Queer Irony for Straight Weddings

Maybe I’m taking things way too seriously. Maybe I’m still seething over the news in the previous post. But last night even something like Bravo’s Queer Eye, is causing my blood pressure to rise and not in a good way. Don’t get me wrong. I love the guys from Queer Eye. In particular, Jai and Kyan can make me a little wobbly and short of breath.

But happening to catch a preview of what’s coming up on the show, I felt a little ill upon learning that they’re devoting something like an entire month to weddings, starting December 6th. And of course, given the show’s basic M.O., it’s the legal variety. You know? The kind that the guys on the show can’t have. Like I said, maybe I’m taking things way too seriously, but I’m failing to see the entertainment value in five queer guys moving heaven and earth to help straight people access rights and protections that the queer guys themselves can’t (except in Massachusetts, of course).

They may be the “Fab Five,” but they’re not fab enough to catch the bouquet, or put it to its intended use if they do. I don’t expect most of America to get it. Most of America stopped “getting” irony years ago, but at least one straight guy gets it.

Frankly, it’s disgusting the way we treat and stigmatize gays in this country. We treat gays as second-class citizens; we consign them to novelty status in popular culture (see “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”) but are unwilling to grant them a fundamental right…

Here, the great shipwreck that is American values crashes harshly on the rocks of irony and hypocrisy.

While Alan Eder’s sentiments are encouraging, and I definitely hope the number of heteros who share them soon outnumber those who don’t, I can’t help wondering just how helping straight folks down the aisle — a’la Queer Eye — gets us any closer to the altar of equality. In fact I’m inclined to think that Scott had the right idea a few weeks ago.

There’s something to be said about using the strength you have, and at the very least not being co-opted into forces that hurt you.

Why help put up streamers and blow up balloons for a party we’re not invited to in the first place? It might be entertaining to the folks who do get the full benefits of marriage, and to be sure they get a big bang out of it. But when I think about what happens to couples like Lauren Hester and Stacey Andree, watching get new wardrobes, free furniture and decorating, and wedding bands with the help of a group of gay guys doesn’t seem all that entertaining. In fact, it seems a kinda sickening.

Queer Eye, spare me the straight matrimony. And consider my invitation via television to your month of straight weddings returned “with regrets.”

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About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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9 Responses to Queer Irony for Straight Weddings

  1. Lorin11 says:

    Heck, I’m not gay, and I’m attracted to Jai.  Maybe they’ll do a surprise, and one of the Queer Guys will get married in Massachussetts.

  2. Susan says:

    I cannot stomach even one straight marriage episode of Queer Eye.  As Audre Lorde said, the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house, and I think doing a marriage month definitely makes them the master’s tools.

  3. Tony Nicholas says:

    It’s called entertainement darling. Those poor miserable straights, ermm, heterosexuals, ermmm, fellow human beings..ermmmm "those people" have such a distinct lack of colour in their wonderfully normal lives…. that they need some queer fellas, of the testosterone depleted variety to spice up their lives… after all they do need some good memories before they head for the inevitable break-up eh?

    I better stop there………

  4. Tony Nicholas says:

    Not only do we "happen" to know their only gay friend who lives just down the road, we all have such exquisite dresss sense and dine on caviar and champagne every night,a dn we spend our evenings flapping our wrists rather than having deep and meaningful relationships… such a flighty lot we, aren’t we!

  5. Tony Nicholas says:

    Let me just say one more thing about this crap show…. we had an Aussie version, which was even more testosterone depleted than the Yankie one [I’m sure if you removed their pants, they wouldn’t have dicks. Just like the Ken doll]….. but thank God our version didn’t last long…

    Wait it gets worse, we have an upmarket retail chain called Grace Bros, and it is high camp – lots of crap  merchandise, glossed witht he veneer of respectability and class…. and who should they bring out to do a series of ads, why your very own blonde bimbo from that show

    But tell me, who deserves the derision and scorn that emnates from our curled, sneering lips the most? The Queer guys, or the equally stupid and insipid Straight subjects?

    What next, are we gonna show straight people how to extend the missionary position? Crack yo’ hips a li’l harder, dear!?

  6. Shaula Evans says:

    Tony, "Grace Bros" isn’t connected to "Are You Being Served?" is it?"

    Queer Eye never rang my bell.  The crew strikes me as the Step’n’Fetchits of a new civil rights era.  I’ve never found tokenization amusing.

    I wish I had a formal background in tv and film theory:  is this how hitherto invisible groups get a foot in the door?  Do you/we *have* to start with the stereotypes in order to get any big or small screen representation? 

  7. Tim Who? says:

    ” I wish I had a formal background in tv and film theory: is this how hitherto invisible groups get a foot in the door? Do you/we *have* to start with the stereotypes in order to get any big or small screen representation? ”

    Yes, I believe you nailed it.

  8. Tony Nicholas says:

    Shaula

    While the store is Are You being Served is called Garce Bros, we did have an up market chain called Grace Bros. I Kid You Not… of course it’snoloner called Grace Bros, it’s called Myers… but the stor ein the TV show ha sno relationship to the real store…. there never has been a Grace Bros in the UK.. to my knowledge

  9. I also find it wrong that Queer Eye is doing straight weddings. I am a heterosexual woman (probably bi, but never realized anywhere other than in my head) in a committed relationship with a man. He proposed in Feb 2004 and I said yes, but in the face of the circumstances with the marraiges in San Francisco, I just could not go through with the idea of us getting married when others face such discrimination. People think we are strange for taking a stance in such a way ("who does it help?" they ask), but I have no doubt that it matters and that this is serious. I am with you, Mr. T, I think it is bullshit that there is not any kind of message whatsoever on the show about the irony of straight weddings being created and the couples being supported when the hosts would not be granted the same right. I even tried to get on Queer Eye before all this straight wedding shit, actually it was the Queer Eye for the Straight Girl that I tried out for, and I never heard back. I pitched how my Dad was ill (he died in Sept 2004) and how Todd and I made the commitment to be together forever but were not going to wed. I suggested that we have a party celebration for our choice at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach where I work. I was offering the venue, a good and true story of love with a tragic twist of a very ill father that I had been worn out caring for and who wanted to see me married off. Well, it got passed over and so be it. I was just surprised. But my story is not the point. There is no sadness or priviledge denied with me and my man. I just want to show that it matters enough to me to actually have consequences for it in my life.

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