News | Tennessee | Thomas Roberts

Straight Man Pretends To Be Gay For A Year, Learns Lesson: VIDEO

Kurek

Nashville resident Timothy Kurek says his religious upbringing taught him that gay people are sinners, and that for years he acted like a straight up bigot toward them. Then, after a friend was ostracized by her family for coming out, Kurek decided to pose as a gay man to see if his past fears were warranted.

They were not, he learned. Now Kurek is writing a book about the experience and stopped by MSNBC today to discuss his project.

Gay anchor Thomas Roberts doesn't seem quite sure what to make of Kurek, and wondered how the author can "validate" his experiment to people who are actually LGBT and may be offended by his work, particularly since his research only entailed hanging out in Nashville's gay neighborhood.

In response, Kurek readily admits "there is no way I could possibly understand what it's like to actually be gay."

"The book itself is not at all about what it is like to be gay, but only about ho the label of gay impacted my external life and how those things kind of altered my faith and challenged my beliefs," he said.

Kurek also explained that his family, though very religious, was supportive and that he hopes his work — something of a 21st century update of Gentlemen's Agreement — can change some religious conservatives' minds.

Surely readers will have something to say about this, so watch the video and sound off AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. "I think I know very well what it's like to be gay and unattractive. I haven't gotten f*cked since the days of Segregation. Can't you tell? The shallow gay queens of this so-called community make it very clear that I'm so ugly I couldn't get f***ed if I fell ass-first onto a cock factory"

    Again, people, use your brains. This comment was made by Little Kiwi, acting as an impostor, using my name. The comments previous to it in the thread that bear my name are from me, the "real" Rick, but that one is not.

    Thanks.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 14, 2012 3:24:27 PM


  2. ummmmmmm he's overweight if not straight-up obese.

    it's funny how people think a BMI of approx. 27 is "normal" these days.

    our perceptions have become so skewed by our general fatness. 68% of Americans are overweight or obese.

    online, i see people make asinine comments all the time about how someone needs to eat a burger b/c they can see the person's faint outline of bones right underneath the armpits. NO, HONEY, THAT'S NORMAL.

    Posted by: public health | Jun 14, 2012 3:25:37 PM


  3. So what did he do for a year? Did he develop any close friendships with guys in the gayborhood, bond with anyone, hear and get to understand the gay journey? Is that the sort of multi-leveled and shaded experience sharing that swayed his longheld beliefs? Or did he just hang out solo in the hood and observe? This interview doesn't say a whole lot...

    Posted by: jim | Jun 14, 2012 3:26:16 PM


  4. To be clear, the amount of money a man makes is WAAAAYYY more important to me than his appearance ; ) Looks fade, mixed securities, jewels, and sound investments can be made to last forever!

    Posted by: cdubois | Jun 14, 2012 3:27:18 PM


  5. ...that was a joke of course...

    Posted by: cdubois | Jun 14, 2012 3:27:42 PM


  6. @theotherlee:

    "But Mundus, if we are to go by his posting history here as a sign of what he is in everyday life... even those of us that value personality, humor intelligence and experience wouldn't be too attracted to Rick. lol"

    Oops? I regret I am a European poster and not a regular one, theotherlee; but surely he should be given the benefit of the doubt? and yes, gay men CAN be a teensy bit shallow - I recall the occasion some years back when a lone disturbed, young man bombed the Admiral Duncan gay bar in London - he was subsequently caught and convicted and I recall overhearing a conversation of a group of gay men who were all rapt over how cute the perpetrator was...

    Posted by: Mundus | Jun 14, 2012 3:28:27 PM


  7. And for the record I have no trouble getting laid. The kind of men I'm attracted to, straight men who frequent public bathroom gloryholes, aren't at all particular.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 14, 2012 3:29:22 PM


  8. Well, this little conversation devolved rather quickly, didn't it? I wanted to point out the old "I'm just here doing research" excuse for getting caught in a gay bar, but never mind.

    Posted by: Tim Goecke | Jun 14, 2012 3:32:10 PM


  9. @Rick:

    "And for the record I have no trouble getting laid. The kind of men I'm attracted to, straight men who frequent public bathroom gloryholes, aren't at all particular."

    Goodness, and who said romance was dead?

    Posted by: Mundus | Jun 14, 2012 3:33:56 PM


  10. It never fails to amaze me how horrible people posting comments can be.
    I guess being a Bully is ok if you were bullied yourself.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Jun 14, 2012 3:36:02 PM


  11. "No, I'm a very handsome masculine man it's just that you effeminate queens are scared of masculine men and pretend you find me ugly. I'm the handsomest man ever, but I'm not effeminate enough for you limp-wristed queens"

    "And for the record I have no trouble getting laid. The kind of men I'm attracted to, straight men who frequent public bathroom gloryholes, aren't at all particular"

    More from Little Kiwi, acting as an impostor.

