Friday, June 04, 2010

Perpetuating the Gay Stereotype

So, Logo (that's the gay channel for anyone wondering) is prepping for a new reality series called The Gay Housewives of New York! Yes, you read that right. No kidding on my part.

No, the series does not - at least to the best of my knowledge - star a bunch of lesbians.

The series, for all intents and purposes . . . oh, wait, why should I explain, when The Advocate did so well . . .

Gawker has done some digging and come up with a few of the men slated to take part in the first season of Logo’s upcoming Gay Housewives of New York series.

Amazing Race winner turned model-actor-author Reichen Lehmkuhl and his boyfriend, Brazilian model Rodiney Santiago, will appear on the show. Lehmkuhl relocated to New York earlier this year to star in the off-Broadway production of My Big Gay Italian Wedding.

Celebrity photographer Mike Ruiz, who is known for his work with stars including Tyra Banks and Dolly Parton, will also appear on the show. Ruiz is Los Angeles-based but travels to New York often for work.

Full article here.

I'm sorry, but these are not women, i.e., wives, but men. Yes, as a gay man I know that many within the gay community refer to each other as girl. I don't happen to like that fact, but I can't change that fact . . . other than not to use the term myself. These are men - anatomical correct men at that! They are not women, thus they aren't - at least not in the definitive sense of the word - wives. They might be husbands, but not wives.

Hollywood - motion picture, television, and whatnot - has an allegedly ignorant tendency to perpetuate the gay stereotypes. Okay, wait, perhaps not always mainstream Hollywood, but more network TV Hollywood. Will & Grace - you have two extremes: Nellie as can be Jack and straight-laced (no pun intended) Will, a good-looking man that just can't find a date. Trust me, that doesn't happen in the real gay world. 9 times out of 10, a gay male on Network TV is going to perpetuate the Nellie, effeminate, not a butch man stereotype, rather than the reality that only a small percentage of gay men are actually effeminate.

If, as many in the community want to end these stereotypes, then why do we continually allow - gay housewives anyone - the stereotypes to continue? Why is it all right for Logo to title a show The Gay Housewives of New York?

I don't know. I just know, as a gay man, that I'm more than a bit offended by this perpetuation of gay stereotypes. I've been partnered for almost sixteen years. I don't consider myself Frank's wife, but rather his husband, and vice versa. Frank's not my wife, but my husband . . . well, for all intents and purposes except legally since we live in a back-asswards country (for the most part)! I want to see gay men (and women, for that matter) realistically represented, and not just on Showtime. I want network television to quit portraying a minute percentage of the gay community, and portray the entire spectrum from effeminate to butch (in both gays and lesbians).

I'm just saying . . .