It's all a part of Logo's promo for the April 6 airing of Strike a Pose, the brilliant documentary that could have been called What Ever Happened to Madonna's Blond Ambition World Tour Dancers? — except they've all moved on, none are confined to their rooms and they're all serving middle-aged realness, not dead rats.
Check out Logo's interstitial piece “What Truth or Dare Meant to Me” here.
That's the problem — gay people get very punchy when stories are presented as OURS. (Image via THE WALL)
There's an absolutely nails-on-the-chalkboard, ranty essay over at TheAdvocate from a person I've never heard of before, a fitness professional named Jason Wimberly. I guess he's worked with Selma Blair and Jane Lynch.
The piece is about how Logo's reality series Fire Island looks like it will contribute to “Gay America's Moral Decline.” This, he has decided based on a 90-second trailer:
I urge you to put aside any negative feelings you have about the actual place Fire Island, A-gays, people with great bodies who show them off and the reality craze in general. I am not drawn to this show and am not attempting to defend it. I would say it looks to me like it's seizing on a colorful segment and situation of the gay community as a way of luring eyes and, based on some of the clips, possibly to address issues of interpersonal relationships while still providing plenty of escapism.
One thing's for sure: Gay men are a lot less likely to attack, let alone not watch, reality series with no gay content than reality series with gay content. (Case in point, Finding Mr. Right, which actually deserved all the scorn because the guy at the center of it is a total ass. But I digress.)
Getting back to Wimberly's Advocate piece, what embarrasses me about the gay community is not that we've fallen so low as to have a show like Fire Island and men who spent their summer chasing fun and excitement — that has been happening forever! It's part of the human condition, and more specifically, gay men have been having a blast on Fire Island for better or for worse for the better part of a century.
What bothers me is that a truly historically important outlet like TheAdvocate is now reduced to (effective!) clickbait like this fussy piece, which is ostensibly bemoaning the existence of a gay TV show on a gay network, but which actually delivers some tone-deaf messaging that's straight-up anti-gay.
Wimberly starts with a story to which we can all relate, involving how people have become entitled and rude. Fine.
Next, Wimberly slides into fantasyland, where he actually argues that the use of curse words is a major issue:
I remember when the use of “bitch” on television was a national debate. Now curse words are commonplace in all forms of media ... Now, I have to be fair in saying I uphold myself to some pretty strict standards. I don’t use the fword ... As a public person, I take the way people perceive me seriously, and not just because of my own self-respect, but for my respect for the LGBT community as a whole.
Seriously? That's laughable. Swear words are a very expressive and creative part of any language, and are often very effective when making a point. Can you imagine a pioneering gay civil rights activist— you know, a gay person any of us has actually heard of, which should be the definition of a public person, and who has actually done something constructive for the cause — worrying about swearing? That's a major issue?
It goes from bad to worse, but I don't believe most Advocate commenters will really consider Wimberly's words, because they'll be so caught up in the bashing of Fire Island (damn pretty people!). Wimberly actually makes the self-loathing argument that LGBTQ people need to present a sanitized image (what else is not swearing and carousing?) to non-straight people in order to win equal rights:
As a minority group, the actions of a few can unfortunately shape the view of many. Giving this sort of behavior a national platform where it becomes normal and invited into our homes is the problem. By all means, live your life and have fun as long as you’re not hurting anyone else. My issue with all this, though, is that I do feel it can hurt others simply by allowing it to be so common.
So now a TV show by and for gay people that shows us doing things that most people like to do (drink, party, have fun summers, have sex) is detrimental to our image, and is giving us a bad image? Does this person really believe that that has anything to do with the status of our rights? How very homocon of him.
I'll repeat a bit of what I wrote as a comment on Wimberly's poorly written, illogical and dangerously shallow piece:
I was invited to cover the event at PlayStation Theatre in Times Square last night, celebrating the upcoming (March 24) premiere of Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race.
(All images by Matthew Rettenmund; images of Matthew Rettenmund by Jason Viers)
Like always, I had my trusty sidekick Jason along, and like always, I was mad-stressed out wondering how I would get all 13 queens for interviews in the time allotted — not to mention any bonus queens (Ginger Minj hosted, and queens like Jiggly Caliente, Sherry Vine, Lady Bunny, Mrs. Kasha Davis and many others were on hand/on hands and knees), the Top 4 actual women from this season's America's Next Top Model and five out of sex of the studs from the new Logo series Fire Island.
Mrs. Kasha Davis & Ms. Thorgy Thor
Paige, India, Tatiana & Courtney from America's Next Top Model
I don't know her. But if I did, I'll tell you her name. How about: Mae South?
Darienne Lake made a splash.
Speaking of which, following RDR's switch from Logo to VH1, the step-and-repeat didn't even have Logo's, er, logo, this in spite of the fact that second-run eps will air on the network, and the fact that tons of Logo staffers were on hand to help out.
The crowd wanted in — bad.
Part of my stress was the odd decision to tell press we had to arrive at 5 p.m. to check in, would interview everyone for two hours, would have to leave at 7:30 p.m. and could not return when the party started at 8 p.m. until we had dumped all professional equipment. The strictness of this rule made for some unnecessary schlepping, and only ensured that the zillions of photos from the party would not be as high-quality as they might otherwise be.
This one was stealing focus outside!
The best cutlets in the place weren't cutlets.
When we returned, I avoided the red carpet and focused on the tables, where all the celebriguests were seated.
Seeking Charlie Hides
Alexis Michelle, ma belle
Shirting the issue
We did our level best, but even rushing, while I got pics of and interviews with 11 of the goils, I only got some pics of Nina Bo'nina Brown and one snap of Shea Couleé — no Q&A.
New York City Girls: Lady Bunny with Pepper Mint, including my Ron Galella-style, “NO PICTURES!” shot.
Logo today announced it will air Finding Prince Charming, the first all-gay male dating series, which it expects to air in the fall. It's already filming, so that means you failed the audition.
From a press release:
Hosted by Lance Bass, “Finding Prince Charming” will include 13 charming and gorgeous suitors, all housed together, who compete to win the heart of one of the nation’s most eligible gay heartthrob. The sexy suitors grapple to stand out from the crowd all hoping for a moment of intimate connection, romance and, perhaps, true love. One by one, the suitors are eliminated until the heartthrob chooses one ideal man to sweep him off of his feet and commit to an exclusive relationship.
“Logo has a long history of showcasing LGBTQ-focused stories with memorable characters that transcend pop culture,” said Pamela Post, SVP of Original Programming for Logo.
“’Finding Prince Charming’ will take viewers on a whirlwind journey through modern love and relationships in a way that only Logo can do.”
"Finding Prince Charming” is produced by Brian Graden Media. Executive Producers for Brian Graden Media are Brian Graden and Dave Mace with Fred Birckhead and Nick Murray also serving as executive producers. Chris McCarthy, Pamela Post and Stevenson Greene are Executive Producers for Logo and Jen Passovoy serves as producer.
I'm sure I'll watch this, but one bone to pick—I don't think gay men are looking for Prince Charming; that reads as more traditionally female. But I'll give it a try.