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Reality in "Reality"

by Nicholas Barnard on August 13th, 2003

I admit it. I’m hooked.

I’ve previously professed that Reality TV is crap. But when The Advocate came out with their cover issue highlighting “Boy Meets Boy” I knew I was going to watch. So far I’ve been reasonably pleased with the show.

Quickly, for the record I think the producer’s “trick” of including straight potential suitors is wholly appropriate and representative of actual life. I was actually quite a bit befuddled that a large number of people (including James, the bachelor (see the July 21st edition of Newsweek.)) had problems with this arrangement.

First, lets assume that these shows actually represent “reality.” (They don’t, they’re more a laboratory for the producers.) I hate to break it to everyone but the world does not have a greater proportion of gay men than straight men. James and everyone else should be happy they didn’t just round people up from anywhere irregardless of if they were gay or straight. Now that would be Reality TV. Instead James and everyone else who is bitching should feel grateful that the producers have put so many gay men together for James to date, and only scattered a few straight men in the mix.

Second, lets look at this thing. The point of it is not to get James a “mate”. That is James’s reason for participating, but the producers have explicitly said they’re wanting to explore the homo/hetroattraction lines, and to place straight men in the closet so we have the other view. In all honestly I think they really need to explore the gender line more, and not beat the “Who’s gay? Who is Straight?” line to death. That got annoying during the first half hour of the first episode. I spend all day looking at people trying to figure out that question, or I used to; it really doesn’t come into my mind anymore except when I’m looking for potential dates. Which leads me to…

Third, this show provides a good example for all the straight men out there. I have for the longest time had trouble dating because I fear that I’ll get the shit beat out of me if I ask a straight guy out. Here are straight guys who have pretended to be gay and nicely maneuvered the dating scene. There are no gay bashing, no profanities, but instead politeness.

But, honestly I think the road goes both ways. Gay guys need to stop saying “Oh, he just straight for now, wait till I get him.” For you gay men out there who believe this line is valid, will you go find yourself some pussy? Yes, right now get out the phone book, and get a female escort. Plan to have sex with her. Ludricrious for you? Yes, so its ludicrous to expect a straight man to just turn gay for you. If we gay men want respect we need to give that as well.

Okay, all in all this is a pretty descent show, yes it has its flaws, but for a first go around I’m quite pleased with it and like the issues its examining, and hell I need all the dating help I can get!

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