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August 13th, 2003

Boy Meets Boy

While Queer Eye for the Straight Guy kind of bores me, the show that follows it on Bravo, Boy Meets Boy has captured my attention in recent weeks. In a combination of all the reality shows before it, Boy Meets Boy allows 15 men to vie for the attention of a single man looking for love. The catch: some of the 15 men are straight actors looking to win the cash prize. No one knows that any of these men are straight (including James, the centerpiece of the show), and the viewers themselves don’t find out who’s gay and who’s straight until the men are sent home.

The format of the show is nothing special and most of the personalities aren’t terribly exciting, but what’s interesting is the dynamic that’s developing between James and the men competiting for his attention. And, of course, I’m really curious what’s going to happen if one of the straight guys wins… it will almost certainly be devastating for James, who will think he’s found love. As much as I usually like to see train wrecks, this is one reality show I wouldn’t mind seeing finish with a happy ending since most of the participants aren’t jackasses like on other reality shows.

I can’t decide whether this show (and the proliferation of other recent shows focusing on gay men) is good or bad for the gay community… are these shows perpetuating stereotypes or are they helping to make gays on prime time television feel a little more “normal” to the average American? I’m leaning slightly towards the latter.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Monica
DATE: Wednesday August 13, 2003 -- 12:24:11 pm
I caught a couple minutes of last night's show, and I was really impressed by the things one guy who was sent home was saying... about how he's had to try really hard to pretend he's something he's not (he was straight) and how emotional it got... and how he could now empathize with the emotional stresses of coming out more than he could before.
Anything that can generate compassion like that is good.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday August 13, 2003 -- 12:52:47 pm
I believe they are bad. How many years have the gay community tried to breakthrough stereotypes? Now the most popular gay men on TV are giving fashion tips and talking with huge lisps. It's like someone was doing a sitcom called "Those Darn Gays!"

If you really want to see gay men in a more positive role, watch "The Amazing Race" on CBS, with Reichen and Chip. They are men who don't act like a walking cartoon.

FROM: Tina
DATE: Wednesday August 13, 2003 -- 1:07:51 pm
I agree with Dave - it's not the greatest. But it IS good to have more diversity on TV, no matter what the format. And there are so many stereotypes on TV anyway, what's a couple more? ;) ha ha.

FROM: Stevie Gee
DATE: Wednesday August 13, 2003 -- 1:31:20 pm
I think it's great and I liken it to the explosion of black-oriented TV shows/sitcoms of the mid-Seventies... all of which were filled with every black stereotype, just as QESG may play to gay stereotypes.

It says as much about our culture as it does about TV's ability to popularize that which it can no longer ignore.

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday August 13, 2003 -- 7:39:31 pm
I haven't seen either show so all I can do is hope they're better than that christawful Will and Grace.

On a related note: I've had a regular volunteer gig with a gay/lesbian/etc. youth group for over a year now. Only in the past few months has my straightness come out, and just last week did it become an issue. We were setting group facilitator schedules for the rest of the year. Once every two months the groups are organized by orientation. The program director was having a hard time getting a lesbian to sign up for the "Attracted to Women" group I offered to work it, thinking (or maybe, not thinking) that my presence could be a novelty. D'oh! I wasn't told straight out that I couldn't do it, but the PD warned that the young ladies probably wouldn't welcome a man in the group.

Now I can say I know what it feels like to be excluded for my sexuality. :-D

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday August 14, 2003 -- 8:34:10 am

I agree with you for the most part, except that in the 70's, the black sitcoms featured made-up characters. QE/SG is a reality show. Therefore, you see real people, walking around like stereotypes. Makes it a lot harder for people to decide if it really is a stereotype or not.

That said, I'm sure Bravo/NBC wanted more flamboyant gay men on there to make the show more entertaining. Both sides, Bravo and the people on the show, are both at fault.

FROM: claudiu [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday October 26, 2005 -- 8:29:59 pm
hello i looking for older woman....

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday October 26, 2005 -- 11:00:43 pm
And a Ping titled "Boy Meets Boy" is the perfect place to look!

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