closet is reprehensible. LGBTQ rights are basic, civil rights,” she said.
Holland said she believes that women have more of an uphill battle within the scientific community, and that more people from marginalized communities need to come forward within the field.
“This shouldn’t even have to be a question, but because we are still fighting for these basic civil rights and acceptance, people need to come forward,” Holland said.
She offered advice for those who wish to enter into the field of biology or science, especially those in the LGBTQ or other marginalized communities:
“First and foremost know yourself, love yourself, and follow your passions. If your passion is conservation, the environment, physical sciences, or whatever it may be, find that person that you love and believe in and make them your mentor,” Holland suggested. “If you are LGBTQ, find a professional mentor, but also find a personal mentor. I recognize that I was surrounded by a community where I didn’t have to hide and this is recognition of the advocates that came before me.”
The program is having a wide societal impact, in a variety of ways. Yes, Finding Bigfoot is winning as an entertainment series, but think about this. When you consider that not one active National Football League or Major League Baseball player has declared himself an out and openly gay man, what Ranae Holland is doing, via the venue given to her, is a rather big deal.