Here's Queer in Your Eye

I am now officially alienated from everyone I know. I've felt like this many times beforemostly when I was younger and people found out I'd paid to see Who's That Girl?but it's increasingly obvious that I'm even losing connection with my own kind. First, after writing here about DirecTV's new marketing plan to attract the right kind of sodomites to its wares, I had to deal with backlash from all the sturdy, productive homos who were more than happy to be labeled "Home Depot Gays" by corporate America. I got letters depicting me as a shrieking circuit boy who couldn't hold down a steady job because I was too busy writing fan letters to Kylie Minogue on my Hello Kitty stationery. I fear it will only get worse now that, apparently, I'm not twinkly enough: I've committed the ultimate sin by not bowing down before Bravo TV's hit show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Now, much like Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman, I got nowhere else to go.

If you honestly have no idea what I'm talking about, you're free to return to that episode of Becker that you taped last week and haven't yet had time to savor. The rest of us recognize this latest personification of the pink zeitgeist as a "reality" show that sets five "stylish" gay guys loose on some poor schlub of a straight whom they completely make over while dissing his Eddie Bauer tendencies. This is being treated culturally like the Second Coming of Queer, and the media is all over it: Cue Entertainment Weekly for a "behind-the-scenes peek at summer's outrageous breakout hit!" (Key word: "outrageous.") What Big Gay Fun! Oh, the emancipated fabulousness! Pardon me while I excuse myself from the room.

OK. Sure. I'm a big ol' nelly when you come right down to it. Who isn't? I've even occasionally served as a fashion adviserI made a close friend march right back into that Urban Outfitters changing room after he stepped out sporting a pair of male capris. And, yes, I know that Queer Eye can be funny and engaging, and that it isn't ever cruel in spirit to either side of the fence. But we all need to acknowledge that homosexuals are going nowhere in the public consciousnessin our own consciousness, for that matteruntil everyone gets past the idea that gays are no fun unless they're rolling their eyes in dismay at some bemused heterosexual and howling, "Oh, honey, that shirt!" Everyone on Queer Eye (including that hot hairdresser who can engage me in heated discussion any time he chooses) comes off a bit like a lap doga savvy, amusing lap dog, to be sure, but a domesticated pet nonetheless. Despite all the homo viewers eating this thing upand the gay creator/executive producer behind itthe show still plays like a tolerant heterosexual's idea of gay sensibility. This kind of reality TV is going to lead us to hell quicker than Aaron Spelling ever could; at least no one in the '90s was out there telling us how significant Models Inc. was.

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