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I haven't seen the show cos we don't get Bravo here in good ole Fredneck,but I really wish we did.My cousin is gay,as is one of my best male friends..and neither one is what you would call "stereotypical".They both think it's a positive thing that the show is reaching a wide audience,cos just like there are all kinds of straight people..preppies,bikers,grungers,whatever..there'sthe same diversity in the gay and lesbian community.Take it from me..a very VERY atypical lesbian. Wink

Brandi
I can understand the concern, because I have many gay friends that completely run the gamut (just like straight people of course). And while intelligent, open-minded, worldly people know that the queers represented on this show and Will & Grace, etc., are just a small representation of the gay population, there are a lot of television viewers that think "ALL GAYS ARE (stereotype here)."

HOWEVER...

The straight people represented on t.v. are rarely like me or anyone I know either. I don't have a perfect body, great hair, fabulous clothes and either A. a huge Victorian house or B. a quirky but huge Manhattan apartment...despite the fact that I'm supposedly a broke single mom or a poor suburban girl who just moved to the big city. I don't have breakfast every morning with my 5 equally fabulous friends before heading off to work (only to rejoin them 2 hours later to spend the rest of the day hanging out in a coffee shop). I don't hang out in hot tubs, throw drinks in anyone's face, or cast spells. I'm not the wacky fat neighbor, or a vampire slayer, or a tough but beautiful lady cop.

So I'm torn I guess. I think the show is really funny, and I'm glad to see gays in the mainstream. And I guess people that carry around prejudiced notions will do so whether this show is on the air or not.
quote:
Originally posted by grace0418:
[qb]The straight people represented on t.v. are rarely like me or anyone I know either. I don't have a perfect body, great hair, fabulous clothes and either A. a huge Victorian house or B. a quirky but huge Manhattan apartment...despite the fact that I'm supposedly a broke single mom or a poor suburban girl who just moved to the big city. I don't have breakfast every morning with my 5 equally fabulous friends before heading off to work (only to rejoin them 2 hours later to spend the rest of the day hanging out in a coffee shop). I don't hang out in hot tubs, throw drinks in anyone's face, or cast spells. I'm not the wacky fat neighbor, or a vampire slayer, or a tough but beautiful lady cop.[/qb]
You're not?!?! I think you must be doing something terribly wrong!

OK, as the forum's resident queer boy (I really must start recruiting), I'll give you my take on the show.

First, it has officially dethroned Changing Rooms as my favourite show on television. I've seen every episode repeatedly, and am currently jonesing waiting for next Tuesday's episode.

Second, if anyone thinks that anything they see on TV is the end-all and be-all of what it purports to represent, they should not be allowed to have a television.

Third, I think the Fab 5 are probably the most accurate representation of gay men we have on television today. Yes, the show is edited to be as fabulous as possible (gay men are fabulous, but we do turn it down sometimes) and yes, the Fab 5 by no means represent all gay men (how could 5 of anything represent all of anything?).

Now how do I think they are the best representation of gay men? Well take Will & Grace (well, Will & Jack, Grace isn't a gay man, she just wishes she was). Jack is sooooo far over the top it is ridiculous. Yes, there are gay men that are campy like Jack, but he has absolutely no depth, though him and Karen are my favourites. Will doesn't seem to have a penis, how many seasons has it been? How many times has he had sex (puhleeze! The guy's HOT! He should be gettting WAY more action!)?

The Fab 5 are a reality show, yes they are playing characters in a way to make the show interesting, but the characters are strongly based on their own personalities, they ain't gonna win any Emmy's because they aren't pretending. Most importantly, they are very comfortable gay men. Comfortable in their sexuality, they've worked through the coming out process and are at ease with who they are.

The other thing I like about the show is that it shows that we really have an idea of romance, and how important it is. The stereotype seems to be that we're guys so we have crazy sex drives and are just humping all the time, if that were true, why are we so good at setting the stage for romance? Also the Fab 5 aren't making little gay men. They really want to know what the straight guy wants to get out of the experience and give it to him. Sure, not very many of the men will continue to get manicures after the experience, but that guy who asked the girl to marry him... did she or did she not say yes? The artist, Butch, they completely chose clothing that would fit his lifestyle and that he would be comfortable with, they didn't put him in a little Chelsea-Queen uniform.

