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It's time for a gay season of The Bachelor
#1
But it should be honest and messy and authentic to queer dating, and not randomly add in a bunch of straight men for a ‘twist’.

[Image: 1676.jpg?width=445&quality=45&auto=forma...1cfcd0238b]
‘I ran from myself for a long time,’ said Colton Underwood from The Bachelor.

On Wednesday, former Bachelor Colton Underwood sat down for an intimate, revealing interview with Good Morning America to get something big off his chest.

“I’m gay,” he told anchor Robin Roberts, shaken though visibly relieved. “I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it … I ran from myself for a long time,” he said. Now, he feels “the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life”.

I’m hesitant to frame Underwood’s coming out as some kind of significant “gay first”, given how such narratives often end up portraying LGBTQ+ people as new, as if we haven’t been here the whole time. “The media that make us visible simultaneously obscure our presence in history by continually framing trans people [and, in this instance with Underwood, gay people] as new, as a modern, medicalized phenomenon only now coming to light,” writer and artist Morgan M Page wrote in 2017. And being “the media” in this scenario, I, uh, don’t want to do that!

That said, this is kind of a big deal in the Bachelor-verse, which didn’t even feature an openly queer person until bisexual contestant Jaimi King in 2017. Other contestants have, similar to Underwood, publicly come out after filming wrapped.

With all that in mind, it feels like it would be a real missed opportunity for the Bachelor powers that be to not recast Underwood for the franchise’s first-ever Actually Gay season with an Actually Gay star.

What would the first gay season of The Bachelor look like? Well, if I had to guess (and I have to! or what else would I write about?!), I imagine that it would look a lot like Boy Meets Boy, which aired on Bravo in the summer of 2003. That was one of the first major attempts at giving gay guys the gay version of The Bachelor so many longed for, though it greatly hindered itself by secretly adding a bunch of straight men to the cast without informing its starring bachelor first. Drawing on stereotypes about gay people being deceptive and untrustworthy? Yay, fun! When Fox’s Playing It Straight deployed a similar (cruel, uninventive) twist in 2004, they were at least upfront about it.

Thirteen years after Boy Meets Boy aired, Logo premiered Finding Prince Charming, sans any unnecessary, sensationalist twists. Though for all the ways that Finding Prince Charming provided better representation than its spiritual predecessor, it was also boring – seemingly more concerned about proving to viewers that gay men’s romantic aspirations were every bit as normal as their straight counterparts than with depicting gay men on their own terms.

If The Bachelor portrayed love in deeply heteropatriarchal terms (multiple women compete for the attention of a single man, looking for monogamy and, of course, marriage), Finding Prince Charming simply gave the long-running series a fresh coat of homosexual paint. Could the first gay season of The Bachelor offer something different from what the aforementioned derivatives it inspired gave us in years past? I’m not super hopeful, but hey – there’s always a chance!

If I were a Bachelor producer (And I could be! Please hire me! I love drama and employer-sponsored health insurance!), I’d want its hypothetical first-ever gay season to look something like MTV’s sexually fluid 2019 season of Are You the One? That show was honest and messy in a way that felt authentic to queer dating and hooking up with little concern for what straight viewers might think. There wasn’t a single bachelor at its centre, or throngs of contestants competing for his affections, under threat of elimination. Instead, the series’ eighth season featured 16 singles hooking up and flirting in the hopes of figuring out their “perfect match”, as determined by unseen matchmakers. “It’s weird and complicated and intriguing,” wrote New York Times Magazine staff writer Jenna Wortham of it, “sort of like it feels to date in real life”. There wasn’t any of the respectability politics we saw with Boy Meets Boy or Finding Prince Charming, just a bit of mutually pleasurable sex, collective joy and debauchery, and the occasionally toxic couple and group processing seshes. In other words, an insanely queer show.

I’d love to see a Bachelor season do new things like acknowledge the probable sexual tension between the contestants, and a gay season of The Bachelor seems as well poised as any to explore that territory. Why not let contestants explore relationships with their fellow suitors in addition to going on dates with the titular Bachelor?

Something tells me that we wouldn’t see that kind of sex-positive change of format on the first gay season of The Bachelor though. (I, for one, can already hear the cries of “No!” from every person out in Provincetown who simply wants to show the world how normal queers are.) So, maybe I don’t really want a gay season of The Bachelor after all? I guess what I want is another gorgeously queer, sexually fluid season of Are You the One?, which I would pick over another sedate, staid and traditional season of The Bachelor in a heartbeat.
Note: No trees were destroyed in the sending of this contaminant free message. However, I do concede, a significant number of electrons may have been inconvenienced.
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  • CellarDweller
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#2
There was a show like that years ago in the US, but I can't recall what it was.

It was a gay man and his female best friend, and they were in a house full of gay men, and he had to pick one to be with.

The "twist" was that some of the guys were straight, and there was a chance he would pick a straight man to be with, and 'lose' the contest.
Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: 
''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
Reply
#3
(04-17-2021, 04:02 PM)CellarDweller Wrote: There was a show like that years ago in the US, but I can't recall what it was.

It was a gay man and his female best friend, and they were in a house full of gay men, and he had to pick one to be with.

The "twist" was that some of the guys were straight, and there was a chance he would pick a straight man to be with, and 'lose' the contest.
Ugh, I remember that crap. Since he started to weed out the straight guys too early the producers had to step in to keep some breeders in the running.
Bernd

Being gay is not for Sissies.
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#4
(04-18-2021, 07:46 PM)Bhp91126 Wrote: Ugh, I remember that crap. Since he started to weed out the straight guys too early the producers had to step in to keep some breeders in the running.

Yeah, it was really tacky.  I think I watched the first two episodes, and then stopped tuning in.

I just found it on Google, it was called Boy Meets Boy.

Boy Meets Boy is an American reality television show in which a gay man meets and chooses a mate from a group of 15 potential male suitors.  The show premiered July 29, 2003, on the Bravo cable television channel. A total of six episodes were aired weekly until the finale on September 2, 2003. The show was taped in Palm Springs, California and hosted by Dani Behr.

The show featured a gay man named James Getzlaff selecting another man to date from among a group of 15 potential suitors, known as "mates". Helping him choose was his best friend Andra Stasko. The controversial twist was that some of the housemates were gay, while others were straight.  James was not told of this fact until nearly the end of the series' run, and the gay mates were never informed. If James' final choice from among the mates was gay, James and the mate would win a cash prize and a trip for two to New Zealand provided by Alyson Adventures of Key West, Florida, which specializes in gay and lesbian small group tours throughout the world. If James chose a straight mate, James would win nothing and the mate would win $25,000. The producers managed to keep a mixture of gay and straight men in the house despite the eliminations by putting the men into groups that prevented the contestant from eliminating all of the gay men or all of the straight men. At the end of each episode, the sexual orientation of each eliminated mate was revealed to viewers.
Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: 
''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
Reply
#5
and (of course) the lead was an actor.


https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1445454/
Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: 
''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
Reply


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