    Mundus, do you speak English?

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 14, 2012 3:36:31 PM


  12. Well, since they didn't go over the book at all, there isn't much to say right now. Not sure what you can learn hanging out in bookstores, coffee shop and bars.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 14, 2012 3:53:57 PM


  13. Well, we don't have much of a gayborhood here in Nashville...a few bars and clubs along Church Street, and a few others scattered around the city.

    If the point is to understand what it's like being gay and the prejudices and discrimination people face, surely his time would have been better spent being out at work, in a church, holding hands with a guy in a movie theater, etc? Hanging out in a self-selecting enclave seems limited.

    Though, from the comments here and the attitudes of many others, he would have experienced plenty of prejudices among individuals in the gay community from his appearance (not from all, just some). Sexuality is one focus of discrimination, but it also focuses on appearance, race, class, and many other ways to divide.

    Posted by: Eric | Jun 14, 2012 3:57:51 PM


  14. It's funny what gets edited out. I wrote the most accurate critique of Thomas Roberts. I find him the worst example of gay on TV. And I'm talking finger in the mouth gag. Where's my comment? Has this site become PRAVDA too?

    Posted by: Dean | Jun 14, 2012 4:01:08 PM


  15. Reserving judgement, I think its an interesting idea. While he can't know what it feels like to be gay, what he can learn is the discrimination we face from the rest of society by stating two simple words. I'm guessing that was the flip side of the study, not just getting to know "us" as real people, but what it's like from the inside looking out.

    We always say, "but I'm the same person I was ten minutes ago before I told you," which of course isn't quite true, but for him it IS, but the reaction to his statement is then even more profound. Still exactly the same but treated completely different. I'm sure he learned a lot.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Jun 14, 2012 4:07:25 PM


  16. Unless he had sex with a man, that is not really having a "gay experience". Hell, I had straight female friends march with me in the pride parade last weekend that would be more gay than him.

    Posted by: Sam | Jun 14, 2012 4:10:13 PM


  17. @Rick:

    "More from Little Kiwi, acting as an impostor."

    "Mundus, do you speak English?"

    With all due respect, Rick - I have never encountered your comments before - I have no baseline with which to compare. To be honest if some strange person is impersonating you online then, and to be utterly frank, that is your problem, not mine; it is of course, to be regretted if half of your posts are not actually yours and a third party is garnering you a poor reputation.


    Posted by: Mundus | Jun 14, 2012 4:19:41 PM


  18. Mundus, the fake-Rick is a recent (and hilarious) invention. Trust me when I say that the real (p)Rick has earned quite a negative reputation all on his own. He's extremely sexist, racist, classist, and femmaphobic. And he's a bigot-apologist.

    Posted by: MateoM | Jun 14, 2012 4:33:06 PM


  19. @Mateom:

    "Mundus, the fake-Rick is a recent (and hilarious) invention. Trust me when I say that the real (p)Rick has earned quite a negative reputation all on his own. He's extremely sexist, racist, classist, and femmaphobic. And he's a bigot-apologist."

    How do I tell fake, parody Rick from actual Rick then ??? *worries*


    Posted by: Mundus | Jun 14, 2012 4:51:39 PM


  20. Hi, Mundus,


    You asked, "How do I tell fake, parody Rick from actual Rick then ??? *worries*"

    The fake one has some of the funniest postings you'll read on this blog. Sometimes they seem almost cruel, but you've got to remember who they're aimed at.

    There was one last week about Rick using an eggplant in place of a dildo. I'm still laughing over that one.

    Oh, and since you're new here you might want to know that there is an entity (I was going to say person but stopped myself)...an entity who is almost as awful as Rick. His posting name is Ratbastard. He should be living in 1940 Berlin. He'd be happy in his SS uniform. Instead he's stuck in Boston Massachusetts...or rather, Boston is stuck with him.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 14, 2012 5:06:27 PM


  21. Thank you very much, Derrick, et al, for warning me about these twin perils!

    Posted by: Mundus | Jun 14, 2012 5:18:48 PM


  22. Someone needs to go back and read about Eric Rhodes death...

    Posted by: jaragon | Jun 14, 2012 5:27:37 PM


  23. I think the real story is that he is closeted and was out for one year and is now back in. It's like a gay rumpsringa.

    Posted by: FernLaPlante | Jun 14, 2012 5:34:09 PM


  24. I think the real story is that he is closeted and was out for one year and is now back in. It's like a gay rumpsringa.

    Posted by: FernLaPlante | Jun 14, 2012 5:34:10 PM


  25. I think the real story is that he is closeted and was out for one year and is now back in. It's like a gay rumpsringa.

    Posted by: FernLaPlante | Jun 14, 2012 5:34:21 PM


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