Comments

  1. Rob says

    It’s sad when thinking clergy begin to acknowledge that organized religion is all about social control. The inconsistencies in the pablum they have been pushing begin to tear them up. Mother Teresa went through the same thing, and is said not to have believed in God toward the end of her life.

    If you are 25 Conquistadors facing down 6 million Aztecs and Incas / descendents and you want their gold, you really can’t take it by force. You have to control them, and a God who is alternately loving and vengeful is just the ticket. They become marionettes and poof- there is another ruby-encrusted letter opener in the Vatican, to sit along side the one from the people of Bangladesh.

  2. says

    I would not trust any ally who got their idea of what Gay people are from a TV show like “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy”. And I don’t need any pity from a Mormon, someone who deserves it far more than any Gay person does.

  3. says

    I would not trust any ally who got their idea of what Gay people are from a TV show like “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy”. And I don’t need any pity from a Mormon, someone who deserves it far more than any Gay person does.

  4. atomic says

    @Stuffed Animal: I think you really missed the intent. Regardless of how gay stereotypes are played up on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” the real breakthrough happens when straights understand that we aren’t a threat to their way of life, and when we recognize that such fear on their part is the single biggest reason why we are discriminated against.

    It’s only when we are able to make progress on that front that we will achieve equality. While stereotypes are damaging, and we do have a legitimate complaint about this, to make that the subject of debate is to put the cart before the horse. We can’t even begin to address the issue of stereotypes until we get them to stop fearing us. If a reality TV show helps someone to understand that a lifetime of indoctrination and fear is seriously misplaced, all the better. That will increase their willingness to get to know actual GLBTs, and then the stereotypes fall away. But they will never want to get to know us if they persist in the delusion that we are somehow threatening their way of life.

  5. Nate W. says

    Great article–just one observation:

    An LDS bishop’s tenure averages about five years until they are “released” and replaced by another man in the local congregation (unlike higher-ups in the church, bishops do not receive a salary or stipend and are expected to hold down a full-time job in addition to being the ecclesiastical leader of a 150-500 member congregation, so it’s necessary to “spread the pain” a bit). While Mr. Kloosterman may have been released for his remarks, it’s not something that can be inferred by the information in the article.

  6. Caliban says

    My mother was a huge fan of Queer Eye when it was on, and though she was accepting of both me and my gay brother she wasn’t by no stretch of the imagination a PFLAG type parent who was agitating for gay rights. I had dismissed Queer Eye as stereotypical until she pretty much made me sit down and watch some episodes with her. In some ways it WAS stereotypical by implying that ALL gay men are into fashion, home decorating, etc. and in other ways it wasn’t.

    For one thing really only one of the group, Carson Kressley, was overtly effeminate and he was also probably the most genuinely nice and funny. The biggest place they diverged most from the stereotype is they were critical without being bit*chy and the tone of the show was they really *did* want to help.

    Clearly Mr Kloosterman responded to that, as did others. Despite the fact she had two openly gay sons my mother was “in the closet” about it. Her friends, most of whom came from her church, didn’t know. My brother and I had talked about it and how it was hurtful that we were like a dirty secret she was keeping, but what were we going to do about it? Nothing. Unexpectedly it was through talking to her church friends about Queer Eye, getting them to watch it and then talking about it, that our mother finally eased into “coming out” about her two gay sons. Queer Eye was the ice breaker that allowed her to do it.

    So yeah, it was somewhat stereotypical and I can see why some people didn’t like it, but I have nothing bad to say about the show or its cast. It was the Sesame Street version of gay men but if it helped people think beyond the “gay agenda” stereotype of evil homos wanting to destroy straight people, or at least be catty about them behind their backs, then more power to them.

  7. says

    the thing is, being “stereotypical” is in no way inherently harmful or negative.

    and remember – there are TONNES of “gay stereotypes”

    one of the biggest ones? the insecure resentful homosexual who can’t stop talking about how he’s not like those ‘Stereotypical Gays’

    it’s a massive gay stereotype, and a decidedly lame one.

    one of the things that so many folks tend to miss or ignore about Queer Eye was the positive benefits those men gave to the straight men (and by extension, women) who were on that show.

    if those straight dudes can enjoy them, why can’t we?

    exactly.