They are also showing how good a little grooming can make you feel. Gay kids get beat up for having fashion sense and getting manicures and what-not. But wuthout fail, every straight guy on the show has thanked them up and down for their help. Have said how much better they feel about themselves for organizing their lives. Is it being a sissy to put away your clothes and wash you bathtub? No, it makes you feel better.

It shows straight men that they can open themselves up to things that many seem girly. It also shows them that those girly things, might actually help that get laid.

Thanks Fab 5!
Good points, everyone.

I left the States without seeing Queer Eye (I was limited in what I could watch by what channels each hotel we were staying in, had) but if it's making people think, then I'm all for it.

And I'm sure that we all know people for whom it will just reinforce stereotypes... but those people aren't us, are they boys and girls? Wink

What we are is not neccessarily defined by who we do or don't sleep with (it's common knowledge here on Frenz, for example, that I'm not even interested in "doing the nasty" with ANYONE, male or female, but you don't see me donning a nun's habit for goodness' sake!) Neither is it defined by our clothes (I'm reminded of a good gay friend of mine who moved to the country town of Toowoomba, and was immediately set upon by all the straight girls who wanted to go out with him because to them, he looked "straight"...)

The article Mabelle posted made me laugh because of course the fellow wasn't taking himself seriously. The people he was taking a stab at were the folks who are never going to "get it" anyway.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that the author of the article was clearly writing it very tongue-in-cheek, and it was very funny! I was addressing the overall issue.

Anyway, I saw the episode tonight with the guy proposing. OH MY GOD that was so romantic. And he could not have been real. Seriously, if she didn't say yes I would've hunted her down and beaten her senseless because she got herself a keeper! I know it was cheesy, but when he started to cry because of all the nice things the Fab 5 put together for him to make the night special, well I got choked up too!

And KE, when you wrote that about Grace wanted to be a gay man I thought you were talking about me for a second! I almost spit my water all over the monitor laughing, I would soooooooo not make a good gay guy. Wink Big Grin
Originally posted by Kill Eye:
quote:
It shows straight men that they can open themselves up to things that many seem girly. It also shows them that those girly things, might actually help that get laid.

Ha ha! A side note to that, I read that Bravo's advertising for the show was actually aimed at Women 18-49...I think that a lot of straight men could really benefit from a few of these tips, though I would not want to date a man that dressed better than me and had more styling products! Wink
The Fab Five are dreamy, I want them to come to my place and update my wardrobe and look - and Kyan could run his fingers through my hair any day! Wink Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by awamutu:
[qb] i just saw this show for the first time last night and honestly, it's the first reality show i've thoroughly enjoyed all the way through!!! had me on the edge of my seat the whole time! wailed when a commercial came on! only prob i had with the show is that it moves a little fast Razzer speedy scene changes are hard to keep up with when exhausted, lol.

i LOVE how they literally run into each place they go into, like superheros, with the suits and glasses, lol!

about last night's episode...i'll try not to give anything away, for those who may not have seen it yet... i think the writer's or whoever got the initial summarization's of the guy being transformed and his girlfriend backwards. if anything, the girlfriend would be brought up to the "changing guy's" level of sophistication. i wasn't fond of her at all and think the new and improved guy could do better Razzer that is all~~ Smiler

how many more shows are left before repeats?? [/qb]
Are you talking about the proposal episode? Because I thought the same thing about her, he was so awesome in every way and she was... I dunno... kinda cold. But I decided to cut her some slack because she was probably nervous in front of the cameras (he was quieter when the cameras were first on him, then he got more comfortable), and she probably suspected what was going to happen so she was probably freaking out with anticipation (but trying to act casual and unaware).

Or maybe she was just another case of some totally undeserving woman getting a really awesome guy. I've known more than a few couples like that (and vice versa).
The media has a well-developed reputation for sensationalising and assigning stereotypes. They have a lot of power to do that because, sadly, a lot of people are profoundly influenced by media. It's a communicative medium and everybody likes a good story. It's up to the individual to have the good sense to realize that what they are seeing is only one representation of a community, from a certain perspective. They only have to walk out their front door and talk to people to tell the difference between a stereotype and the reality.

With that being said, the media are selective and very fickle. They will only allow certain things to be seen or heard if it suits their purposes. Therefore i'm afraid that there will never be such a thing as "reality TV" because although it is unscripted, it is edited, manipulated and promoted to the point where it becomes highly fictionalized. The media wins time and time again in these cases because they have control over the "reality" that they wish to display.

