We interrupt this midwifery blog for a moment to discuss a socio-political issue unfolding on the Fox television network.
This is only the third season I’ve seen So You Think You Can Dance, yet the show has easily become one of my favorites. SYTYCD is filmed in Los Angeles, but travels the country looking for dancers to participate in the contest. Each week, they learn new dances in a variety of dance styles and then the public phones in to vote for their favorite. The next night, after the voting, the bottom three “dance for their lives,” performing in their own genre and the judges make the final decision who goes home and who stays.
You can’t be in the entertainment industry and not know a great many gay men and lesbian women. Lots of the handsome hunk movie stars are homosexuals, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever hear about it until after their deaths in some old lover’s tell-all. Being gay goes in and out of style; many shows right now have a token gay character. There are certainly periods of time when you can’t find someone gay on any of the hundreds of channels. (Except for Logo, of course!)
It would still be illegal to have homosexual sex in many states if it weren’t for the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case that made prosecuting for sodomy illegal. Public opinion all too often lags far behind the court rulings, so homophobia remains rampant in the United States.
But, we’re in California, where gay marriage was legal for half a second. Wouldn’t we think this part of the country might have a wider mental expanse? Apparently, not so. SYTYCD has had many gay dancers (as you’d expect). But, what is odd is the show turns a blind eye towards any homosexual inclinations. The men are groomed to be sensuous partners for sexy females… many, many of the dances involving courtship or, in plenty of cases, out and out erotic insinuations. I understand that most of the world is heterosexual, but it’s gotten to be the elephant in the room, this pretending the men aren’t gay thing.
The worst case of this is the incredible charade is with this season’s Kent Boyd, an 18-year old from Botkins, Ohio. From his first presentation on the season opener, Kent has been being pushed towards a heterosexual fascade. Those of us watching almost fell over when host Cat Deeley asked Kent who was his perfect woman. Stunned, he croaked, “My mom?” She pressed on, “Or who?” and he obligingly answered, “Beyonce!” How much gayer can you get?
Glad that clumsy interaction was over, it didn’t seem possible they would keep trying to het him up, but between Cat and Nigel Lithgow (the producer), Kent can’t catch a lifestyle break.
When Kent comes out to dance with each of the vixens, comments abound about his prowess with the women or how the women will certainly be taken by him. That might be fine and dandy for voting, but is this all okay with young Kent? Is he even out of the closet yet? Is he part of this “please help keep me under the gaydar” ploy?
What would be so wrong with letting the queers be dancing fairies? Would they get fewer votes from the drooling young female fans that seem to make calls for naked male chests?
For those of us who live the Gay Life, the prospect of everyone being out when they are, even on tv, seems delicious. I pray they stop trying to cram sweet Kent into a mold that isn’t remotely his style.