  8. Brad says

    @LittleKiwi – Stereotypes can be very negative when it perpetuates the false idea that all people within a group fit that stereotype. Stereotypeing is a terrible example of being judgmental, just like those who toss around terms like resentful and insecure when others reject being lumped into that stereotype.

  9. Brad says

    Back to the real topic of the article –
    As I former Mormon, this man is taking a big risk. He will probably be excommunicated at some point. The LDS church does not tolerate dissent at all. Speaking out against the church’s main message on homosexuality could get him kicked out. It will affect his family as well. His wife and children and even extended family will suffer subtle and overt shunning. As a bishop, he has probably held his very last leadership position in the church. He will never be even a Sunday school teacher now. I admire him for standing up for his own conscience.

  10. says

    uh, Brad, I’m gonna call b.s. on that.

    at no point did the show say “all gay men are like this”

    articulate intelligently what you mean by “reject being lumped into that stereotype”. if you can. which is doubtful.

    newsflash – only insecure and resentful people get butthurt about “stereotypes”

  11. Brad says

    @littlekiwi

    Nope, not going to get in a tit-for-tat argument with you. It’s off topic, doesn’t add to the discussion and is unnecessary. We’re all on the same side here.

  12. RealBRAD says

    No matter what, this guy was brave. Whatever got him to speak out, be it a silly reality show or meeting real gay folk, he spoke out against discrimination. I thank him and his family for their bravery.

  13. says

    it’s not an argument, i just don’t think you know what you’re talking about.

    the issue is not “the stereotype”, but the baseless assumption that it’s a negative.

    the “stereotype” is not the negative part. the negative part is how people are ABOUT it.

    *elegant curtsy*

  14. Mike says

    I am no so sure you can trust Christians/Mormons who say they are now allies until they prove themselves beyond the call of duty, like giving up a religion that oppresses LGBT people or giving beyond the call of duty where they really make a difference not just say they are on board but really show it in some way that helps all LGBT people. The Christians are still using psychological warfare to disrupt the lives of LGBT people and they know it. Don’t be fooled by Greeks bearing gifts, aka The Trojan Horse story. Some of these antigay Christian are mentally disturbed to the point that they can and will do anything to destroy gays and they do it in a hidden way that most don’t know it until it is too late. These antigay Christians are doing a lot of damage and have done a lot of damage and they need to make up for a lot of destruction or sin as they call it. The problem is the antigay Christians do not view what they are doing as sin even though they are destructive and this is why they are mentally disturbed, they don’t think they are harming anybody by their evil actions towards gays.

  15. atomic says

    @littlekiwi: Your commentary is usually on target here, but I don’t agree here. Stereotypes aren’t a case where one can conveniently draw a distinction between the stereotype and the reaction to the stereotype.

    No, not all stereotypes are negative. I’m Asian and I happen to be quite good at math, but I can tell you that it absolutely does irritate me when people assume that every Asian must be good at math. It’s presumptuous and it incorrectly generalizes a particular trait to an entire ethnic group, even if that trait is considered positive. It’s insulting to me, because it supposes that my race played a role in my being good at something, rather than my own hard work and passion for it. I’m good at math because I dedicated myself to it, not because I’m Asian.

    I’m also gay, and I’ve had to correct my friends when they ask me for fashion advice. I don’t know anything about fashion although I respect for those who do. My irritation at the stereotype is not based in a fear of being perceived as effeminate. Like the ethnic stereotyping, it’s based in the way people presume to know who you are on the basis of the color of your skin or your sexual orientation, rather than actually taking the time to get to know you for who you really are.

    And that’s why stereotypes are harmful, not because they are intrinsically negative or that those who push back against them are necessarily doing so out of self-loathing. It’s the resentment of being viewed as a member of a category, rather than as an individual.

  16. Caliban says

    Great post, Atomic, particularly “the way people presume to know who you are on the basis of… your sexual orientation” and “being viewed as a member of a category, rather than as an individual.”

Leave A Reply