The gay community have had a rather difficult time relating to the media, not only because of their portrayal in the past but also because of the way in which they have been treated generally - they still feel as though they are not accepted. It's because they are so used to being criticised that, now they are being represented on screen, they want to make sure that the media gets it right. If you ever get your hands on a documentary called The Hollywood Closet, I highly recommend watching it - it goes through the history of homosexuality in films from the early 1900's to present day. There has been a vast improvement.

It's not just the gay community that feels they are not being shown fairly and accurately, though - every community has had false representation. Married couples, divorcees, singletons, religions, races, children, the elderly, the rich and/or famous, teenagers, businesspeople, majorities, minorities...For every genre, there is a big f*ck-up in media portrayal.

The revolution will be fictionalized.
Touche, Kill Eye! Ms Tomlin has never really come out, now has she?

All said above regarding sterotypes, I think I need a few quotes from an Entertainment Weekly article on Queer Eye that helped me really get over any guilt about the show and what it "means" to gay people and how they are perceived by uneducated heteros:

"Bravo's could-have-been-derivative makeover show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, is terrific and groundbreaking because it upends the saintly stereotype: These men are flawed and fabulous. They're strong, pushy and intolerant of those who don't listen to them. And unlike Will & Grace's Jack, they aren't the butt of jokes - indeed, they actually excel at something."

FYI - By "saintly stereotype", EW is talking about the history of gay chracters in prime time never having sex (i.e. Will from Will & Grace, Matt from Melrose Place, etc)

Secondly, from the beautiful Kyan himself:

"If gay people decide that they can't be flamboyant and funny because straight people aren't going to like it, then what's the point? I want to be gay on my own terms."

And while that may be naive (being gay on his own terms has a completely different context when his own terms are being broadcast to 2.5 million people), he has a point: why should anyone - gay or straight - do something or act a certain way just because we worry about how people will perceive us?

That's all I have to say....I love the show!
Anne
quote:
"If gay people decide that they can't be flamboyant and funny because straight people aren't going to like it, then what's the point? I want to be gay on my own terms."
That little Miss Kyan is smarter than she looks.

On the Lilly front, she's never said either way, that I know of. I suppose I respect and grant her her privacy, but she is extremely outspoken on so many other issues, and she could be such a strong voice for the gay community. Oh well. I was a little ticked that she'd collect the check from her part in Celluloid Closet, but not be real enough to get personally involved in the project.


Now Playing :Taylor Dayne - I'll Be Your Shelter:
all this talk of closets put me in the mood for some lesbo-pop. Razzer
I love the show, and I agree if we fret about media stereotypes we won't be able to consume any media.

I really like the way that they build on strengths and work with the person's own style. Every makeover so far has been self-conscious about his body, and that 5 is so fab (especially Carson, my fave) they brush aside those concerns and provide strategies that work with the body the guy has.

How about the great apartment makeovers? Originally I thought maybe they parked a C-train in back for all the guy's crap - now I wonder if they just throw it out, and does anybody miss any of it? I bet they don't.
The one with the couple that lived in Co-Op City (the guy who sang to his wife at the end), they actually said they had to rent them a storage locker because there was no way for them to put away all their things and make it look good. NYC living is all about the storage locker. People actually rotate wardrobes seasonally through storage lockers because there is no way to store clothes for all four seasons in a NYC apartment, you can even rent a storage closet.

Also, the show is actually 3 days long. They bombard the victim on day one and get to work on the house, they don't finish the house until the 3rd day.

The shows budget relies on product placement, everytime they mention a product by brand, or the name of a store or salon, they either got money or free product (if they talk about something genericly, they got no free stuff). They actually mentioned the name of the storage company in the Co-Op City episode and mentioned that they got 3 free months of storage.

A thing that bothers me about the show is how much a lot of the things they recommend to them would actually cost. When the straight guy runs out of what ever fabulous styling products they got for him and then finds out what they cost, he'll be back to Duane Reade in a heartbeat.


Now Playing :Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over (LIVE):
That was cracking me up, that what we've called amaretto for years is now to be known as DiSarrono, it's brand name.

Will we be considered hip if we order DiSarrono on the rocks just as we would if we order a Grey Goose martini?

It's good to know they do the makeovers over three days - I was fretting about people's books and things being pushed up against freshly painted walls. I've been painting and it's time-consuming to do it right.

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