Sept 22, 2018
Queer eye... Not only for the straight guy
by Ian André Granai
This time, I would like to address the new global trend that “Queer Eye” has become on Netflix so far, because as the title says, it actually is about more than just a make over.
This show, for the very few of you who don’t know about it, is the reboot of the original version “Queer eye for the straight guy”, which made its debut back in 2003. That version was a total hit, and it actually helped open up a space for LGBT+ conversation to be made. Still, that show was more about “tolerance” towards the LGBT+ community than actual acceptance. This new version slaps you in the face with style, glam and glitter, but it goes beyond the physical changes that the “heroes” (as the Fab5 like to call them) go through, it also slaps you in the face with the truth about why most men are so careless when it comes to self-care.
As a straight guy myself, I was reluctant to watch it. My mom and my sister had both invited me to watch, my best friend is gay so I had also heard him mention it. But I just didn’t want to watch it. I thought that show was just for gays and girls to watch. (Shame on me, I know). We live in a society where if you interact too much with something “queer”, it instantly makes you GAY. For starters, the word “queer” does not mean “gay”. That’s just one more assumption we tend to make based on our prejudiced judgment before actually (at least) google-ing it. “Queer” is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender. Originally, it stands for something that’s “strange” or “peculiar”, but now is also increasingly used to describe non-normative identities and politics. It basically means “someone different than the normal” (what could we actually CALL normal nowadays though? But that’s a topic for some other time).
So one night, my best friend hits me up with a text that says: “You NEED to watch this episode!” And so, as the good friend that I am, I watched it in the solitude of my room, with all the lights off. Hiding from the world (even though NO ONE could possibly know about it) Aaaaaand before I knew it, I WAS CRYING. And not one or a couple of tears, no, I mean CRYING A FUCKING RIVER. And then, I just had to binge-watch the rest of the two seasons in two days. No fucks given.
What I liked the most about this show is that it talks about a whole lot of “taboo topics” within our society. It’s not only about queerness or gays or trans people. It talks about racism, religion, politics, acceptance, the need of love that every human being has, the importance of mental health, social anxiety, depression and most of all, it reminds us that IT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT IT. The reason why most men are so careless with themselves is because society has taught us that it is not ok for men to love themselves. That shit is for “metrosexuals and gays” and if you talk about it, you’re a pussy. DUDE! That could NOT be further from the truth. Men suffer from depression far worse than women because women are brave enough to talk about it, search for a helping hand even if that means talking to one of their friends. Men tend to keep it all to themselves and that’s what makes it worse. Out of 10 people who commit suicide, 7 of them are men. It is important that we talk about this matter because, have you noticed? For a moment here, let’s talk about the “Rich and Famous”, throughout the last couple of years, we have heard about Chester (Linkin Park’s lead singer) committing suicide, and Dave Mirra (BMX Champion), and Heath Ledger, and Michael Jackson, and Antony Bourdain, and Robin Williams just to mention a few… and that’s just because we don’t actually know about all the others. I am not saying that women don’t suffer from depression too, I am just trying to explain why mental health is important for men, too.
This show is full of fucking powerful moments. 5 Fabulous gay men come to some of the most closed-minded towns and help straight men get their shit together. They teach them that it is ok to care about themselves too, that they deserve the good things in their lives that are happening to them, they teach them how to care for themselves, just get a fucking haircut at a decent barber shop, clip your fucking toe nails, shop once in a while in a decent store and for once in your life, get the fucking right size. Men need to be reminded that they are awesome human beings too and we deserve good things happening to us. In one of the first episodes, there was this “old and ugly guy” as he described himself, he was 57 (that’s not even that old, man…) and he was a veteran in Georgia. He told these guys that even if they could change some things about him, that they would not be able to “fix ugly”, because THAT’S HOW BADLY HE THOUGHT OF HIMSELF. At the end of the week, they had showed him that he could look good, and feel good and proud of himself and there is this moment where the Fab5 tell him that he is a beautiful human being with an awesome heart and he starts crying and hugs them all. Yes, the 57-year-old straight veteran who lived in a small town in the middle of Georgia. That breaks all kind of stereotypes right there. And I found it awesome…
This show reminded me that we are ALL different human beings, some of us are tall, or short, brown, white, black, cisgender, transgender, gay, straight… we come in all different sizes and colors, but that is what makes life so amazing. We should learn how to appreciate how different everyone is, and not make others feel bad because of it. We are all different, and that’s what makes us so awesome. We need to understand that at the end of the day, we are all human beings who want to be loved, like Bobby said in the show. Learn how to love yourself, man. Love others. This world is too fucked up already, it could use some good energy from you.