Finally, the record is set straight – so to speak – by Louis Bayard in the Post:
I have to tell you, your show is placing enormous pressure on me . . . and on the great silent majority of gay men who (I’m extrapolating here) really aren’t that fab. Think — please think! — about the message you are conveying to straight America. They watch your show and they come away believing that every homosexual is a hairstylist, runway model, interior designer, oenophile, chef and cultural commissar wrapped up in a form-fitting ribbed tee. I’m here to tell you, it just ain’t so.
I haven’t shaved in four days. I haven’t had my shoes polished in three years. I wouldn’t know an exfoliant from an exterminant. Don’t you see? I lose this game on all points. . . . And yet, thanks to you and your show, no one will believe me. Loved ones and strangers alike persist in thinking that my brain must be a golden hoard of exotic knowledge. They expect me to know the names of every kind of lily. They expect me to distinguish Tiffany from Baccarat from Sears. They scour my medicine cabinets for moisturizers that have never lived there. My brother called the other day and asked me where I thought interest rates were heading. Interest rates?
By the same token, I’m straight yet I have good hair, enjoy art, read good books, and have (as long as my propecia holds up) a fancy head of hair.
At least I live in a world where such a show can finaly be aired. Not that this country’s tolerance toward ‘alternative’ lifestyles is where it should be, but progress is progress. Could we imagine NBC airing ‘Queer Eye’ after ‘Will and Grace’ during the Regan era? That was a time when ‘The Thorn Birds’ was out of line.
As far as the show, relax people. It’s not like the gay version of ‘F-Troop’ and besides it’s good and entertaining TV. I just can’t belive the British didn’t come up with it first.
While we’re on the subject, could someone please answer this for me? ‘Queer’ is o.k. but “Fag” isn’t? Or is “Fag” one of those things that only gay people can say, but not straight people (kinda like the N word for black people). And how ’bout lesbians? Is there a ‘Queer’ term for them? By the way, I’m being serious about this- I really don’t know anymore. Being a straight, 1/2 white guy can get pretty confusing nowadays. Personaly I prefer to call all people just people (humans are humans, not catagories) but it’s still good to know.
I should have moved out of Southern Illinois a long time ago…
I think that “queer” is one of those examples of a derogatory term that’s been co-opted by the victims. It’s become more acceptable because it’s used by militant groups to empower themselves – it’s become a hard-edged, harsh term, sort of, “I’m not just gay, I’m QUEER.”
As for “fag,” well, I don’t think it’s reached that level of acceptance in the community yet. It’s like the gay equivalent of “nigger” in that it’s sometimes OK for members of the community to use it playfully; but outsiders can’t use it.