While I adored Dan‘s review of the latest episode of “So You Think You Can Dance“, I feel it must finally be said (though I’m certainly not the first mo to think or utter this belief) that this show has some serious issues with the gays. Watching last night’s episode with hardcore fan and close friend of mine Colby, we both burst out laughing at Kent’s cute 11 second intro that ended with an adorable: “ummmm I’M SINGLE!” Finally, I thought, we’re gonna allow a CLEARLY homosexual dancer to express himself as a sexual being and not just save it for the straight girls wearing basically nothing in every other number as Nigel Lythgoe, Shane Sparks (*cough*GAY*cough*) and even Adam Shankman (ugh) wipe their drool off the judges table over the “hot, hot chicks.” What do the boys get? Mary Murphy screaming “hot tomale train” and Nigel saying: “Pasha, I’m sure you looked great, but can we get back to talking about your HOT YOUNG FEMALE PARTNER?!?!” It’s total crap.
The culmination for me of this show’s constant refusal to let the pride flag fly came in a staged and outrageous exchange last night between the show’s host Cat Deeley and Kent Boyd, the OBVIOUSLY GAY kid from nowheresville. After the set up of him declaring his singleness to excited and pervy 30/40-something gays everywhere (eww, this kid is 18 you old men… yes, I’m talking to ALL of my friends), the show proved itself once again the bigoted and terrified of “real Americans” (thank you Sarah Palin) wimps I’ve come to expect it to be.
The following is the chat Cat Deeley and Kent Boyd had immediately following his routine with Lauren last night which picks up from his intro in which he blurts out that he’s “single” which oh-too-perfectly leads into this CLEARLY choreographed discussion (don’t even try to argue it’s not set up with her predicting dead on he had an alternate answer to “my mom”):
Cat: And, sir, by the way, you’re single. Is that true?
Cat: Ok, ideal woman, just so we all know?
Kent: Ummm someone that… like my mom…
Cat: Hahahaha, now the truth comes out.
Ummm, no, it doesn’t Cat. The truth is shoved back into the closet along with this perfect moment to stand up for gays and their right to be who they are on national TV. This is what we went through a year ago with Adam Lambert and the unspoken pink elephant in the room. And, with Clay Aiken years before that. Every time these contestants are forced to pander to the conservative and bigoted middle-American voters as well as to the more than assuredly close-minded producers and directors of these shows who- I’m sure- force these kids to “keep it a mystery” or even outright lie. SYTYCD’s back and forth is so suffered that I’m left to wonder if it was Kent’s I’m sure religiously right wing parents from WhachaNoHomo (or whatever) who asked the show if they wouldn’t stage this forced in-ing of their son on tv or Nigel himself who wanted to abate rumours that there might ACTUALLY be one of the “gays” among his precious Top 11. In an article by a fellow gay writer wherein Nigel is confronted about this unspoken level of intolerance for out gays on shows like “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, the judge (and executive producer) is asked why no one’s ever declared themselves as gay while on the show to which he replies:
Nigel: We’ve never thought about it, to be honest. I don’t actually go around and say, “Excuse me are you gay or are you straight?” It isn’t a question that we ask… I’m never worried if anybody’s gay. What I don’t like on the dance show, to be frank, is effeminate boys that mince around the stage. I don’t care if they’re gay or straight. That’s got nothing to do with it for me.
To that, I’d like to respond: “Suck my dick, you liar” but I’m sure he’d have a heart attack at the thought of it and I wouldn’t want to be convicted of manslaughter however justified… Remember season four? (Don’t worry, most of us don’t)… well, there was the painfully purse dropping Joshua Allen who took the gold tiara that year and had to endure question after question about “which lady dancer got him the most caliente?” It’s all such crap. Then there were the two gay ballroom dancers who- while they weren’t Top 20 material by a long shot- never deserved the abrasive and anti-homosexual rhetoric of Nigel:
Nigel: I think you will probably alienate a lot of our audience. I mean, we’ve always had the guys dance together on the show, but they’ve never really done it in each other’s arms before… Do you know what? I’d like to see you both dancing with a girl.
I don’t even have a response to this comment. Dancing is at its purest a form of expression and art. It’s suppose to open peoples’ minds to new ideas and ought never to be restricted by convention or limitation. Speaking in less idealistic terms, the entire dancing community is RIPE with gays, so to start imposing “straight rules” on them because the viewers of the show wouldn’t appreciate two guys dancing together is pandering and placation at its worst and most destructive. Yes, this is Nigel’s show and he can absolutely do what he wants with it. BUT, for fellow homos and lesbians to stand next to him on the judging panel or choreograph these poor kids forced to put up with this straight humor and expectations of gender roles is fucking bullshit. I’m ashamed for the judges who don’t speak out for these poor kids and a little for these dancers (nearly all of whom are adults) for not taking a stand for themselves.
Coming out is your own decision and path, but when you take up on a platform that offers you to millions as a role model you DO have a bit of a responsibility to live a genuine life. Kent’s bashful answer that he’s looking to “hit it” with Beyonce is a slap to every gay teen and tween sitting at home hoping for someone they look up to as an artist telling them that what they are feeling is shameful and not something Joe and Jennie six-pack “need to see.”