Thursday, July 07, 2005

30 Days Lesson: Gays Can Be Bigots Too...

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A staunch conservative guy from rural Michigan goes to live in 'the gayest section of the gayest city on earth'. Oh yeah, and he has to live in a gay man's closet too.

That's the situation in this weeks episode of 30 Days. How can you not watch with a plot like that?

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Although this episode was a little cliche and rushed, it did have it's interesting parts. Like when Ed (gay guy) takes Ryan (straight guy) to his first gay bar.

Now keep in mind that Ryan is super uncomfortable around gays...seeing as in his mind they are all sinners, sexual deviants, and ultimately are bound to burn in hell for all eternity.

Yeah. So you can imagine how the gay bar experience goes for him. It's not long before a whole flock of guys start hitting on him and giving him all kinds of unwanted attention.

So Ryan goes crazy and tells them all a thing or two about the evils of homosexuality right? Wrong.

It's the gay guys that end up being stupid and unfair. After Ryan makes a big deal of shying away from their advances; they end up basically telling him that he doesn't belong there and that 'maybe' he should just leave.

WTF? This is a show about a prejudiced straight guy, but he ends up being discriminated against because of his sexual orientation?

The upside of the whole thing is that Ryan got a taste of his own intolerant medicine, but that doesn't make it right for those guys to treat him like that. It just goes to show the 30 Days lesson of this week:

Gays can be bigots too.

Other 30 Days Lessons:

You Can't Solve A Drinking Problem With Alcohol

Hippie Life Is Not The Answer

Don't Go To An Imam For Advice

Steroids = No Sperm

30 Days

More:

Morgan Spurlock's Blog

Find out about the show (what's on next week, episode guides, message board, etc.)

TV Squad: '30 Days: Straight Man In A Gay Mans World'

A whole bunch of gay stuff.

'30 Days Indoctrinnize Me'

Media Sheep - This blog has some good thoughts on this weeks episode. I especially agree with the points about the Pastor of the gay church.

MumblingToMyself - This blogger talks about how they think '30 Days' has an anti-Christian bias.

'Superqueer Me' - A livejournal entry about the show.

'A Gay/Straight Exchange Program' - Another blog entry about the show.

'Michigander In The Castro' - Has some good thoughts on reality vs. the way the Castro District was portrayed on the show. (Link cred to Jamison.)

Other stuff by Morgan Spurlock:

7 Comments:

Blogger Jamison said...

Since the show aired nearly every conversation with my friends has included a list of the bars we would have taken Ryan to instead. We've all been out to bars in the Castro with straight friends and would have sought out stops our straight friends enjoy as well.

I think underlying all those conversations we feel a bit hurt that only a single bar was shown, though Ryan may have been to quite a few and seen just how big a range of people (straight and gay) call the Castro home most of America only now has one image of a San Francisco gay bar.

And a gay bar me and many of my gay friends feel as uncomfortable in as Ryan does.

9:55 AM  
Blogger whosthere said...

Hi Jamison,

Yah I thought that the general portrayal of gay life in the show was a little distorted too. For example, just by watching the show you'd think that gay people only hang around with other gay people, only go to gay bars, gay churches, etc.

I guess it wouldn't make for good ratings to show Ryan in more average 'gay situations'...it would be too much like everybody else's life and wouldn't have that Jerry Springer element that reels in the viewers so well.

That said, I really don't think it's too much to ask for a reality show like this to bear a little more resemblance to...well...reality.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Jamison said...

I came across another post by someone who lives in the Castro as well who makes the point "reality, to put it bluntly, is that there are way more people who look like Ryan in the Castro than there are handlebar-mustached 1970s throwbacks"

That entry has a really good take on the situation, and I think that while the show's producers where trying to create drama for ratings, the idea of putting Ryan into a much more normal, realistic setting where he couldn't tell gay from straight might be even more unsettling for some people and create more drama than playing into stereotypes.

4:37 PM  
Blogger whosthere said...

Great link, added it to the main post. I wonder if Morgan Spurlock and Co. realize how ironic it is to have a show that attempts to dispel stereotypes...by perpetuating many of the very same stereotypes.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Jamison said...

A friend gave me the real story from a friend of his who was there. Despite what the show said, Daddy's was not the first bar they took Ryan too, they took him to Metro Bar and another beforehand, and said Ryan actually was having a pretty good time prior to Daddy's even buying a drinks for his new friends.

I was also told that Ryan was much more open minded than the show portrayed and they felt he came off a lot more homophobic than he was in real life.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.... gay men are bigots because they told the man he didn't belong and he should leave? Gee, what about the all the places WE are not welcome in? To say that we are bigots is soooo hypocritical. We have a right to our safe places, and if we feel threatened in those places, we have a right to ask those who threaten that safety to leave. And, we have no need to apologize for it!

C. Cross
Los Angeles

10:46 PM  
Blogger whosthere said...

Hi C. Cross,

Maybe you are confused about what hypocrisy is. An example of hypocrisy would be, oh, I don't know...someone complaining about being the victim of discrimination ('Gee, what about all the places WE are not welcome in?') and then in the very same paragraph defend that exact kind of discrimination ('Hmmm...gay men are bigots because they told the man he didn't belong and he should leave?').

Wikipedia gives this as an example of hypocrisy:

'An example would be when one honestly believes that one group of individuals should be held to a different set of morals than another group.'
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocrit)

Does that sound familiar? It should!

Having been a victim of bigotry is no excuse to turn around and act like a bigot. Do you really want to mimic the behavior of those who have caused you so much suffering? I don't.

Anyway, if a "safe place" includes telling someone they should leave because they 'don't belong'...then maybe you aren't looking for a "safe place" as much as an exclusive club. The club motto could be: "If you don't belong, then you should leave!" Sounds like a nice place doesn't it??

6:57 PM  

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