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Gay TV
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The Onion asks what the appeal is to shows like Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, and answers.

Some of them are funny, some not. But #5 is interesting:

Explode myth that gay people are human beings just like the rest of us

Reminds me an awful lot of this bit, also from The Onion.

The mainstream acceptance of gays and lesbians, a hard-won civil-rights victory gained through decades of struggle against prejudice and discrimination, was set back at least 50 years Saturday in the wake of the annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade.

"I'd always thought gays were regular people, just like you and me, and that the stereotype of homosexuals as hedonistic, sex-crazed deviants was just a destructive myth," said mother of four Hannah Jarrett, 41, mortified at the sight of 17 tanned and oiled boys cavorting in jock straps to a throbbing techno beat on a float shaped like an enormous phallus. "Boy, oh, boy, was I wrong."

A friend told me about an op-ed in his local paper in which the author argued that "Queer Eye" objectified gays by playing up all the stereotypes: gays are good at hairdressing, fashion, interior design, etc.

I tend to agree. It would seem to me that a show like this does more to hurt the cause of gay rights than to help it.

The Cosby Show was interesting, in that it was one of the first sitcoms which showed blacks in upper or upper-middle class jobs (doctor, lawyer), homes, and lifestyles, without such facts being drawn attention to (unlike, say The Jeffersons, which was basically fish out of water, or Fresh Prince, etc.). The Cosby family was successful, but the fact was taken for granted, not hyped up for comedic effect. Not that TV shows are necessarily crusaders in the fight for civil rights, but they do have an effect on culture, and I think The Cosby Show had quite a bit of influence.

I don't think the portrayal of gays in the media has reached that level of maturity. Gay characters are still primarily in a given script or show for their gayness. That is, they're not really mainstreamed, or seen as a person first and as a gay person second.

There are exceptions (no doubt you can point them out), but on the whole I still think homosexuality is handled with a titter and a wink in movies and TV, rather than as an integrated facet of our society, and I think "Queer Eye" perpetuates that stereotyping and immaturity in the worst sort of way.

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